Freshman Five: How to Prevent Burnout

Midterms are here and almost everyone is feeling the heat of the semester kicking up a notch despite the sudden drop in temperature - today I am actually wearing jeans for the first time since I've been back from Europe! Mid-semester is when burnout can really start to happen and it's the worst place. I have put together a few of my tips for preventing burnout, hope they help!

Calendars Calendar Calendars | Repeat after me: my schedule is my best friend. Everything you do goes into the calendar. Some people are good at keeping track of things in their head but when you're stressed and have too many things on your mind, you can forget to do the online accounting quiz due at 10pm instead of midnight or you might forget to email the professor who offered to help you look for an internship. Your mind works better when you can lay out everything you have to do and then devote time to focusing on pieces as they come up.

Schedule Your Play Time | Some days I can get so busy that it's not until I'm in my fourth meeting of the day that I realize the only thing I'd eaten all day was the granola bar I had for breakfast. That's really bad. Living with Em this year has already been such a blessing, but this is one of the most important things she has taught me - sometimes I can be so focused on my to-do list that if lunch isn't written down, it's probably not going to happen. Giving yourself small, scheduled breaks can help break up study sessions and ensure you're not completely running on steam. Another fun thing to do is to build in fun to your course schedule - last semester I took Racquetball and an Advanced Literature course on Jane Austen! (Need help putting together your schedule for next semester? Here are a few tips!)

Hydrate or Die-drate | J has been trying to make this phrase a thing, and at least in our apartment, it's working. I have emphasized taking care of yourself in a few different posts (especially this one on what to do when you get sick in college!) but that's because it really matters. You cannot expect your body to be operating at 100% if you're not even hydrating yourself properly throughout the day. While this is important during the warmer months, this especially applies to the cold weather we are currently transitioning into - the cold makes my body want to essentially plant itself in my bed and never leave but oftentimes just hydrating in the morning gives me a little more energy to keep going.

Long Time No See? Go See! | Psychologically, we tend to relationally gravitate towards people with similar personalities and goals. This is great, but it also means that if you're like me and have many similarly-minded friends, there's a whole set of friends you barely see throughout the semester because they might not be as involved as you. Take out that planner and call up two of those friends and schedule a brunch, lunch, coffee, or dinner date with them. Sometimes you need a change of pace or perspective to inspire you to keep chugging on and catching up with old friends can do just that (plus you're seeing someone you know, you like and don't see often).

Encourage Yourself | Sunday night after you're done with your homework, take out 10 sticky notes. Write quotes of empowerment and inspiration on them, complex or simple - do a mix! Now stick them in your textbooks and notebooks for the classes that will have you the most stressed this week. If it's a bad week, you'll probably forget you did this. Throughout the week, as you stress out writing papers and taking notes, you may happen upon one of your notes and voila, you just gave yourself a piece of encouragement when you really needed it! Want to go a step farther? Team up with one of your classmates/friends/roommates and do this for each other!

Hope you find these helpful! Do you have any special ways you keep yourself from burning out?

Catch you next time.


  1. Lol, love the hydrate or die-drate. Completely agree with all of these points! Sometimes doing things other than just studying is completely beneficial!

    Jadore l Jadoregrace

  2. Yes, I think it's essential to make sure to eat and definitely carving out a little fun time.
    Sometimes we have so much going on that we just need a little break every now and then.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  3. Such great tips! Even helpful for me who is a senior in college!
    Miss Olivia Says

  4. These are such great tips! My planner is my best friend, it really does keep me focused-I just have to remember to update it daily with my to-do list!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  5. Love this! I try so hard to encourage and reward myself for small accomplishments. Great reminder!

  6. If it wasn't for my planner, I'd have never survived college!

  7. The sticky note idea is borderline revolutionary! MUST try it!

    Melissa | These words are my own.

  8. Love the catchy titles, you're hilarious! But seriously, scheduling your playtime is a MUST. Keeps you on schedule during your work-time!

    Courtney//As We Stumble Along

  9. Great tips! And so true. Everything must go in the calendar. Not some (because then you forget and double book) but everything! Plus it gives you more to cross off later!

    Sara Kate Styling

  10. Such good tips! I can't believe my freshman year was already so long ago.... college certainly flies by! :-)

    xoxo A

  11. Hard to believe it was 8 years ago when I was a freshman. These tips (esp scheduling and encouraging yourself) are still tips I would suggest today!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  12. Scheduling play time is so important! Didn't realize that until I got to college. Great tips!


  13. I love your point on encouraging yourself, that was always a big one for me in college! I would cover a wall with goals and positive quotes and it was always super motivating!

  14. Planning is so huge in college...and not just planning your schoolwork. It's crucial to schedule time for friends, exercise, and you time!

  15. I agree with remember to schedule play time! Freshman year can be exhausting because you're adapting to a new surrounding, professors, classmates, and adulthood. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all the changes. Scheduling time for you to do something you love (or want to try something) is a great way to take a break!


  16. All of these tips are so so SO great. I wrote a similar post this week and you probably read that I struggle with this all the time. I love the tip about meeting up with people you haven't seen in a while! It definitely is a great change of pace.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com


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