How I’m Dealing with Burnout

Jayde Teutsch, Staff Writer

As the end of the semester approaches, I’ve found myself stuck in the same cycle each day; my classes are becoming repetitive and there isn’t much to do to destress when the sun sets before 6 p.m.  

Burnout is a very real issue that college students experience, and seasonal depression can make things worse. There are things I have started doing over the past few weeks that make the time change a little easier to deal with. 

For one, I’ve started parenting my roommate. The less time the sun is out, the more I want to rot away in my bed. I tell my roommate she has to get out of the room and be active as a way to force myself to do the same. It is a lot easier to combat the ruthless wind and urge to procrastinate when you have someone to take it on with.  

My roommate and I have also been trying to find new hobbies that keep us engaged. I’ve been teaching her fun dances in our room and tell her about the news articles I read or weird facts I learn throughout the day. When it’s time to relax, we either journal or have ‘floor time’, a 20 or 30-minute period where we lay on our floor and listen to music or reflect on the day. This time of reflection helps us let go of negative energy and mentally prepare for the next day.  

Besides making my roommate become my makeshift therapist, I try doing something different each day. Breaking up my routine pushes me out of my comfort zone by grounding me a bit and makes me less likely to skip classes. Repetition becomes boring very quickly and can make the days blur; with the sun setting sooner each day, it helps to make each day feels like a new one. Some days I’ll take a different path to class or do homework in the library and lounges around campus rather than in my room.  

I’ll also switch up my routine by making sure I find joy each day. This ensures I have something positive to reflect on each night instead of all the negatives. Some days I’ll buy myself a little treat from Cat’s Corner or take a walk to observe the seasons changing and squirrels roaming around.  

A few weekends ago my roommate and I visited the Majestic Theater to see “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,” a children’s movie about a singing crocodile. The movie wasn’t one I actually desired to see, but going to the theater to see (and lightly make fun of) a new movie was a childish experience. Sometimes college forces students to feel so grown up that we forget we are just kids trying our best, but we are still in our youth and should continue finding fun while we have the opportunity. Nothing positive comes from stressing yourself out and punishing yourself for being relaxed.  

Mostly, I do things even when I really don’t want to. Yes, there are days when we all need a break. Sometimes though, pushing against the lack of motivation is what breaks the cycle and helps you feel better. Often times when my friends ask to hang out, my gut reaction is to say no. If I don’t have a reason to stay in, however, I will accept their invitation. Getting out of bed is the hardest part and I know I won’t regret making new memories I would have missed out on had I continued hiding in bed.  

No matter how people fight against burnout, it is essential to find joy. It becomes detrimental to one’s health to continuously take on pressure and refuse to unwind. There is no shame in looking out for yourself and it can be enjoyable finding ways to combat seasonal depression. Listen to your body, trust your friends and live life in a way you won’t regret when you look back on it.