The end of the semester can be a difficult time, which may increase your chances of feeling burned out. If you’re struggling to finish out the semester or manage daily stressors, here are a few tips to help you identify burnout, mediate its effects and find support. 

What is burnout? 

Burnout is a general condition that can happen when we feel overly stressed, overwhelmed, overloaded or anxious about our responsibilities.   

Symptoms of academic burnout include: 

  • Feeling mentally, physically or emotionally depleted or exhausted 
  • Avoiding tasks or responsibilities 
  • Developing cynicism or negative feelings towards your classes, instructors or assignments 
  • Losing motivation to do tasks or assignments 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Missing deadlines 
  • Impacts to your academic performance, grades or engagement 
  • Disconnecting from others, feeling isolated or lonely 
  • Difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns or an increase in substance use 
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or irritability  
  • Feeling chronically stressed, anxious or overwhelmed 
  • Feeling dissatisfaction or a lack of meaning and purpose 

Keep in mind that burnout can show up differently for different people, and you may not experience every symptom listed. However, it’s important to watch for any of these symptoms and take note of which ones may be affecting you. This can make it easier to know when you’re not doing well or need to seek support. 

How can you manage burnout? 

When we experience burnout, it can be hard to overcome. Here are some ways to proactively manage burnout before it happens and ways to manage it in the moment. 

1. Remind yourself of your goals 

When we feel burned out, we may lose sight of our goals or question what we’re really working toward. Taking some time to define your values, why you’re in school and how your academics align with your goals can be a helpful way to stay on track. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started: 

  • What are my values? (e.g., work ethic, learning, helping others, etc.) 
  • How do these values align with my academic program? 
  • Where can I find support if I need it? 
  • How are my efforts now helping me accomplish my future goals? 
  • What things are still within my control right now? 

2. Sort through your priorities 

When we have a lot to do, it can be easy to lose sight of our priorities. Instead of giving equal importance to every task or assignment you have, try to think through your priorities and deadlines. For instance, you may evaluate your assignments based on how difficult it is to complete, how it will affect your grades or how energized you feel about a specific topic. 

Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish. Sometimes, you may have to practice acceptance around the fact that there is only so much time in the day. This means that you may not be able to accomplish everything you’ve set out to do, and that’s okay. Prioritizing your tasks can help you decide what is worth doing and what is worth letting go. 

If you’re unsure how to prioritize your tasks or feel overwhelmed, it may be helpful to ask yourself... will my ability to complete this task matter in a week, a month, a year? If the answer is largely no, consider putting it lower on your priority list. 

3. Take time to recharge 

While it may seem counterintuitive, it can be helpful to take breaks from our responsibilities or coursework. In fact, stepping away can help you retain more information, feel more motivated and give you the energy to finish the tasks you’ve been dreading. 

Here are some ways that you can recharge and make time for your own well-being. 

  • Get a restful night of sleep by reducing your caffeine, avoiding all-nighters or creating a bedtime routine that will help you relax. 
  • Make time for your hobbies outside of school, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. 
  • Stay connected with your friends and encourage them to take breaks with you. 
  • Take some time to visualize what success looks like for you short-term and long-term.  


If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or don’t know what to do, campus resources are here to help. 

Let’s Talk

Students can drop in for a free, informal session with a Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) provider to discuss a variety concerns, including burnout, academic concerns, stress, anxiety and more. 


CAPS provides weekly workshops that can help students develop healthy coping skills related to stress, anxiety and other painful or distressing emotions. All workshops are covered by the mental health fee. 

Peer Wellness Coaching

Peer Wellness Coaching is a free service available to students to help them set and achieve wellness goals. Peer wellness coaches are familiar with a variety of topics, including stress, relationships, academics, self-care, sleep, finances and more.

Screening appointments

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) offers free screening appointments to help connect students with resources and support services. Screenings are available by appointment and during drop-in hours on a first-come, first-served basis. 


AcademicLiveCare provides access to free online counseling and psychiatry appointments. Students can access services for free, regardless of their health insurance plan or coverage.  

*This program does not provide emergency or crisis services.