The Daily Gamecock

Column: How to avoid burnout during exam time

As final exams are approaching, many students fall victim to burnout and forget to take care of themselves which results in poor mental health.

According to an assessment by National College Health, over 80% of college students are overwhelmed by all the work they have to do and 40% are depressed and unable to complete their work.

Some symptoms to recognize whether or not you're facing burnout include feeling physically and mentally weak, detached from your schoolwork, not feeling accomplished and always feeling fatigued. 

Other indications of burnout are a lack of concentration, feeling depressed or anxious, loss of confidence in academic abilities, increased pain and tension, increase in bad habits, lashing out at others and missing important deadlines.

Sometimes students are overloaded with work, but instead of procrastinating, try to finish as soon as possible. Keep reasonable deadlines so that you can finish your work earlier and have more time to relax and study for exams. While it is tempting to put off work, doing it sooner will help you in the long run.

Taking short breaks can also improve your study time. It is optimal that every 50 to 90 minutes a five-minute break is taken for every 25 minutes you studied. This helps prevent fatigue and helps you feel more interested in the content of your coursework. Try taking a 15 to 20 minute nap whenever you can to feel more concentrated on the material you are studying. 

During your study breaks, try to exercise by taking a walk outside or heading to the gym. Exercising will help you feel more energized and ready to study for your exams. We are constantly using our electronic devices, so consider putting the phone aside while taking a break to avoid excess screen time.

It has been especially hard for students to separate their school work from their personal lives throughout the pandemic. Staying in your living space will make you feel bored and tired, so switching up your studying place will make you feel more ready to learn.Try switching up your studying places every once in a while. Try studying at the Thomas Cooper Library, on the Horseshoe, in the basement of Gambrell Hall or at the Richland County Public Library.

Students need to learn how to balance their schedule and incorporate free time and fun activities into it. Students can receive help from the Student Success Center by scheduling an in-person or online appointment and talking about how to find a healthy work-life balance for themselves. These appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. 

It’s important to prioritize yourself and make sure that you are not immersing yourself in a pile of work. Everybody has their limits, and you need to remind yourself that your mental health is also important.