Piper’s Thoughts Week 6

Paper Person on Fire

Hey, everyone! Miss me yet? 😉 Honestly, I took an unintentional break not because I wanted to but because I found myself needing to. And the reason why is one I’ll touch on in this issue of Piper’s Thoughts – burnout.

Hitting the infamous burnout is something we hear about constantly while in college. The spiral into it, the feelings and emotions, how you sometimes don’t even know you’re in a burnout until you’ve gotten past it. This column will discuss my best tips for avoiding burnout and my own experience of getting through it.

First, and in my opinion, the most important tip, don’t overfill your plate. Sometimes it’s okay to say no, especially when you may not necessarily have the time to do so. Instead of saying “yes” immediately, stop and think of everything you must do. Ask yourself, “do I have time for this?” and, “If I take on this task, will I be able to complete it to the best of my ability?” By asking yourself these questions, you may be able to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed and burdened with too many things at once. This is one of the many factors that led to my own burnout and could have easily been avoided.

Another cause of college burnout is not taking enough time for yourself. With assignments, tests, extracurriculars, and of course, time with friends and family, we all lead busy lives. Whether it’s extra time in the morning, an hour study break, or a short walk, it’s essential to disconnect and take time for yourself. This ensures you don’t become too overwhelmed or have everything blur together, causing brain fog.

Next, create a schedule where you’ll stick to deadlines and avoid procrastination. I’m incredibly guilty of this, waiting until the last possible minute to do an assignment. Burning the midnight oil, cramming right before a class. This all can lead to high stress, lack of sleep, and unhealthy cycles of procrastinating work.   By creating a schedule and trying your best to get ahead, you’ll have more time to relax, focus on other priorities, and avoid heading towards Burnout-Ville.

College burnout can be brutal. You hit a stage of brain fog, stress, and sometimes you even throw in the towel and suddenly seem to care less about grades, friends, even yourself. Before I close off, I want to mention a resource that is essential for all students. Whether you are in a burnout slump, your mental health is fragile, or you need someone to talk to, Arkansas Tech University has excellent resources to help you. One is the skilled counselors they have on staff. You receive 4 free sessions per semester and then $25 each session after. Everything you say is confidential, and you are welcomed with open arms each time. I highly encourage checking them out!

If you or someone you know is in burnout, know you’re not alone. Thousands of people are in the same situation every day and pull themselves out of it every day. We will see this through together!