Burnout among students is not rare. Psychological pressure, stress, anxiety, social distance – all of these things add to financial difficulties, relationship worries, and uncertainty about future plans, creating a real struggle. Many students lose their motivation and aspirations due to hard courseload and stressful daily life. It eventually results in burnout which is one of the main causes of why students drop out of college. In order to prevent burnout, it’s crucial to be able to see the signs of it and solve the issue as soon as possible, stabilizing your mental health. Lets’ take a look at the main signs of college burnout among students and how to prevent them.
When it comes to burnout and distress, one of the first important signs of it, alongside emotional discomfort, would be exhaustion. Both mental and physical. If you find yourself tired during the day or even right in the morning when you wake up, when you face a lack of energy or motivation for basic chores, social activity, or mental load, it means that your body faces too much of a load on its nervous system.
Lack of good sleep only adds up to the problem, making it hard even to force yourself to get up in the morning or sit through the classes. This is a warning sign from your body that tried to tell you that you put too much on your shoulders and you should rest more. But what’s even more important you should worry less as you are constantly living in a stressful position, boosting the levels of cortisol – the hormone of stress and fear.
A very common sign among students is a headache. There are many types of a headache that a person can experience and all of them might have different natures. But the one that occurs during the stressful period and long study sessions due to excess mental tension is the sign that your brain needs some break from the overload.
When a student gets another assignment, especially when there already are other things they need to care about, it becomes necessary to put more effort into balancing all the chores and tasks which might cause stress and negative thoughts, worries that don’t just appear – they can randomly overwhelm one’s nervous system even in sleep. That makes it impossible for a person to feel calm and safe – all they do is worry about another deadline. No surprise, they get headaches.
When you suddenly start catching a cold more frequently than you used to, it’s a sign of something more serious than just bad luck. It means that your immune system became more vulnerable and your body needs healthier meals, more sleep, and less stress.
It happens because your body has to spend more energy on coping with the stress, overload, and mental tension – as a result it affects your immune system. Pay attention to your health – your digestive system, your overall well-being, aches, and other things that you don’t find normal.
Motivation is the key to success. When you are prepared and positive about upcoming challenges, you find it easier to cope with difficulties. But when you have no motivation, why put in any effort?
If you see that your motivation to continue studying is low and you don’t really know why you are making yourself go through the highs and lows of college, you should definitely view it as a sign of burnout. Because if you look back, you would probably see that you were motivated and excited about starting your college journey. Maybe the case is with your major – that is why you can try changing your major to find the passion in life. But it also might be because you are simply too tired of the stress and deadlines. This is when you should work on helping yourself to find your motivation back. Remind yourself about your long-term goals – what you want in life, what career is the path that you find the most suitable for you, and how happy you will be once you achieve your goal.
Try making some motivating mood boards to find this sparkle again. Or maybe you might try taking a break from college – for one semester. To reboot and go on with fresh energy.
Sleeping is crucial – everybody knows. But when you are constantly stressed, it’s hard for your brain to get rid of all the intrusive thoughts and let you just rest. That’s why you might be waking up at night or facing hard times falling asleep. Especially if you just keep thinking about the upcoming exams or some troubles.
Sleep hygiene should be part of your daily routine. Try relaxing music and basic rules – such as going to bed at the same time each day, avoiding your gadgets for an hour before sleep, and trying some meditation techniques for relaxation.
If you find it hard to manage your sleep issue on your own, you might want to talk to a specialist or even try some medicine that would help you calm down before bed and leave those worries for the next day to think about.
Burning out is somewhat even normal when you are in college or if you work for a long time in a stressful environment. That’s why sometimes changing something even small helps a lot. You might want to change your daily routine or get a new hobby to be distracted by. But sometimes it takes more to find that solvation – for example, the change of major or even a college transferring. But, in general, dropping out of college for good is not the best option – because you have already put your time and effort into it and all of that should better not be wasted. Remember, that you can change the situation in your favor if you see the problem and can address it. But it’s your choice that you need to make.