How to Deal with Student Burnout – College Info Geek

How to Deal with Student Burnout – College Info Geek

September 14, 2019 100 By Ronny Jaskolski


– If you’re the kind of
student who deals with a demanding, ambitious
schedule, then it’s possible you’ve experienced
feelings of burnout. Especially if you’re
watching a video called “How to deal with
student burnout.” But, what exactly, is burnout? Yes it’s a series of near
perfect arcade racing games that sucked up large amounts
of my time as a teenager, but it’s also a
debilitating state you don’t want to find yourself in. If you’re looking for a
definition, David Ballard of the American Psychological
Association defined job burnout as “An extended period of
time where someone experiences “exhaustion and a lack
of interest in things, “resulting in a decline
in their job performance.” Replace job with student, and that definition
doesn’t lose it’s accuracy. But, here’s a more
practical definition, everything makes you tired,
you don’t care about anything, and everything sucks. Burnout is characterized by
near constant exhaustion, a lack of motivation
in everything, frustration,
cynicism, and a lot of other different symptoms. It’s something that can happen
when you’re dealing with large amounts of stress
for a long period of time, which is something
that’s, sadly, all too common for students. Here’s the kicker though. Burnout is a state of being
that takes a while to get to. It doesn’t happen overnight. And the good thing about
this, is that you can recognize the signs that
are indicative of burnout, and take steps to
prevent actual burnout before it actually happens. The first step in being
able to prevent burnout is to figure out, what
exactly causes it. Now a 2006 study at the
University of Southern Maine surveyed 354 students
to figure out what the cause of
student burnout is. A small percentage reported
mental or physical issues to be a cause, and a
few others reported that problems with professors
were causing their burnout. About 13 percent
felt that it was caused by a lack of
personal motivation, either a lack of
interest in their major, or as they describe
in the paper, an
overactive social life. A full quarter of the
students surveyed reported outside issues to be the
main cause, either family or financial issues, or
time management problems mainly caused by things
like part-time jobs. However, by far the
largest cause reported was assignment overload. A full 49 percent of the
students who actually reported feelings of burnout,
cited an overbearing, overtaxing course load as the
main cause of the problem. So, now that we know
some of the common causes of student burnout, we can
actually tackle the issue of preventing it or fixing it
if you’re already feeling it. Now, the most important
thing to note here, is that it’s
essential to recognize the early signs of
burnout if you can, and prevent actual
burnout before it happens. You’re gonna be much
better equipped to tackle these problems if
you’re not hampered by constant exhaustion, the depressive state
that burnout brings. So if you feel like you’re
on the road to burnout, or you’re experiencing
some of the symptoms I mentioned before,
take that seriously and take steps to prevent
what they lead to. That being said,
even if you feel like you’re past that
point and you’re completely burnt out right now, hopefully
some of these tips that I’m going to round out the
video with, can help you out. My first and foremost tip is,
learn from that 49 percent. Don’t bite off more than you
can chew with your course load. A more general way you
could put this, is, think very carefully
before committing yourself to over stretching for
long periods of time. Be willing to challenge
yourself, but realize that you do have limitations,
just like the rest of us. And if you go beyond those
limitations for too long, there are consequences. Now if you’ve had a
look at my free book on earning better
grades, you’ll realize this is a rewording
of the very first tip in the first chapter
of the book, which is, don’t overload the system. And, speaking of the
system, my second tip is to make sure that your
system, your brain, and by extension your
body, are in working order. A lack of sleep, good
nutrition or exercise can put you in a
non-optimal state. And when you’re in
a state like that you’re less able to
deal with the challenges of your schedule, and also,
things that can cause burnout. A third tip is to make
sure that you’re organized. I’ve found in my life that
if I feel unorganized, if my task-management
systems are full of tasks that I don’t
need to do anymore, and everything just seems messy, it causes a lot of
undue stress which can lead to feelings of burnout. So if you’re feeling like
this, maybe take a day, or a weekend to clear out
your task-management systems, get all that entropy out
of there, clean your room, and make sure that, going
forward, you feel like your life is organized. Another tip, and I think this
is a really important one, is to make sure
you’re taking breaks. Get away from your school or
work life on a regular basis and give yourself
some time to relax. Now, as I’ve talked about
in a previous video, when you’re taking breaks,
you wanna make sure you’re having high-density fun. Don’t just go on
Reddit or Facebook and give yourself, like, ten
minutes away from your work, actually schedule some time to
completely separate yourself from your work life, and find
something else you enjoy. You also wanna make sure
that your work or school can’t seep into that break
time, that it’s sacred. As an entrepreneur, I’ve
found that, in particular, my email is something that
can seep into my break time. So I make sure that my phone
has no notifications on it, and I make sure I
only check email at certain times of the day. That way my breaks
are actually relaxing. Now, small breaks should be a regular occurrence
in your schedule. There should be
little ones each day, and then you should
give yourself some time each week to really unwind. However, sometimes,
that alone, isn’t enough and you might need
a longer break. Part of the reason I took my
three week vacation to Japan, is because I was
starting to feel some of the early
signs of burnout. Making a video and four
different podcast episodes each week was really
starting to be taxing, and I just needed some time to
unwind and not have to work. Now that I’ve had that
break, my mind is reset, I’m energized again, and
I’m ready to jump back into making videos and podcasts. Now, related to taking breaks, I find that it’s
useful to have a hobby or pursuit where you
can feel a sense of progress when you do it. For me, at least, I
find that taking breaks that only consist of
consumption of media, like movies or video
games, which is, honestly what a lot of
people do, is not enough. So, instead, I think
it’s good to take at least some of
those break times to do something that has
some progression to it. My next and final tip is
to simply ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. And if you’re in college,
there’s probably somebody on your campus whose job it is to help you deal with
stress related issues. Even if there isn’t, or
maybe you don’t want to, talking to friends
or family about what’s causing your stress can
really help you relieve it. So, that’s it for this video. Hopefully these
tips will help you deal with some of the
feelings of burnout that you may be feeling,
and we will be dealing with more stress related topics in the future, on this channel. In the meantime, if
you’ve got other tips for dealing with burnout, that I didn’t mention
in this video, feel free to leave them
down in the comments. And I will see you next week. (upbeat electronic music) – [Thomas Frank Voiceover]
Hey guys, thanks so much for watching my video
on dealing with burnout. Now, if you wanna get new
videos every single week on being a more
effective student, then you can click that big red subscribe button right there. If you want, you can also
get a free copy of my book on earning better grades, by
clicking the book’s picture. And if you want to find
links and other resources that I used to
research this video, you’ll find them at
the companion blog post that you can get to by clicking
the orange logo right there. If you missed my last
video, it was the conculsion to my accelerated Japanese
learning challenge, and you can click the
thumbnail to watch it. And if you would like to
connect to ask questions or have ideas for new videos,
you can find me on Twitter @TomFrankly, or leave
a comment below. Thanks.