College can feel overwhelming at times, and students may experience stress and anxiety from the academic or extracurricular workload. The uncertainty of the pandemic may also contribute to this stress, and sometimes, it can overwhelm people and lead to burnout.
Burnout not only causes people to feel overstressed and exhausted all the time, but it also affects people in other ways.
“Burnout is very common for college students,” said Sacred Heart University counselor Nancy Dekraker. “Symptoms include being emotionally and physically exhausted, lack of interest or commitment to work, and a sense of incompetence.”
Burnout affects people in a multitude of ways, but it is especially overwhelming for students because of their busy lifestyles. If they experience symptoms of burnout, it may be difficult to stay on top of schoolwork and other commitments, which can further worsen anxiety.
However, there are many on-campus resources available to students who are struggling to overcome burnout or other mental health issues.
“Burnout can be a quick fix with a self-care regime that includes the appropriate amount of sleep, social connections, physical activity each day, eating well, and relaxation/mindfulness practices,” said Dekraker.
Mental health issues only worsen when people do not seek help, so the first step toward battling burnout is looking for guidance and support. Sacred Heart Success Coordinator Castle Yuran believes not seeking help makes it more difficult to overcome burnout and other issues.
“Don’t keep it inside… that’s what happens too often, and I definitely recommend those students who are struggling reach out to the Counseling Center,” said Yuran.
For students here at Sacred Heart who have mental health concerns, the university has several resources on campus that can help. One of these is the Counseling Center, which offers free counseling to SHU students.
According to Dekraker, because of the pandemic, there are school counselors located in several parts of campus.
“Two counselors are in the offices across from the main parking garage, four counselors are on the third floor of Martire, and our athletics counselor remains in the Pitt Center,” said Dekraker.
Another resource for students is the Learning Center, which works very closely with the Counseling Center.
“If a student has expressed a mental health concern with one of us here, we’ll always refer them to the Wellness
Center for counseling,” said Yuran.
A final resource on campus is a group of students called s.w.e.e.t. (Student Empowerment and Education Team) peer educators. These students are very approachable and help other students destress, as well as offer tips on how to stay mentally healthy and avoid burnout.
“We’re students… so a lot of times students will find that a lot more approachable than having to go to the Wellness Center, and we hold a lot of educational events,” said junior Emma Drzewiecki, a s.w.e.e.t. peer educator. “We do stress relief events around campus.”
One of the best ways s.w.e.e.t. is known is for their events with therapy dogs, which help students destress and add a calming atmosphere to campus.
If you are experiencing stress or anxiety, it’s okay to ask for help. The counselors, peer educators and professors are here to guide and support you.
To get in touch with s.w.e.e.t., please visit their page on SHU’s website: https://www.sacredheart.edu/offices–departments-directory/counseling-center/sweet-peer-educators/.
To contact the Learning Center, take a look at their website page: https://www.sacredheart.edu/offices–departments-directory/student-success-center/jandrisevits-learning-center/.
To reach the Counseling Center, call 203-371-7955 or visit their website at https://www.sacredheart.edu/offices–departments-directory/counseling-center/. To make an appointment, call their office manager at the number above, and they will help you set one up. Counseling Center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
In case of an emergency or after hours, contact Public Safety at 203-371-7911.