The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

How to Overcome Academic Burnout

How to Overcome Academic Burnout
PHOTO COURTESY/ Unsplash Tim Gouw

It’s almost spring. The leaves are coming back and flowers are about to bloom, and as they do, our desire to focus in school goes away. When I was a young, aspiring freshman with numerous goals and aspirations, I felt with near certainty that I would never experience the so-called “senioritis.” 

But now, as a college senior? I am experiencing senoritis.

For anyone else experiencing this academic burnout, whether a senior such as myself or a freshman not used to the grueling spring semester, you are not lost yet. There are a few tricks to getting through this without losing yourself to emotional exhaustion. 

Accept the feelings, without any guilt

Everyone experiences burnout — the 4.0, top of their class brainiac and the “C’s get degrees” survivor. Whatever feelings of malaise, exhaustion or fatigue that you feel are valid and normal. There is no guilt for experiencing them, and they will not simply go away by thinking about how you need to get over them. Instead, accept that you are tired, and a little lost, without any added shame.

Set goals

We have all been told since freshman year (and before) that we need to set goals for our future. Often, these realities of “growing up” and leaving college are what generates the anxiety that attributes to senioritis. However, setting primarily short-term goals, such as when you plan to have work done for the week, will allow you to feel a sense of satisfaction and self-pride. Long-term goals are also important, but they do not have to be looming or intense. They can simply be how you want to keep a certain grade in class, or begin your job search on a certain day. Simple goals will keep you on track until May.

Set your calendar for the rest of the school year

In previous years, I never felt the need to keep a planner. More or less, I could keep every due date and assignment in the back of my mind. However, when burnout got its claws in me, I began completely forgetting when work was due. Keeping a full planner of every due date for every class and looking at it daily will force you to be aware of what is due and allow you to realize when you must refocus yourself to get work complete. 

Try something new

Having a new hobby to focus your energy on can revitalize your effort into everything — including that horrid schoolwork. Personally, I have returned to my roots, playing video games as a reward for getting my assignments complete. For introverts, there are numerous things you can do at home. Painting and drawing can help relieve stress and allow a level of satisfaction for physically creating something.  Those who love the outdoors may start running or hiking (even in New York there are places to hike, some of which can be found here). There are numerous different hobbies to motivate you through the semester.

Reward yourself. 

Having a reward to force yourself out of bed and to your desk can help encourage you this semester. Video games are often my reward for getting work done. Sometimes it is going shopping or splurging on a ticket to a small concert in the city (a recent rendezvous to see the musician YungBlud, for example, only cost me $10). Plan a night out, go to the movies, attend a concert yourself; find whatever it is that motivates you to get through your upcoming papers and projects.

As easy as it would be to simply give up this semester, think about all the work you have put in to get where you are today. Burnout is a natural part of growing up, and can be found in much of life. Don’t let academic burnout stop you from getting through the rest of the semester with confidence and pride.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Alicia Venter, Editor-in-Chief
Alicia is a senior Journalism major with a minor in English. She joined the Torch during her freshman year as Assistant News Editor and later became News Editor. In her last year, she is now serving as the Editor-in-Chief. She is excited to expand the Torch’s online presence through the Torch’s newsletter and other digital platforms. She is a native Kentuckian and loves painting, blaring music too loud and strong coffee! You can reach Alicia at [email protected].

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *