Student Blog: What, Like It's Hard? (It Is)

Managing sleep, work, health, and sleep during finals season.

By: Apr. 27, 2023
Student Blog: What, Like It's Hard? (It Is)
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In the midst of finals week, I am experiencing (as most students do) burnout. No matter what grade or major you are, it is almost impossible to avoid burnout, between assignments, classes, and finals. For theatre students especially, it can be tough when lots of our work caters towards emotionally charged and physically exerting work, which can affect our energy not only mentally, but also emotionally and physically. While this is a lot to balance, there are ways to manage burnout while also getting your tasks done!

First and foremost, while work can often be the source of burnout, it's also very normal for life in general to become a lot. In any case- whether it's work, or home, or anything getting you overwhelmed- remember the importance of rest. While it's important to stay on top of your schoolwork, you are a person before you are EVER a student, and you deserve to rest when you need it. When you are experiencing burnout, it is your body's way of asking you to take a step back when things are becoming too much, and the easiest solution is to listen. Take the day off! Sleep in, watch your favorite movie, treat yourself to as much rest and relaxation as you can to allow yourself to recharge. However, this need for TLC can be tricky to satisfy when you're in the midst of classes or big assignments. How do you take care of yourself then? What tricks are there to balancing work and rejuvenation?

For starters, knowing how you work best is very important, as everyone has a different work style. For example, I know that I work best outside of my dorm, so something I enjoy doing is either going to a coffee shop or a library to do my work. Another thing I know about myself is that I often get tired in the middle of the day and feel a need to rest after my classes, so I give myself the time and space to do that, and do my work at night! This is a routine that works well and consistently for me, and allows me to give myself the downtime I need while also accomplishing my goals for the day. So, when trying to balance your work, ask yourself this: when do you NEED time to work? When do you NEED time to rest? How can there be a unison of the two?

Communicating with your professors is also an important thing to do if you need extra time. It's not uncommon to find yourself in a "barely-able-to-work" state due to burnout, so even though this may be a frustrating state to be in, it is another way of your body telling you it needs rest. If this happens, there's nothing wrong with shooting your professor a quick email to ask for an extension! This is no uncharted territory for any professor, and they will most likely understand what you are going through, through experience with other students, or even their own memories of school! There is nothing wrong with asking for help when it comes to burnout- and hey! You might even sleep an extra hour because of it.

Burnout, while annoying, is incredibly common to come across as a student, and you will likely dance with it many times in your career. Learning about your styles of work, need for rest, and communication can be extremely beneficial to your overall wellbeing as a person and a student, and will benefit you later in life in the workplace! If you're also dealing with finals or any sort of big test currently, remember- if Elle Woods got into Harvard, you can finish that class. Keep it positive and GO TO BED!!!


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