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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Academics & Research

UH Wellness helps students combat end of semester burnout


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

In light of some end-of-semester pressures, UH Wellness shares ways to combat stress for many students who are experiencing burnout.

Assistant director of wellness programs Brittani Clark shared that the term “burnout” is used to describe constant workplace stress not managed well. But, t doesn’t apply to other experiences in life, according to the World Health Organization. 

It is possible for students to feel burnout from their job due to being overwhelmed, stressed or anxious in their personal and academic lives and vice versa,” Clark said. “Burnout is characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, negative feelings towards one’s job and feeling a lack of accomplishment at work.”

Towards the end of the semester, students may feel exhausted due to several pressures such as the desire to perform well academically, high expectations and other obligations that can overwhelm them, Clark said.

Students feeling stressed and overwhelmed can face a variety of symptoms including sleeping too much or not enough, trouble concentrating, lack of motivation, lowered immune functions, restlessness and irritability. 

“As a college student, it’s hard to prioritize school with the stress of having to pay for tuition and bills, so therefore, I have to put in more hours at work,” said pre-business junior Kritika Manik. “Finding a balance is hard. but I think setting aside specific days and times for schoolwork is helpful.”

In order to combat the feeling of burnout during the semester, Clark goes on to share tips that can be included in a student’s routine. 

It’s important for students to take care of themselves before the stress and exhaustion set it,” Clark said. “Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, eat well balanced and colorful meals, use a planner to stay on top of tests and due dates, put self-care time on the calendar, get regular physical activity even if that just means speed walking between classes, reach out for help when you need it and take time to really enjoy our beautiful campus.”

Aside from adjusting to a routine, some students believe that on-campus opportunities can help combat stress and find a manageable school and work balance. 

“To me, burnout is when students are eagerly waiting for a change of pace from the semester,” said English senior Gerardo Vasquez. “Solutions I can imagine include things such as more on-campus employment opportunities, or introduction of mini-semesters throughout the spring and fall semesters.” 

The UH Wellness Program encourages students to take advantage of the resources on campus such as CAPS or attend stress-free finals events to combat academic pressures. 

I think all students should remember that we’ve all been through a large-scale, shared trauma,” Clark said. “It’s so important, now more than ever, to invest in your health and well-being, practice self-care even when it isn’t easy and give yourself and those around you grace.”

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