Opinion: Tips and Tricks to Prevent and Recover from Burnout

Aiyana Burdue, LaPorte, Indiana sophomore, does homework in the Stockwell Library bridge. Burdue is on both the Esports and equestrian dressage teams and is an environmental studies major (Photo Illustration by Rhiannon Slotnick).

During my first two years of college, I was constantly burnt out; the mental and physical strain from stress left me feeling less like myself. But now, I’m doing much better. 

I am a full-time student. I have a part-time job. I’m in the concert choir and am also vice president of new member education for my sorority. These activities come with many responsibilities, and I keep track of my tasks in many different ways. I’ve started taking things seriously, and it’s yielded some good results.

I have two calendars in my room: one is monthly and lists all my major assignments. The other is weekly, containing my day-to-day schedule. I also use a planner and write all of my assignments on a spreadsheet at the beginning of the semester. I’ve learned that I need to have everything in front of me at all times. 

Managing burnout while juggling coursework and extracurricular activities is a challenge every student faces.

Thankfully, I’m no longer a student-athlete. It took up too much of my time and messed up my sleep schedule. 

However, Jocelyn Singer, Erie, Pennsylvania junior, is a pole vaulter here at Albion. Singer said that the key to preventing burnout is to take breaks and spend some time with yourself, adding that it’s good to avoid procrastination and get good sleep. 

“Procrastination is one of the reasons why people burn out because they put so much stuff on themselves,” Singer said. “If I didn’t procrastinate, I’d be able to handle burnouts a lot better.”

Singer also said that creating a schedule can help with everything you have going on. You can plan everything out, find times to take breaks and use them for yourself.

Senior Hollie Ballentine from St. Clair Shores, Missouri had similar advice. Ballentine has a lot on her plate: She is president of Alpha Kappa Alpha, part of the NAACP and Black Student Alliance. 

“Google Calendar is my best friend,” said Ballentine. “I put everything in there because it’s synced up with my phone and it alerts me 10 minutes before.” 

Like me, Ballentine remembers things better when they are written down right in front of her. She said it also helps if she talks to someone about her schedule because having someone to hold her accountable helps her remember to put those words on paper.

Ian Addison, Marquette sophomore, is part of the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon, the men’s music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, marching band, and is performing in an upcoming play. 

“One of the ways I stay productive is listening to music,” Addison said. “I find that it helps me focus on whatever it is I have to do.”

According to Addison, whether he’s studying his lines or writing an essay, he will be listening to music.

There are many ways that a college student can calm down from a tremendous amount of stress. Personally, I love taking walks at night and looking up at the stars during clear skies. 

Having a busy schedule is nothing to be ashamed of and neither is struggling with burnout. Everyone experiences that feeling at some point, and finding a way to cope is so important. If you’re still searching, don’t worry; it took me years to find something that worked.

It’s okay to take breaks and focus on yourself. Once you do, existing with the feeling of burnout will be much easier.

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