End-of-year burnout setting in? You’re not alone.

Working on tasks before Thanksgiving Break. Photo by Jon Voth.

By Gina DeFazio

Two more days before Thanksgiving break and students are feeling the pressure. With the holidays in the backs of their minds, they’re doing their best, attending remaining classes, cramming in the library, and meeting their symposium group in the Larks Nest for some last-minute rehearsal. They are bundled up in the cold and on a mission to get things done.

Stress is a very common thing in the academic world, particularly the “end of the semester stress.” It is not unusual to feel overwhelmed at times, but for college students dealing with intense levels of stress brought on by the end of the semester, it can be even more difficult.

“A lot of students are very stressed because this is a time where students have lots of projects and tests to do before the semester ends. I call this time crunch time,” said Resident Director Terrence Jones.

But students aren’t just always dealing with stress from Hesston. They have lives outside of school and a lot of students struggle with outside issues everyday. When it gets to be too much, RDs like Jones and Emily Kauffman do their best to provide support.

“Sometimes what they need is something I can’t offer them,” Kauffman said. “All I can do is point them in the direction of other resources on-campus such as Julie Lehman or Kristin Kaufman in the ACCESS lab.”

And sometimes, according to Marelby Mosquera, professor of biology, it’s just about setting some logical goals.

“My advice to students as they face the challenges of the “end of the semester madness” is to take a few breaths, step back and consider what I call ‘task priority:’ What on the to-do list needs immediate attention, what requires less time, and tackle that list one item at a time,” she said. “Give yourself some breaks in between – walk for a few minutes, watch a funny video – without getting pulled into watching more after 10 minutes, learn to say no to the middle of the night endeavors that will distract you from what you need to get done in a certain amount of time, and HAVE SOME QUIET TIME. Things will be ok.”

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