12 Tips To Avoid Academic Burnout

Academic Burnout?

As we’re just about a month away from the end of the semester, school life is getting a bit more intense. I know I’ve been feeling it for sure! Several of us have been on a constant grind for a long time and may be getting tired of the schoolwork and/or feeling burned out. Burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that can happen when things pile up and there is long exposure to a high demanding environment. There can be a lot to balance between school work, a social life, a job, and taking care of ourselves. Trying to keep up with these expectations for a long time can be very difficult. It can be easy to feel burned out when you don’t give yourself a break.

How to know if you’re burning out

  • You’re physically tired - sleepy or exhausted
  • You tend to zone out more and can’t stay focused
  • You feel like you can’t absorb any more information or you’re not really learning
  • You have negative emotions towards learning

Burnout can lead to decreased motivation that leads to a drop in academic performance, increased anxiety and depression, feelings of disinterest in school subjects, trouble sleeping, and changes in appetite. So in this article, I’d like to help you overcome some of these things and even help you prevent them.

Overhead photo of a student working on notes in front of a laptop

Here are my 12 tips to help you deal with academic burn out:

1. Make time for things that make you happy

Set aside a time where you only do that thing you really like. Whether it be watching a good movie or riding your skateboard, for that full amount of time you don’t do anything but that.

2. Make sure to eat good quality food

Give your brain good fuel! Not only does food taste yummy and give you energy, it gives your brain the nutrients it needs.

3. Get some exercise in

Moving our bodies has a ton of benefits; it can help us sleep better, gives us a dopamine boost, and keeps our bodies healthy. It can also help us clear our minds to think and focus better.

4. Positive self-talk

Encourage yourself every day and remind yourself that you are very capable of doing what you set your mind to. Also remind yourself that you are trying your best and giving effort as much as you can. Acknowledge your previous accomplishments and how far you’ve come.

5. To-do list and notes

Making a to-do list is a great way to keep track of daily tasks. Instead of trying to remember everything and giving yourself a headache, writing it down can help. Also, when you check off each item, you get a little dopamine boost and feeling of accomplishment :)

6. Get organized

Having a messy room can bring feelings of chaos and be distracting. Cleaning up your main spaces can help you feel better and bring calmness.

7. Set goals to motivate yourself

They don’t have to be big goals, they can be small. It can be anything like making sure you attend all your classes that week or doing something ahead of time for a certain class.

8. Talk to someone and let out your stress!

Sometimes talking it out can make things feel less complicated. Sometimes it’s mostly in our head. Sit down with a friend. And if that feels uncomfortable, RIT offers confidential and personalized counseling services

9. Get outside

Get into nature, face the sunlight, and breathe some fresh air.

10. Meal prepping

If there is one thing that has helped me this semester, it has been preparing meals ahead of time. Having lunches ready to go for my busiest days takes some stress off my mind, and my bank account lol.

11. Take breaks while studying

Let what you’re learning sink in for a minute and give your brain a rest. Get up and move around, get a snack, or wash your face. Step away for a minute.

12. Change where you study

If you’re getting frustrated and antsy, change where you’re working! Sometimes a change of scenery and vibe is all we need to get back to it.

I hope these tips help! And just remember that you got this!

Your buddy at RIT

-Morgan Lopez

About the author


Hi there! My name is Morgan Lopez, I'm a 2nd-year Biochemistry major and on the side a content creator! I also really love going to the gym, painting, and learning about cars. I love socializing and inspiring others and am excited to be a part of this team.