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Academic Burnout: Causes and Solutions for Students

University life is full of challenges and demands. Students are expected to balance their academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities, work,

A picture of a student who has a lot to cover, thus showing some signs of academic burnout.

A photo demostrating an academic burnout of a student

University life is full of challenges and demands. Students are expected to balance their academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities, work, and personal relationships. However, these demands can take a toll on students’ mental and physical health. Leading to academic burnout.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. Prolonged stress, anxiety, and pressure cause burnout. It affects students’ academic performance, relationships, and overall well-being.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of academic burnout and provide solutions for university students to prevent and overcome it.

Causes of Academic Burnout

Academic burnout is the resultant effect of various factors. These include academic pressure, lack of social support, poor time management, etc.

Academic Pressure

Academic pressure is one of the key factors that cause academic burnout in the university

The primary cause of academic burnout is academic pressure. Every university requires its students to excel academically, maintain a high GPA, and participate in research. On top of this, extracurricular activities must also be part of the student’s schedules. However, high expectations can lead to overwhelming stress, anxiety, and pressure to perform. Unknowingly, some students tend to feel like they are in a constant state of competition. Unfortunately, failure to meet these standards can lead to a sense of worthlessness and self-doubt.

Lack of Social Support

Another factor that contributes to burnout is a lack of social support. Largely, university life is isolating and lonely. This is so, especially for students who are far from home or have limited social connections.

Lack of social support can lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety, which can exacerbate academic burnout.

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Poor Time Management

Having a lot to do with no time allocations can be disturbing. Students usually find it challenging to balance their academic responsibilities with other aspects of their lives. ie. work, extracurricular activities, and personal relationships. Poor time management can lead to procrastination. Procrastination then leads to missed deadlines. Consequently, you feel overwhelmed, which can contribute to academic burnout.

Solutions for Academic Burnout

Arguably, academic burnout is a prevalent problem among university students. Fortunately, there are several solutions that you can use to prevent and overcome academic burnout.

Seek Support

It may sound like a cliche but it works like magic. One of the most effective solutions for burnout is to seek support. Your family, friends, professors, and counsellors can be useful. The erroneous perception that seeking support is likened to weakness is most regrettable. Don’t be deceived, most of the most successful academicians, business folks or professionals seek a lot of support from people. In your case, seeking support can help you feel less isolated and overwhelmed with academic work. Again, support provides a sense of validation and understanding. Support can also help you develop coping strategies and learn how to manage stress effectively.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is another essential is a must for you as a student. It is difficult to deal with academic burnout without taking care of yourself. As a result, you can hit the gym or have a physical exercise routine to keep yourself healthy. Also, meditate, and spend time with nature (ie. garden, parks, zoo, beach, riverside, etc.) to strengthen your mental health. Similarly, learn to worry less about things in life, because no good comes out of stress.

Improve Time Management

Improving time management is another solution. Proper time management reduces redundancy. Your to-do list or schedule will help you set priorities and escape the time wastage trap. Therefore, you’ll be able to do your assignments and submit them ahead of time. Also, you will have time to have quality rest and catch up with friends. In addition, effective time management makes you own your time. In other words, it helps you feel more in control and reduce feelings of overwhelm and stress.

Harvard University Time Management Tips 

Set Realistic Goals

Let’s be frank, we’ve all been a culprit for setting grandiose goals. You know yourself better than anybody knows you. Self-awareness helps you with your strengths and weaknesses. Hence, when setting your goals, remember to place your real self at the center. In so doing, you will be able to set goals you can accomplish. That notwithstanding, you can set goals that are challenging yet achievable and avoid setting unrealistic expectations.

Take Breaks

Everybody needs a break. Your body is not a machine. Well, even machines need a break for maintenance. So, taking breaks is another solution for academic burnout. You can take short breaks throughout the day to rest, recharge, and refocus. Remember, the breaks rejuvenate your system for action.

Burnout is a prevalent problem among university students. Don’t fall victim to it. Be pragmatic and deliberate about keeping yourself sound for your academic ride.




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