By Rebecca Veselinovich
As a senior, I should be excited to finish up my academic career and transition into my professional career, but I’m not. Only a few weeks into senior year and I already feel defeated. Was grad school the right choice? Will I have to move back home?
The fact of the matter is, I’m burned out.
I’m supposed to be happy of my accomplishments and looking forward to the future but with school, COVID, and civil unrest it’s been difficult to find solace these past seven months. We are social beings and crave social interaction. How can we be asked to act like everything is fine when we are forced to stay at home and stare into our screens for seven plus hours of the day?
Here are some things I do to help cope with feeling overwhelmed and dealing with burnout:
Talk About It
Don’t be afraid to speak up and talk to others about how you’re feeling. Be sure to let your professors and team members know what you're going through so that they can help you and try to work it out together. I can’t tell you how much better you’ll feel when you voice your feelings because chances are, your group members and teachers might be going through it too.
Step away from your work area. Sometimes walking away from your responsibilities can lead to better ideas. It’s ok to break a break (or five) if you need to! Go ahead and watch that hour-long episode of your new binge worthy show, take a walk around the neighborhood, just relax. It’s hard enough to step away from schoolwork and have a social life without a global pandemic and civil unrest, so be sure to allow yourself time to cool off.
Image via The Foundry
Start Saying No
Worried about feeling bad if you say no? Don’t be, you’ll realize that people are understanding and will respect your decision. Once you start to say no, you reduce the stress and the likelihood of burnout. Being able to set personal and professional boundaries are important to our mental health and our well-being.
The next time you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give, remember what you’re working towards and keep your goals in mind. As students, we have a clear end goal and a future to look forward to. Be sure to stay safe, keep sane, and have fun along the way.