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Are You Experiencing College Burnout?

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Samantha Rutt | December 6, 2021

Are you experiencing feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion? Are you facing prolonged periods of stress? Are you feeling a lack of motivation to carry out everyday tasks?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, know you’re not alone. The ASP conducted a survey of a group of 56 UAlbany students, in which 79.6% of college students answered yes to experiencing academic burnout. It is at that point in the semester that students are feeling the extent of the past 14 weeks, attending class, writing papers, completing long-winded assignments, studying, and taking exams.

College burnout is a negative emotional, physical and mental reaction to prolonged study that results in exhaustion, frustration, lack of motivation and reduced ability in school. A few of the most prevalent factors that contribute to academic burnout can be considered overwhelming work demands, as well as prolonged levels of stress. Symptoms of academic burnout can include feelings of exhaustion regardless of the amount of sleep one may get, a lack in motivation to attend classes or complete assignments, an increased sense of irritability due to frustration, the inability to concentrate on school work or during lecture, feelings of boredom in aspects of schooling you used to enjoy, as well as feelings of anxiety or depression.

In the survey conducted by the ASP, which aimed to seek out which symptoms were most protruding when discussing potential burnout in UAlbany students, results showed that students generally struggled most with motivation. When asked if they are feeling a lack of motivation to complete everyday tasks, 77.8% of students surveyed answered yes. A few students included some commentary on the question as well, including “I have no motivation to do simple tasks, school and not school related” and “I feel like everyday is becoming the same: wake up, school, work, wait for the weekend.”

When asked if they were facing prolonged periods of stress and exhaustion, a student replied, “the overworking and constant workload with little to no breaks is causing me to feel anxious and burnt out. Professors have the expectation that you can submit the highest quality of work by a certain deadline when you have that same expectation from multiple other professors. This expectation is very draining and professors don’t understand the struggles that students go through.”

For UAlbany students, this is the first semester in over a year that students can attend classes in person full-time, and such an adjustment has proven to have taken a mental toll on students.

When asked why they feel burnt out, a student responded, “I feel burnt out because of the overload between attending classes, homework assignments, and exams while also balancing my normal life. With class time, assignment time, work time, internship time, a student simply cannot relax. A student is driven into the ground, forced to stay up late and wake up early and repeat everyday for 15 weeks. If any student isn’t burnt out by the end they are lucky.”

Another student said, '' Returning to school after going online sucked all the fun aspects out of me. Due to COVID, college experience has completely changed yet courses have had no adjustment and feel useless.”


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