College life can be hectic! Balancing classes, with projects, assignments, group work and examinations with all the other demands of life can be stressful. Therefore managing college burnout is essential.

The following are 5 ways that college students can avoid burnout:

  • Planning
  • Exercise
  • Hobbies
  • Sleep
  • Getting Support

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.


At college you are fully in control of your time. If you wake up and decide not to attend classes, teachers would not be asking for explanations of your absenteeism. This means that you need to manage your time to ensure that you remain productive.

Lack of planning means that you will have insufficient time to complete all your tasks. As a result, worry and overwhelm could set in which can lead to burnout.

To avoid burnout, set up a calendar where you allocate times for all your classes and other requirements. Rotate between tasks to break up monotony. For example, you may be more alert in the morning so you may be more effective reading at that time.

Don’t forget to schedule in downtime for activities such as eating and watching your favourite tv show. This is important to you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


Maintaining an active lifestyle can assist you with balancing all the demands of life and college. It will also support your energy level, overall physical and mental wellbeing.

As a student, you tend to spend a considerable amount of time sitting. Hence there are periods of prolonged immobility.

Sometimes all you need to do is get up and move or do some jumping jacks to keep the body moving at different intervals. This could give you an energy boost.

The great leader Gandhi in his autobiography The Story of my Experiments with Truth reflected on his time at school and stated:

“Today I know that physical training should have as much place in the curriculum as mental training” (Page 15).

Champion boxer, Muhammad Ali also believed that exercise helped him to push pass tiredness during his fights. This could also help you develop stamina which can avoid burnout.

Muhammad Ali in his autobiography- The Greatest with Richard Durnham stated:

“Running is the source of my stamina. Early in my career I learned to run until I’m tired, then run more after that. The running I do before the fatigue and pain is just the introduction. The real conditioning begins when the pain comes in; then it’s time to start pushing. And after that I count every mile as extra strength and stamina. The reserve tank. What counts in the ring is what you can do after you’re tired” (Page 303).

These two great leaders valued exercise as part of their profession and lifestyle.


Hobbies can provide a creative outlet for you to release stress and engage in an activity that you truly enjoy.

Consider activities that you can take part in such as hiking, cooking or photography. In case you don’t have a hobby and want to adopt one, Udemy is a great resource for this.

Hobbies can also be helpful as they allow you to eliminate an activity that you dislike. This can benefit you in career planning as well as connect you with like-minded individuals which is beneficial for networking or finding a mentor.

Using hobbies in career planning supports the Self Concept Theory of Career Development developed by Donald Super in 1969.

This theory suggests that individuals should utilise hobbies as a medium to explore and experiment with new things as a fundamental aspect of career development.


The demands of maintaining high grades and preparing for examinations may require many sleepless nights. With that being said, consistent lack of sleep can lead to physical and mental fatigue which will only reduce your productivity.  When this occurs, your ability to learn and study will be greatly reduced.

According to National Sleep Foundation, having inconsistent bed times can lead to a disruption in your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is a 24 hour internal clock which runs in the brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness. Sleep deprivation will therefore make it harder for you to be focus and alert.

Having a schedule of times to ensure that you get sufficient sleep balanced with times when you may be required to be awake for extended hours will improve your overall wellbeing.

Getting support

The support and understanding of your friends and family is paramount in managing college burnout. This may not be applicable in every instance especially if you are studying abroad.

Having your family around who can support you with chores such as preparing your meals and washing your clothes can make a world of difference as it is one less responsibility that you have to worry about. 

So don’t be afraid to enlist the support of your loved ones to reduce your stress levels especially around exams.

Final Thoughts

Without proper planning, college could be a challenging season. However, mastering proper time management during college is a valuable skill to develop.

Life may be just as or even more hectic thereafter! Hope these five pointers above assist you in avoiding college burnout.

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How To Avoid College Burnout

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