Burnout intensifies as academic year winds down, workload increases


Mariana Sarmiento Riano/Hilltop Views

Students struggle to juggle coursework, jobs, internships, and involvement in student organizations. Stress levels increase as the semester comes to a close.

It is officially that time in the semester where everything seems to be happening at the same time. That assignment on the syllabus you thought you had so much time to do because “it’s not due until April” is suddenly due next week, the events you have been planning and dreading are tomorrow, and the time you have to complete everything is decreasing by the second.

As if all of the assignments and projects weren’t enough to make us feel like we are drowning, summer is quickly approaching which means our plans for the summer have to be made. Whether it’s planning a summer abroad or finding an internship, the process is nothing if not extensive. There are application deadlines to be met, professors to ask for letters of recommendation, and cover letters to write; it never seems to end.

April is the Sunday of the academic year, and every student on campus is feeling it. There are so many things we need to get done, but our motivation and energy to do it is gone.

The other day I heard someone at Jo’s talking about how much they had slept in the last three days, and they casually estimated 12 hours… total. The person they were talking to laughed and offered an anecdote about the “mental breakdown” they had in the library because of the plethora of exams they had that week. This is the brutal reality that is the last month of the semester for many students.

The worst part is that the resources and empathy on campus seem to be dwindling. Our professors keep their due dates and keep assigning more. Every professor seems to believe that our academic careers begin and end with their class, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Meanwhile, we are doing our best to just keep going.

Professors, if you are reading this, give us a break. That student that fell asleep in your class didn’t mean to snore during your lecture; they were just up until 3 a.m. working on homework.

We know we aren’t the only ones feeling it, so if you don’t have much planned for class – give us time to work on the assignments you gave us or make class optional. We could use the time to work on other homework or even just to sit outside and enjoy the weather. A mental health day is something we would all benefit from.

Lastly, a note to all students feeling the burden that is April: WE CAN DO IT. Make a plan to keep you on track and a plan B, C and D for when plan A doesn’t work out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, talk to your professors, advisors and trusted friends. We are all experiencing this burn-out, and there is power in numbers!