COLUMN: How to combat burn out


Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Katja Benz, Columnist

I’ve been telling many people I talk to that it simultaneously feels like week 2 and week 14 at the exact same time. I have so much to do (already), but it feels like I just got here, moved in and had my first classes of the semester.

My point is that it definitely doesn’t feel like week four. I’ve had so much to do that I have barely seen my friends (all of whom I miss dearly) and neglected my grad school applications (which I really need to start working on) and I haven’t even really made time for myself outside of work and school.

I just feel burnt out. And it’s only week four, which is usually a lot earlier before I start feeling burnt out. I usually burn out right round Thanksgiving break. That’s because usually there’s a good five or six weeks without a break between fall break and Thanksgiving, meaning we have three weeks before the end of the semester and finals.

I’ve noticed that other students are saying the same thing- they are stressed out, tired, slammed with homework and frankly, emotionally drained. It almost seems like we need a month-long break, even though Eastern’s fall classes have only been in session for a month.

And it’s crazy to think that it has flown by at the same time: we’re already in week four and registration for the Spring of 2023 semester is only a month away (which means that I’d love to see what classes are being offered next semester so I can plan my life and last semester on campus before I graduate).

I feel like we need more days spread out during the semester to combat our burn out in the fall semester (I always say that spring semester seems to fly by faster than fall semester. Maybe that’s because Spring Break is in the middle of Spring semester while all the breaks for fall semester come at the end of it).

I like how Labor Day is at the beginning of the semester, but fall break is a good month or five weeks later and it’s the same with the time between fall break and Thanksgiving, which really makes me look forward to the week break.

Here are things that I’m now trying to practice as the semester moves forward so that I’m not as overwhelmed.

First, taking a screen detox. I’m on my phone or computer all the time. I was on my phone for over five hours on Sunday alone and I averaged 5 hours on my phone last week.

Second, spending more time with my friends. I haven’t done that much yet and I really want to. I miss them dearly and they’re on campus, which says a lot.

Lastly, taking time for my hobbies. I’m so busy working or in class that I have yet to finish a movie I started in February. That’s just sad.

I know we’re all stressed. But I know we’ll make it. And hopefully we’ll get a mental health day.

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.