With final exams on the horizon, many high school- and university-aged students are justifiably feeling a lack of gas in the tank. It isn’t just the studying that causes burnout (although, admittedly, studying can be a challenge). It’s everything that goes along with your studies, too: the anxiety over performance, the stress of last-minute studying and, in the case of this past year, the general unease surrounding the global pandemic.
While academic burnout is most often associated with university students in Canada, it is also prevalent among high school students. High school students, many of whom have been forced in and out of the classroom this year, often face an enormous amount of pressure to succeed in a less-than-ideal academic setting.
Physical signs of burnout might include fatigue, lack of sleep, nausea or lack of appetite. Emotional signs may include irritability, anger, pessimism or feelings of detachment, among many others. Together, these symptoms may result in poor academic performance or general mental health issues.
How does one overcome academic burnout? It isn’t always easy. If you’re feeling helpless, consult with an advisor, counsellor or mental help professional. You may also try the following tips.
Consider Switching to Online Learning
If your issues stem from the classroom environment (or, in the case of this past year, the disruptive shifts between in-class and online platforms), consider making the switch to online learning.
When you take online courses in Ontario through a Ministry-inspected school, you are given a generous timeline of 12 months to complete a course. You may use as much or as little of that time as you require. Learning is self-paced, and you are free to study whenever you please. There are dedicated teachers on hand to teach you and 24/7 tutoring to offer support.
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Ensure That Your Body Gets the Rest It Needs
The mind and body share a home. To take care of one, you need to take care of the other. Most high school-aged students need roughly 8-10 hours of sleep to feel adequately rested and for their bodies to function healthily.
Not only can proper sleep better your overall health, but it can also help you feel more focused and confident. If you’re up all night studying, you may – counterintuitively – be doing yourself a disservice.
Start a Study Group
Sometimes, it’s solitude that makes students anxious and tired. You complete assignments, review texts and work on projects in the dim light of your own room.
If you think you could benefit from group learning, consider starting a study group. Restrictions permitting, you could meet with your study group in a park or backyard. But you can also receive the same social and supportive benefits with an online group.
Other than the tips listed above, remember to take frequent breaks as you study to give your brain a much-needed breather. Set reasonable goals for yourself and manage your time to avoid “cramming.” Finally, as mentioned at the top of the article, never hesitate to reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed, either from a loved one or a professional.
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