Anchor Staff Writer
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Most students have heard of the senior slump. You’re feeling tired, burnt out and not wanting to do anymore schoolwork, participate in activities, or care much. We’ve all felt burnt out by school, but what harm does it really cause and just why are students so burnt out by the time their senior year of college comes around?
Feeling burnt out is not an uncommon feeling for any college student, but it is especially concerning for seniors graduating who have plummeting grades and are not sure whether they will graduate. Burnout is caused by a number of factors. Probably the most common reason is that students have so much on their plates, especially during their senior year. College is not an easy feat and students have a great deal of coursework during their years in school. It is extremely overwhelming to handle the amount of work that classes require even on a weekly basis. Factor in that most students have jobs and other obligations besides their schoolwork that they must attend to and it is truly no wonder that students are left feeling burnt out.
About 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed and stressed-out during school. Stress is not something to take lightly, especially when it comes to school. The course load may be too much for some students to handle, given the fact that many work too. Students typically feel stressed when they believe they don’t have enough time to successfully complete their assignments, when the material seems too difficult for them or even if they don’t understand it. It can be hard to reach out for help to professors. Often students feel ashamed if they don’t understand what is happening in class and don’t want to go to their professors, thus falling behind in their courses. As students start to fall behind in their courses, often they don’t try as hard to pick their grades back up and fall into a slump. It is estimated that about 33 percent of students dropout of college every year. This is an overwhelming amount, over a third of students.
A lot of students in their senior year get nervous about graduation and become cynical about graduating, not always believing that they can graduate. This lack of confidence can lead them into a slump and cause burnout. A lot of seniors spend time researching for jobs, making sure that they are even able to graduate and tying up loose ends as far as credits go. There are just so many responsibilities when it comes to being a senior in college. Seniors may even feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to apply for jobs when they are out of college and what their life will look like once they are no longer in college.
Oddly enough, college can be a safety net for some. I know it is this way for myself. Having been in school for the better part of eighteen years, including summer and winter breaks, all I have ever known is school, doing assignments, taking tests and seeing my fellow students. It is scary, at least for me, to think of most likely never having to do schoolwork again. It’s a relief, of course, but also a huge change for students to suddenly be pushed into the real world. Some are not ready for it and become stressed at the concept of having to apply for jobs that relate to their majors.
On the opposite end, burnout happens a lot because of the fact that most students go from high school to college and don’t get time to relax where they do not have to worry about doing schoolwork. Most seniors just want to be done with their degrees and seem to care less as the year progresses. I have noticed this with a handful of my classmates. Personally, I am finding myself to be extremely burnt out and this being my senior year, it makes me nervous that I will not succeed this year. I have had to take less hours at work to make sure I can complete my schoolwork to the best of my ability, which is stressful in and of itself because I worry about money and paying bills. I am not finding myself to be putting in as much effort as I did last year and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I just want to be done with my degree.
What remedies would be useful to stop feeling so burnt out? Taking some time to yourself and making sure that you are not overwhelming yourself with too much schoolwork all at once. Even a ten-minute break from staring at the screen or taking notes can be helpful. Go out with friends on the weekends or just break away from it for even a little while. This can be extremely useful so that you can feel rejuvenated and refreshed to complete your assignments.
RIC’s Student Health Services have resources, including counselors, to help students combat burnout and other conditions. Their website can he found here: Available Health Services | Rhode Island College (ric.edu)