Burnout at Flagler College

By Zoe Sherman

As finals week slowly creeps closer and closer, many college students become victims of burnout or increased levels of stress. 

Students across all college campuses may be struggling to keep up with their assignments and obligations as they push toward the end of the semester. 

Burnout is a state of complete mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, according to Darling Downs Health.

Freshman Taylor Drott opens up about her struggles this semester, as she is not only experiencing her first year of college, but also a new environment. 

“No burnouts yet, just lots of stress towards finals. My teachers have helped with study guides and such though. This year is so different because I am living on my own, six hours away from home. I’m truly learning how to take care of myself,” Drott said.

Sophomore Eva DiBenedetto works tirelessly on her seasonal semiotics pattern project. 

Taylor is not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Many students that are involved in clubs, organizations, sports, or working while balancing their school work relate to her. 

Taylor is involved in Phi Alpha Omega, a philanthropy organization on campus. Ashley Bremer, a senior, is also involved in the organization, is a Flagler ambassador and is an intern for Young Life St. Augustine. 

“I am definitely experiencing burnout right now before finals. There have been moments of stress but also peace,” Bremer said.

As a senior, Ashley is well aware of the tolls that these last few weeks of the semester can have on students. 

“My motivation comes from productivity. Depending on how productive I am during the day depends on my motivation and what I have planned to do,” Bremer said.

Motivation helps relieve stress due to the alignment of an individual’s motives with the goals they have set, according to the Central Test. 

Professors notice when their students begin to fall behind or start expressing burnout symptoms. 

Dr. Rome, a professor in her 20th year of teaching at the university level, shares that when students spend more time on their phones than interacting with their environment, it can lead to a decline in motivation. 

“Behaviors, such as scrolling could be interpreted as detachment, coping or lack of focus which signals that burnout is absolutely apparent from some of my students,” Rome said.

Dr. Rome adds that she herself has had her own personal experiences with burnout. 

“Burnout has definitely crept its way across my desk once or twice over the years. Mindfulness and music have proven beneficial in my efforts to keep burnout at bay,” Rome said.

It is important that students remember to take care of themselves in the midst of finals week. Dr. Rome shares her advice to any student who may be feeling overwhelmed. 

“Take some time to reevaluate the circumstances and be kind to yourself while you do so. Remember you are part of a community with resources to help you process the stages of burnout,” she said. “Don’t wait, it is okay to prioritize yourself.”

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