In terms of a student’s academic and social development, college life is regarded as important. While college students gain opportunities for learning, maturation, change, and development during their studies, they may also encounter issues with their ability to balance their personal, academic, and social lives.

These challenges may have a negative impact on student’s performance and function during their college years. These issues might leave these students with few coping mechanisms while having a negative impact on their academic adjustment level. As a result, it can be said that college students face several academic challenges and burnout is one of these issues.

What is Burnout?

Burnout has been defined as “physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes toward oneself and others” and it can have significant consequences for students’ health and well-being. Additionally, the condition poses a problem for college students in particular because it may eventually result in professional burnout, which could endanger the healthy development of employment across society.

Academic Pressure

Many students are under a great deal of pressure to perform well, both academically and socially. They are expected to participate in extracurricular activities, maintain high grades, and keep up with their social lives, all while balancing the demands of school and family life. These stressors can lead to feelings of exhaustion, hopelessness, and helplessness, which are the hallmark symptoms of burnout.

Signs of Burnout

Students who experienced burnout were more likely to experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and anxiety, and they were also less likely to engage in healthy behaviours such as exercise and sleep. In addition, burnout is particularly prevalent among students who are involved in high levels of academic and extracurricular activities (e.g., sports, clubs, and volunteer work). This is likely because these students are trying to balance the demands of school with their other commitments, which can be challenging and lead to exhaustion.

How to Prevent Burnout

To prevent burnout, it is important to take steps to reduce stress and promote well-being. For example, students can prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that help them manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or therapy. They can also reach out for support from friends, family, or a mental health professional when they are feeling overwhelmed. Moreover, students can work with their professors to reduce the demands of academia, such as by discussing the possibility of adjusting their course load.

How can schools help?

There are also a number of things that schools can do to help prevent burnout in students. For example, schools can provide students with opportunities to connect with peers, as well as offer resources such as counselling services and peer support groups. Schools can also work with academic staff to reduce the expectations and pressure on students, such as by encouraging a more balanced approach to school and life.

In conclusion, the research is clear: school can indeed cause burnout in students. However, with the right support and resources, burnout can be prevented. By taking steps to reduce stress, promote well-being, and provide students with the support they need, we can help students succeed in school and beyond.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Seray Soyman is working as a Clinical Psychosexologist within the Willingness team, providing psychosexual education and sexual support sessions, as well as delivering training and workshops. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychosexology from the Sapienza University of Rome. Seray’s research interests are sexual communication, sex-positive behaviour, LGBTQIA+ studies, and sexual health.


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