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BURN OUT: STUDENTS FEEL STRESS EVEN AFTER FALL BREAK

The feeling of burnout lurks around campus.  

ABBY DENAULT, TRUMPET STAFF WRITER

The feeling of burnout lurks around campus.  

Even after Fall Break, Wartburg College students say they are tired. Six weeks remain in the Fall Term. 

Gabby Flynn, a first-year student who plays tennis is also involved in clubs such as Dance Marathon. She said she has experienced this feeling before.  

“I get really stressed and don’t want to do the work or the practice that I have to do. I have definitely gotten better at managing it. I try to talk to somebody and just vent a little bit. Or I try to go on a run, which normally helps clear my mind,” Flynn said.  

Stephanie Newsom, the director of Counseling Services,  has worked at Wartburg for 22 years. 

“It can feel like fatigue, irritability, loss of motivation, and a low level of energy. The things that normally excite you feel like a lot of work. It can look like some mild symptoms of depression. Even looking at the day ahead of you is overwhelming,” Newsom said.  

The number of students feeling burned out is fewer than last year, she said. Last year, Wartburg had more mitigation efforts in place for COVID-19. There are still mask protocols in place this year, but most classes are in person and there was a weeklong Fall Break Oct. 16-25. Wartburg students also participate in more than 100 student organizations, according to the college website. 

“Last year, we started earlier, didn’t have breaks, and went until Thanksgiving,” Newsom said. “Masking and an odd class schedule added stress. This year with looser mask mandates and classes in-person and breaks, we are seeing less of it in students.” 

Yet the burnout is still there. 

 

Bailey Meyers, a third-year, got involved in the Baldwin Leadership Fellows and Dance Marathon. She also works to get her substituting license.  

“I am kind of at that point of exhaustion right now,” Meyers said. 

 She and another Baldwin Fellow, Katelyn Finnegan, a fourth-year biochemistry major, are working together on a program to mentor high school students to mentor in preparation for college. “That has been a lot on our plate, especially with school. This week is going to be a little stressful for the two of us. This Fall Break, I was doing homework for the week after because I know will be busy with this program,” Meyers said.  

Flynn and Meyers believe in the importance of mental breaks.  

 “Taking mental breaks is important, letting stress overwhelm us is not good for our health. I don’t think anyone can do their best work we are capable of. Find some quiet time in every day. Do something to clear your mind of everything on your to- do list,.” Flynn said.  

Meyers said being on campus all the time can be a drain. 

“Give yourself a day to not do school. Manage your schoolwork — the professors here are good at letting you know what to do ahead of time so you can choose to work ahead — especially when you know a busy week is coming up,” Meyers said.  

Newsom agrees that time management can help with burnout.  

“Look at life as a pie chart. School is a huge piece of that, but you also have other slices: your social, spiritual, physical, and family self. Sometimes your pie will be unbalanced, like before midterms. Be aware and work with it,” Newsom said.  

Meyers and Newsom also shared tips on how to keep head clear in these moments of burnout.  

“I know there is a reason behind what I am doing.  I want to be a teacher. There are little key points that I know, this is the reason that I am doing this.” Meyers said.  

Newsom added: “Remember that this too shall pass. It’s happening now, but you can get through it. Think about what needs to be done today. Remember to breathe and know that it is going to be ok. As busy as it gets, it is a quick four years. Enjoy it,” Newsom said.  

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