As the semester ends, burnout kindles for students at Morehead State.
Goldie Williams, MSU’s Director of Counseling and Health Services said that she has seen a lot of burnout at MSU and it increases especially after midterms and through the end of the semester.
“If you get to this point in the semester and you’re burnt out there’s that feeling of ‘I can’t finish it.’ That could be defeating. That’s a hit to your self-esteem,” said Williams. “We create a self-fulfilling prophecy. ‘I’m not a good student. I get overwhelmed. I procrastinate or put it off and then at the end I’m not a good student. I can’t possibly get this all done.’”
One MSU student who experienced burnout this semester is Astrid Baker, a junior biomedical chemistry major.
“I went into the semester really excited and ready because I went back to STEM, and then it became very overwhelming. I started skipping class pretty frequently about halfway through the semester. My mental health took a really bad turn,” said Baker.
Baker said that this semester might be the worst academic year they’ve had at MSU so far.
“I was feeling exhausted and fell into bad habits,” said Baker. “I stopped studying. I started staying up late and sleeping in even later. That was not great for me or my classes.”
Baker has found that burnout is unfortunately common for both them and their peers in college.
“I think it’s a very common experience and people get really down about having burnout, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” said Baker. “It’s a disappointing reality, because you go your whole life thinking about how badly you want to fill a certain position, how badly you to be somebody then it comes out of left field and absolutely destroys your ambition.”
Baker also felt that there are some certain things professors do that contribute to student burnout, especially when students try to reach out for help.
“I think that’s the worst part, when you reach out to them and let them know that you aren’t feeling the best or that you have a lot of stuff going on and they decide to be vindictive or condescending, it makes it more difficult to handle your own emotions because you start to second guess if your problems are even real in the first place.”
Williams said that being burnt out takes the energy and joy out of students and makes them question why this is happening.
“[It’s] a period where you hit an exhaustion and you’ve given more than you’ve gotten,” said Williams. “It’s high stress, and then if things are going on outside of it, you aren’t able to sleep and you aren’t able to take good care of yourself, it’s a snowball effect.
Baker said the last time they experienced burnout they ended up dropping out of college for a semester.
“There’s this harmful stereotype around being in college that you have to be absolutely swamped and stressed at all times. If I had a weekend to myself, I would feel so guilty that I wasn’t working myself into the ground. So then I started actually working myself to death and it just spiraled into pure burnout,” said Baker.
Williams said that her advice for students is to “attack the day” and to find a good, healthy habit to build into students’ everyday lives to practice self-care.
“Don’t let it build. Plan how you’re going to get through this semester and then attack it differently next semester,” said Williams. “If you’re going to struggle in a class, get a tutor from the beginning. Work on your sleep, get a calendar to plot everything out because if you don’t make a change, it’ll just happen again.”
Counseling and Health Services offers free therapy where students can call to schedule appoints at 606-783-2055.
Tutoring and Learning Services are also offered for free at MSU.