Fighting Burn-Out Blues as a Junior

As a 2020 high school graduate, my college experience started in the middle of the pandemic. Going to Pearson’s, playing lawn games and even having guests in your dorm looked entirely different than it does this year. Now, as a junior, I can walk around campus without wearing a mask, and I get to attend all my classes in person. 

But as I get closer to graduation, I can feel a strong foreboding presence starting to take hold and affect the way I’ve been viewing this semester.

Everyone always hears the quote, “enjoy it while it lasts ‘cause it goes by faster than you think.” I never realized how true that was until I got to college. Each semester so far has seemed to fly by. One second I’m moving in; the next, I’m moving out for the summer. 

As we approach the midterm of this semester, I realize how slowly time seems to be moving this year. I was warned by the upperclassmen my freshman year about the sudden “drag” I’d feel in my junior year, but I brushed it off as just another myth they were telling me to scare me. I never imagined it to be real, or for it to feel as overwhelming as it does.

Now, I feel myself grasping at straws to keep my motivation up and get my assignments done before procrastination can take hold. As it stands, I feel a perpetual lack of energy that has bled over into not only my school life, but also my social life. 

I wondered at first if it was the leftover stress I had from my previous course loads finally taking their toll. Burn-out is a serious issue that can affect anyone, and taking 16 to 18 credit hours every semester, I may have stretched myself too thin too fast. 

However, I spoke to my friends and realized we all felt that way this semester. Things are moving slowly, but the assignments are still coming at top speed, and we’re doing the best we can to keep up with it all. 

To combat this overwhelmingly lethargic feeling we have, my friends and I have been focusing primarily on our mental health and refocusing on the things we enjoy outside of school and soccer. We have cut down on credit hours and have been taking time to go on walks, read books and paint—all the activities that make us happy without adding any additional stress to our lives.

I have hope that as the semester moves ever closer to its end, we can recharge and fight off the burnt-out feeling to the best of our abilities. I want to move into the next semester with better spirits and a renewed sense of purpose. Midterm gives us a goal—a new starting point where we can turn a new leaf and hopefully return to the way we felt two years ago as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman excited to embark on a new journey.

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