Academic Burnout: how to survive Exams in a Pandemic

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burnout exams

It is clear that the situation we are in right now, as students, is completely unique. The pandemic surely hasn’t helped our productivity, as many teachers believe. With all of our classes and homework online, most students struggle to keep up with the workload. Also being in the midst of our exams period, many are struggling with the oral exams.

The Burnout Syndrome

          The causes behind this syndrome are the feelings of being overwhelmed and excessive stress. It appears when we feel emotionally drained and unable to meet certain demands that keep coming at us. When this syndrome appears, you start to lose interest in your task. Motivation is nowhere to be found and so it reduces productivity, leaving you feeling hopeless and even cynical over the work that you have in front of you. Surprisingly, burnout can cause even changes in the body and it can leave you vulnerable to cold and the flu.

Burnout doesn’t appear overnight, it is gradual and it can go unnoticed. That’s why it’s better to be informed about the symptoms before you enter a loop of constant procrastination and tiredness that will leave you feeling overloaded.

Physical signs and symptoms can be: feeling tired and drained all the time, lowered immunity, frequent headaches or muscle pain, and especially changes in appetite and sleep habits.

Emotional and behavioral signs, that you might notice faster, are the sense of feeling helpless or trapped, the loss of motivation and detachment especially from hobbies and people in your life. Also, withdrawing from responsibilities and increased procrastination.

It’s affecting most students right now

          As a student, I can say that online classes and homework have really put me down. The lack of proper communication with the faculty in most cases has created a feeling of mistrust between the students and their teachers. Not to mention, most students say that they feel like their workload doubled because teachers believe that since we are always home we have all the time in the world.

The thing is, not having a proper space to study and being home all day does not help at all. Also, the stress of the exams coming looming over us doesn’t help. We are constantly tempted by the comfort of our home, our phones, and our beds. Not to mention, for people who have pets or disruptive home lives, University say been a torment until now.

“Frankly, right now University feels like a waste of time. Especially when certain teachers only sit dictate and read from books and we don’t even get the chance to take notes. No time to even understand what they are saying. Everything is distracting me at home and even if I sit at my desk and I still feel like checking my phone or just going to bed.

We stay inside for days and days and it feels like we never take a break and we still can’t keep as students. I’m tired and after months and months of just sitting down with my eyes glued to the laptop I feel like I need glasses.”

“I can find no motivation to actually study for the upcoming exams. I’m so tired I can’t even stress over them anymore. But I keep blaming myself for not keeping up.”

“I feel like I’m suffocating. I need a break from everything, to leave somewhere with my friends. No stress and no restrictions. You don’t know how many times I’ve been thinking in the past few months, or just simply dropping out, getting a job, and reapplying when things go back to some kind of normality.”

Some positivity in the Pandemic

This period has brought many challenges for all students and all we can do is adapt. All we can do is face what is coming right now with what we have and hope for the best. This too will pass, we will survive it and we will find a normal student life hopefully in the years to come. And even if you feel hopeless, you need to understand it is normal and you are not alone in this situation. Talk to your friends and seek help when you need it, it’s the only way we can overcome this.

If you want to know more about how you can defeat burnout, read this article!

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