Prior to the beginning of the semester, it was announced that my institution––alongside many––would officially remove spring break in an effort to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases. Essentially, the administration implemented this to prevent individuals from traveling unnecessarily, which I wholeheartedly believe should be restricted. However, what I believe the administration failed to take into account is the difficulties of studying remotely for an entire semester without such a critical break. A day off once a month proves futile when classes continue bombarding students with assignments due immediately after that specific day.
Surprisingly enough, one of my English professors announced that she would be canceling all synchronous lectures and discussion sections for an entire week in March, hoping to stimulate a break that would enable students to feel less inclined to succumb to academic burnout. While she is the only professor to announce this, I feel confident many other professors are also cognizant of the difficulties associated with a lack of a break. Because not all professors are as willing to abandon the already established structure of classes for one week, I have outlined three suggestions I urge many struggling college students to adopt into their regime should they feel themselves overwhelmed.
Allocate various times throughout each day for a break
What I think is absolutely critical in avoiding burnout is to allow yourself to disentangle yourself from your academic studies for small periods of time. This ensures that you do not lose motivation or succumb to procrastination due to the overwhelming amount of assignments or work. You can converse with a friend or you can spend some time reading. Either way, you are allowing yourself to enjoy yourself outside of your academic obligations.
As obvious as this suggestion is, I do not think that many individuals realize truly how important ensuring you receive enough sleep is in avoiding academic burnout. Though I unfortunately live in an overly social dorm that does not necessarily respect time allocated to sleep, I have found myself trying very hard to ensure I sleep enough. Most times this means catching up on sleep when I return home to help my family.
Reach out to individuals in your classes or extracurriculars
Without the critical socialization component, academic work tends to become overly repetitive and difficult to keep up with. However, friends ensure we remain motivated and caught up with our work.
Despite there not being a specific interval of time dedicated for a break, it is still crucial to allow yourself time to rejuvenate.