Addressing burnout

Reading Time: 2 minutes Burnout is a problem late into any semester. Here’s how some UVU students are handling theirs.

A male student sits at a table with hands in his hair in frustration.Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the school clock ticks on, many students begin to experience burnout, “a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped,” according to WebMD

With this in mind, The Review has asked UVU students what their common concerns about burnout are and hope to address them with research. Burnout may be trouble, but individuals can still work past it.

“Why don’t I have any motivation?” asked Mason Watts, a UVU student who plans to register for the upcoming fall semester.

Lack of motivation is a common problem among college students today. Reportedly, 76% of college students have experienced a lack of motivation since the COVID-19 pandemic began, claimed Owen Daugherty with NASFAA

Dealing with a lack of motivation, however, may be more simple than one might think. Robert L. Leahy, writing for Psychology Today, shared, “You don’t have to feel like doing something in order to do it. You simply need to choose to do it and then actually do it.”

“I’m scared to share that I’m struggling. It doesn’t look like anyone else is, and I don’t want to look weak,” shared Harrison Kaylor, a freshman studying communications.

According to a study by Vanessa K. Bohns and Francis J. Flynn in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, most people find it embarrassing or humiliating to ask for help and often fear ridicule because of it. In their words, “The current research suggests that this may be due to face-saving concerns that help-seekers confront and potential helpers overlook.”

Asking for help doesn’t need to be scary. According to Toni Bernhard, a writer for Psychology Today, most people mean it when they ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Bernhard suggests practicing asking for help and writing down a short list of things to try. These include making a list of what you need help with; writing down the names of friends, relatives, and others who have offered help; and picking something on the list of chores for one of these people. Chances are, they’re likely and willing to help.

“How can I avoid burnout?” Kaylor later asked.

To this, an answer from biochemistry major and sophomore Patton Maggard shares his thoughts. “It’s okay to look at what’s stressing you out and let go of some of that responsibility if it’s too much. Earlier in this semester, I dropped two classes [because] it was just too much on my schedule.”

Maggard’s claims are backed up by a tip from Ashley Wallis of Southern New Hampshire University. In an article on SNHU’s website, she writes three tips, “Stay engaged, … Develop good habits … [and] Learn to say ‘no.’”

It may be a common adage to say “work hard, play hard,” but the underlying problem with working too hard may be the lack of motivation to play hard after. Burnout may be a looming specter to many UVU students, but there are ways to deal with, or even prevent it.

For students struggling with underlying mental health complications, resources for managing mental health can be found here.