Tips to Help Combat Senioritis and Burnout

By Olivea Herrera

It is fair to assume that every student, at some point in their education, has lost motivation to continue with their schoolwork or may not even want to bother going to class. These feelings are heightened when a student is very close to graduating and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This feeling is called senioritis. The lack of motivation to continue with homework, going to class, and any other school responsibility is overwhelming because it feels pointless to continue when you know you are going to graduate already.

After years and years of school, senioritis often comes with burnout as well. Burnout is prevalent in an individual when they feel emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, to the point that they can’t bear to do anything productive because it takes too much energy. While senioritis is usually referred to in seniors about to graduate, burnout can affect all ages and extend to your work life as well. Work is not like school, in that there are no breaks and it is a lot more responsibility. Sometimes, the pressure to perform in a workplace environment can get to be too much, and burnout will start to affect you. All of these emotions in any facet of life, such as school or work, are completely common and valid to feel.

This article will explore a variety of tips and tricks to use when these feelings start to affect your life negatively. These tips will give you the determination and focus to see the rest of the school year out until the much-awaited graduation.

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Try Different Studying Methods

Every student has a different way of studying that they swear by. Some wait until the last minute because they say the pressure gives them motivation, while others work on homework little bits at a time until it’s due. Either way, I am willing to bet that homework is something that every student dreads and a topic that creates a lot of stress and anxiety. Luckily, there are a few studying methods to help all kinds of learners absorb important material.

One of those methods is called spaced practice. This method entails spacing out studying instead of cramming information before exams. When spacing out your studying, it is easier for your brain to make connections and build upon the material that you have learned before. The recommended way to go about this method is to learn about the information in class, revisit and review the material for the next couple of days, then take a week break and revisit and follow this schedule until the due date. Following this method will put less pressure on you and promote intention in studying sessions.

A method that has gone viral on social media is called the Pomodoro method. This strategy is all about timing. The first step is to focus on a single task and work for 25-30 minutes. After working for that amount of time, take a five-minute break. Repeat this process for four rounds. Following the fourth round, take a 20-30 minute break. Essentially, this method is used to reward work with rest. The frequent breaks motivate the student to get more work done in the allotted working times. Using this method, the person studying is promoting focus and discipline. Working on one task for a prolonged amount of time can lead to cognitive boredom, and according to a study by Cognition magazine, brief diversions vastly improve focus.

These studying techniques are just a few examples of many. However, try to find a study method that works for you and the type of learner you are, whether you’re an audio learner who learns by hearing a visual learner who understands knowledge through seeing, or a hands-on learner who gets concepts through doing it yourself. It can be difficult to feel motivated to do any work when you are about to move on to something else, but trying different studying methods is proven to induce focus and determination.

Take a Mental Health Day

Sometimes, we don’t want to do any work because we are doing too much. School is a big part of a person’s life until they graduate high school, college, or graduate school. It is a structure we get used to and have to conform to in order to function in society. These years of schooling take a lot of dedication and focus to pass the classes you sign up for, contribute to clubs you may have joined, or play any school sports. Once we enter the cycle, it feels as if we are never going to reach the finish line. But when the time finally comes, we are so tired of putting in the same amount of effort that we have for such a long time that we tend to slack off.

To counteract this trend, a good trick is to take a step back periodically. Mental health days are times when students or workers take off a day to rest from the onslaught of work they usually have in order to regain the energy to continue with everyday life. Some ways you can rest and recharge is by going on a walk, painting, or taking a long bath with your favorite drink. Walking away from whatever you’re working on and focusing on something else can give you some new perspective and even more creative ideas for the business you have to get done. The work cycle ebbs and flows and some weeks will be busier than others, but the best time to take a mental health day is when there is the least amount of work to be done. This way, you get to rest and gain more incentive to push through without missing too much work. With the end so near, it may feel risky to do this, but sometimes, it is exactly what a person needs to be more productive and not get to a point of burnout.

Countdown Calendar

Looking at the school year from when it starts to when you graduate can feel like an eternity. Rather than counting down until the last day of school, a tip to make the time go by faster is to count down until a holiday or some big life event. Time seems to accelerate in school when you are looking forward to a holiday break because it approaches more quickly than at the end of the year. Winter break is usually a month-long, and at the start of the school year, that is something that is only four months away rather than nine; therefore, it will give you something to look forward to sooner. There are many holidays and days off throughout the school year, so implementing this method of counting down until the next big holiday or a vacation breaks up the year into segments. 

You can find countdown calendars in the app store. For example, Event Countdown is an app that creates widgets on the screen of your phone, counting down the days until an event, and it even color coordinates for different events or holidays. Using an app like this puts the clock in a place that you can see it often and reminds you about the event you have to look forward to. Having something fun in the future can create more excitement and happiness in general, and that will affect the mentality that you bring into school life in a positive way. It can even inspire you to put more effort into schoolwork. This trick can not only help make the length of time between the start of school and graduation more manageable, but it can also help each individual thrive in their environment.

Graduation is an exciting time in anyone’s life. It is a celebration of all the student has accomplished and a signifier of the change in their life that is to come. It is a major achievement that is represented in all kinds of media as a milestone in life. While many positives come with getting closer to graduating, there are hardships that come with it as well, such as a lack of drive or a more consistent feeling of burnout. However, this is the last thing you want to give in to when the end is so close. Following some of these tips can significantly decrease these feelings. Overcoming senioritis or burnout can help you feel passionate again about the topic you are studying or the work you are doing. And with that spark back into your life, all of the trials and tribulations that you had to endure will feel worth it.

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