How to prevent mid-semester burnout

Hailey Benders|Marlin Chronicle

With the approach of the end of the semester, many students are facing large work loads. Here’s some ways to prevent and manage burnout.

As the midterm season passes, students are facing stress and burnout with the continuation of the second half of the semester. If students find themselves overwhelmed, there are many strategies and resources to alleviate the feeling. 

During this time of increased stress, students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources offered by the Student Counseling Center.

“The counseling office is available to all students free of cost. There is no copay or insurance needed,” Director of Counseling and Student Health April Christman said. Students can make an appointment by email to

Through the counseling office, students have also been trained by the Green Bandana project to offer peer support to any student. Those with green bandanas on their bag are open to talk to anybody seeking help and will guide students to additional resources. 

“The best way to prevent a crisis is to address it when it’s not a crisis,” Christman said. Being aware of stress reactions and seeking help before they develop into a crisis is the best plan for students to follow. 

With the rise in homework and upcoming finals, there are many measures students can take to reduce stress.

“Don’t procrastinate on assignments; spread them out and use your time wisely so all your assignments aren’t due at once,” senior Dorothy Yanku-Palmer said, “Give yourself brain breaks between assignments.” Spacing out homework leaves more time for leisure and club activities, both of which are important.

This sentiment is repeated by Henry Handley, senior and president of VWU’s branch of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). 

“No matter how busy you are, make sure there’s a relaxing activity or something fun. Never cancel that, so you’re not always doing work,” Handley said.

First-year Sophie Engelberts suggests ending each day with a recollection of the day’s positive experience. “Try to do something that makes you happy every day, even if the whole day feels bad,” Engelberts said. “Don’t go to sleep until you have made a happy moment.” 

One of the day’s positive experiences may be from club events, such as those organized by NAMI. The group hosts a mental health education and discussion meeting once a week, along with events. These events include mental health check-ins, Valentine’s Day candy grams and smashing plates to relieve stress. Handley said the club aims to “emphasize and discuss mental health.”

Knowing when to skip activities can also be important for maintaining a balance. 

“Be okay with setting boundaries and saying no to invitations so you don’t get overwhelmed. Prioritize yourself over the group’s peer pressure,” first-year Gabrielle Barnett said. It’s up to students to prioritize their time wisely, which may mean choosing to stay home and work. 

Even at home, students can practice making boundaries. 

“Balance studying and relaxing in a healthy way. Don’t study in bed, use your desk as a study space to create separation,” Engelberts said. “I won’t study in pajamas to set a mental boundary, and then I can put on my comfy clothes as a reward.” 

Giving breaks and rewards for studying can make it both more effective and more enjoyable, like a final reward after a long study session.

“It’s nice to get fresh air after doing homework. It’s very helpful to reset,” first-year Juliette Coffey said.

If you’re having trouble managing your schedule, there are plenty of on-campus resources. Reaching out to a professor or fellow student to discuss struggles is the first step. It’s difficult to carry everything alone, and there are always Marlins willing to help.

By Elliot Fylstra