Burnout rising among college students

Cameron Jett, Editor-in-Chief

It’s Friday at 11:30 p.m. You have three assignments due within half an hour. Instead of turning in the assignments, they sit on your desktop, never to be submitted. You walk to your bed and go past your unfolded laundry on the floor. You’re burnt out on school, so you call it a night without setting an alarm to wake you up for your morning classes.

If any of this sounds like you, you’re experiencing college burnout.

Burnout among college students isn’t uncommon. It’s only become more common since the pandemic. Research by Bernadette Melnyk, the chief wellness officer at Ohio State University, found that burnout had increased from 40% to 71% during the pandemic.

Her research supports a national trend of students who say they have found college more stressful in recent years. 

At ULM, students are currently in the rush of coursework between midterm and final exams. With the final day to drop classes falling on Monday at noon, students are having to make difficult decisions regarding their classes. 

ULM’s Self-Development, Counseling and Special Accommodations Center said it offers help to students who may find themselves experiencing burnout.

Crystal Ward, a counselor at ULM, said students should be looking for signs in their lives that they might be beginning to become burnt out. She said the sooner students realize that they are in this state, the quicker and easier it is to readjust.

“Make sure you are honest with yourself and you aren’t in denial,” Ward said.

Some of the signs she mentioned are lack of interest, lower grades, decreased motivation, social isolation and feelings of depression or anxiety.

And while there are ways to fix burnout, Ward said that it’s best to avoid it from the start by creating a realistic routine early on in the school year and sticking to it. She said it’s important to be self-aware when creating these goals to not burn out chasing unrealistic goals.

She also said burnout is even more prevalent among first-time college students who have to adjust to the lifestyle changes in college. Students may feel inclined to join student organizations or pick up part-time jobs, but Ward said students should wait before making these commitments. 

“I’m not saying that you shouldn’t involve yourself in those particular activities, but maybe just see how you’re going to respond to academics and adjusting to the college life first,” she said.

Lastly, Ward said that students experiencing symptoms of burnout should visit the counseling center to receive professional help.