How to finish the semester strong

This student is mastering the art of balance by implementing the good habit of meditation to eliminate stress. Photo courtesy: Adobe Stock

In the final weeks of the semester, students are well into their courses with a substantial amount of coursework, school activities, demanding jobs, and balancing their social lives. This balancing act can eventually lead to burnout, but there are some steps students can take to finish the semester strong.

Ana Mascara is an influencer that inspires her followers to improve their mental health. She is a certified academic and life coach that produces content to assist students and young professionals in thriving without sacrificing their mental health.

“It’s normal to feel overwhelmed during the school year, but if someone is utterly exhausted and unable to focus, it’s very possible it is academic burnout,” Mascara said.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Burnout syndrome is a psychological problem caused by a continual subjection to stress factors.” Signs of burnout are fatigue, lost interest in educational topics that were once enjoyed, emotional exhaustion, cynicism due to a perceived low level of personal accomplishment, physical health issues, and an increase in bad habits such as overeating and staying up late.

Tinisha Jones, a senior at Florida A&M University, said, “What causes me to stress is thinking ahead including, graduation, capstone, and everything to come. Stress affects me in the form of burnout.”

“Sometimes I don’t want to do things I used to enjoy, I don’t go out as much, and I can lack the desire to create. It causes me to tunnel vision which is not healthy,” she said.

Science Direct has helpful tips for students on the verge of burnout. They must allow the mind and body to reset by resting or meditating at the moment when feeling stressed. Students are not machines and will be more productive.

Develop a reliable support system. Reach out to professors, classmates, friends, or family members to vent, seek advice, and express feelings.

Create a self-care routine. When someone is on the verge of burnout, they do the opposite by not getting enough sleep, being stressed, not eating healthy, and being mentally exhausted. Work out, even if it’s a leisurely walk for 20 minutes, and make healthy food choices to have more energy, stay hydrated, and sleep well so the mind and body can recover.

Tatyanna McCray, a fourth-year transfer student at FAMU, said, “Miscommunication is what stresses me out at times throughout the semester; however, I practice self-care to help myself relax and allow myself to have downtime without feeling guilty about it. I work really hard at my goals, but it’s important to know when to rest.”

Dedicate time for fun as a reward for hard work. Hobbies and fun times with friends create a sense of escapism from the responsibilities of everyday life and maintain balance.

Work smarter, not harder, by minimizing distractions, having a good, isolated study space, and being more efficient with time.

According to Mascara, “Leveling up your time management and organizational skills are the two most important things you can do on the daily that will help prevent academic burnout from creeping in.” Create a realistic study schedule, spread out work instead of cramming, and organize class materials.

These strategies develop great habits that prevent burnout, have a work-life balance, and monitor physical and mental health. Students tend to perform better if they can get ahead if they notice these signs and can take these habits into their careers.