Getting faded: burnout at school



Burnout. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time.”

Tired? That’s cute. That barely scratches the surface of the burnout iceberg.

According to Forbes, there are 10 signs of burnout: exhaustion, lack of motivation, negative emotions, problems concentrating/focusing, lackluster work performance, interpersonal conflict with friends and family, unhealthy coping strategies (drinking, eating junk food, smoking and abusing drugs like sleeping pills or caffeine), being preoccupied or stressed while not at school or work, decreased happiness and joy and any number of health problems caused by chronic stress.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like my life for the past year and a bit. And while the end of the semester is merely weeks away, it doesn’t help how I’m feeling right now.

Life in school has a temporary mentality to it, like ‘oh it’s just two years, so it doesn’t really matter how I live during that time.’ It’s frustrating, and it perpetuates burnout-type behaviors. I think people are especially prone to burnout during school, which is why it needs to be taken seriously and treated to the best of your abilities.

And I’m not talking about treat-yo-self. I’m talking about committing to doing things that help you avoid completely crashing and burning.

Here’s a challenge to consider: If you can spare the time, allow yourself to take an entire day away from stress. Turn off your electronics for 24 hours. Do activities that bring you joy or relax you and aren’t related to school or work, like reading a book, cooking or spending time outside. If certain things trigger stress in your immediate environment, remove those things for a day or remove yourself from that environment as much as possible. Fully and completely allow yourself 24 hours to relax.

Can’t spare a full day? Block off a time slot on the weekend for this sort of behaviour. The trick is to fully commit. Half-assing relaxation is a waste of your time (and we all know there’s already Facebook for that).

The sad part is, one day isn’t enough to recover from burnout if it’s already gone too far. Not even close. But left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on the future career you’re working so hard toward. Don’t believe me? Google “Brittany Spears 2007” and tell me I’m wrong. It happens to the best of us.

So thank yourself for taking a few minutes from your busy schedule to read this. Maybe consider taking a few more or even (gasp) a whole day off.

Raegan Hedley is a sassy millennial who aspires to someday become a kick-ass business professional. In the meantime, she writes on her blog at and tweets way too much (@raegjules).