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Summer not so bummer: burnout discourages social activity

Summer not so bummer: burnout discourages social activity

Summer not so bummer: burnout discourages social activity
June 04
13:00 2022

During the school year, everyone has plans of what they want to do for the summer. People want to shop until they drop, visit family and friends, maybe do some traveling or possibly go look at some grad schools. Yet, when that first week of May pops around, and the finals many students must take to complete the semester begin to weigh down on the mental and emotional health of students — those plans go out the window.

Thus begins the summer burnout. This is imminent and it looms over the entire semester, hitting at just the moment that students are supposed to be free. So what can you do when the summer is a bummer, and you cannot even bear to leave your couch?

With the end of exams, it is extremely hard to go into the break without feeling stressed and worn out. Students have not been given a true moment to rest since August. There is winter break, but it is only a month long, and spring break is just a courtesy after derailing students with midterms. Students feel tired and likely irritated after having nine months of things scheduled down to a tee — on top of completing the first school year “post” pandemic.

Burnout is the culmination of all the stress, anxiety and fatigue that people are plagued with over time until it all becomes too much. It can leave students depressed and unwilling to celebrate that end of school year joy. Burnout leads to a culmination of many tribulations — with anxiety and depression being ranked high on the list of mental health issues for college students according to the American Psychological Association.

Burnout is a stark contrast from what summer is supposed to feel like. The season is is supposed to be freedom, it’s supposed to be lemonade by the pool, a road trip with your sibling to visit yet another part of Texas — it’s supposed to be hanging out with your friends because you haven’t been able to go to lunch with them since January.

However, with entering summer so exhausted — nobody has the energy to do that. Due to burnout, people want to do the most menial and minimalistic activities, simply because they have no more enthusiasm by the time summer comes around. It becomes extremely difficult for students to make the most of their summer leisure time when dealing with this severe exhaustion.

Don’t lose hope though, there is always something one can do when they feel like staying inside the house all day with the windows shut and a blanket covering your entire body.

To start, there is picking up a new hobby. For some skeptics, it sounds like you’re just picking up some new project that will leave you even more burned out by the end of it, but maybe not. One such hobby is a new phenomenon in crafting: crocheting. Crocheting — something that grandparents, aunts and uncles alike have been doing for the past 50 years. It’s fun, and takes little to no effort: all you need is some yarn, a crochet hook, a YouTube video and there you have it — a creative outlet to help ease that burnout stress all under ten dollars.

If you don’t feel like picking up a new hobby though, there are other activities that relax your mind a little more. We often face guilt about laying in our beds or on the couch for hours at a time watching some new show on Hulu or Netflix, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. After facing such a long year, it is completely understandable for students to want to mindlessly watch the TV for a little while.

If crafting or watching Netflix both are not your style, or you are the type of student who cannot help but use every bit of brain power possible, then reading is always a viable option. Many of us are able to spend more time enjoying the reading we do over summer rather than during the school year. When it’s our choice, things seem a little bit more enjoyable. If you’re not a reader but you want to expand your mind more, meditation is just as great. You can sit with your thoughts and maybe learn about yourself better.

Summer should not have to be spent wishing and missing after an entire semester of pining. Students are tired, and should not be made to feel like a not bummer summer means having to go out every night and do things every day. They just need rest, and with the vast amount of options available, students can have a great summer while easing their burnout.

Featured Illustration By Cuinn Cornwell

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Lauryn Barron

Lauryn Barron

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