It can seem sometimes like school is going to last forever – and for people who go through medical, law, or a doctorate program, it kind of does. It can be hard to focus for years on end, never really knowing when the end will come, and always being expected to perform at your best.
Burnout might seem inevitable, but these 14 people have some good advice on how to get around it if you can.
14. This works on any sort of bad day, tbh.
Take a 10 minute break to scream into the void during your study sessions.
13. Build a comfort zone.
When I was a burnt out student I took solace in a comfort zone activity. Something unrelated to my school work that I could dive into for a little while when I needed a break. For me, this was reading the Lord of the Rings.
What works for you depends one what’s in your comfort zone, but it should be something that you can easily pick up and put down again when it is time to get back to work.
To this day, I still read the Lord of the Rings when I get stressed or overworked. In fact, I am reading it now, for the 48th time.
12. Drift away to somewhere else.
Take a break, put on some music, and close your eyes. Alone in a room.
11. Try to take the pressure off.
Don’t pressure yourself into 4 years. It’s OK to take it slower. Balance out your schedule with more enjoyable elective credits if you can, or just take less courses in a semester if possible.
Obviously things like financial aid, living costs (if not living at home) and others may play a factor in how many courses you need to take or how quickly you need to complete college, so if you can’t take less courses, talk to your advisor or counselor and work with them to carefully plan out each semester so that your coursework is balanced IE: You don’t end up accidentally taking Calculus + “Fun,” art class that was 1000x more work than you thought it would be in the same semester.
10. It really is the little things.
Wash your bed sheets. You’ll be amazed how much it improves your mental health.
9. This is not the answer.
Don’t listen to blokes that only say “work harder” in response to burnout.
Half of the upvoted stuff here is to just plough through it. Wtf? OP is having a burnout, not a rough day. It’s like telling a runner to just keep running after they collapsed from exhaustion.
8. Water is often the answer.
Drink a lot of water, I know you think coffee will do the trick but chances are you’re dehydrated and water will work faster ❤️
7. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“Do better” is not real advice.
My mantras for last semester were “simply do it” and “perfection is easy, just don’t make any mistakes”. I got the marks, but the price I paid for them was NOT worth it.
Accept that working more hours isn’t always the answer, accept that failure is acceptable, accept that you are a person first and a student second.
Evaluate your process, evaluate your due dates, break every task into subtasks and prioritize. Sometimes you can’t get everything done, and an imperfect solution is always better than no solution.
6. A few very good tips.
Form a (virtual?) study group to review the material with classmates. Perhaps each member of the group can come up with 5 practice questions and then quiz the others in the group. It can be helpful to try to predict the questions that might be on your next quiz/test.
Watch YouTube videos related to course topics.
Meet with your instructor during office hours to ask questions.
Get colored pens and colored index cards to create pleasantly color-coded notes and/or flash cards for quick review.
5. It’s not a crime.
Prioritize yourself above the things you do.
4. Don’t work all the time.
One of the main points is that if you don’t have time to take time to yourself you’re doing something wrong. Whether that’s glorifying overworking and exaggerating, or you work inefficiently, or you have an anxiety problem that doesn’t let you relax, or w/e.
There are lots of understandable reasons, but you can 100% complete a degree/doctorate while also getting healthy breaks in for most of the semester.
3. It’s ok not to be perfect.
If you’re an A student I would suggest lowering your personal bar. Being constantly burnt out isn’t worth the 0.2 difference in your GPA and if you’re worried about career prospects there are always comparable fields that aren’t quite as competitive.
Trying to get an A in every class takes disproportionally more work. If you can get A’s and a few more B’s while getting to chill every once and a while and not stressing, do that.
2. Never underestimate a good reset.
Walk. Take a 30-45 minute walk every day (assuming you don’t already work out regularly). The chemical releases from exercise boost mood and can help with energy levels. Also, the sun can improve mood. A change of scenery can improve mood and help you brain “reset”.
1. Do some self-evaluation.
the question is whether it is a real (long-term) burnout or quite a normal student’s fatigue since it is a hard work in mostly bad conditions with insecure perspectives.
Take a sabbatical, if it is an option – for a real deal.
Take a different perspective, get refreshed and motivated in smooth ways, be aware of the fact that a study forms you to a more complete and interesting personality, which is not a question of just a better paid job, but a whole life experience – for a temporary thing.
I wish I would have had some of these tips when I was in school.
What other tips would you offer? Share with us in the comments!