Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

April 5, 2010 10:11 PM

Avoiding burnout

Burnout, according to the dictionary is the "exhaustion of physical or emotional strength usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration."

We've all felt the tip of it, seen signs of it amongst our peers, and almost succumb to it. A student usually a pre-health major goes through an academic slump due to the competitiveness and difficulty of some of the courses at Cal and other external stimuli. This slump usually results to a loss of interest in school and a loss of mental and physical sharpness on oneself.

The deal with “academic slump” is that an extended one can have huge negative implications when applying to grad school, med school, pharmacy school, or any professional type school. There is no guarantee that these schools will sympathize with a slump especially when they are bombarded with ideal applicants. What I am trying to say here is that a simple slump can turn into chain reaction of events that could hinder our academic progression. With that said, it is critical to prevent burn outs by identifying some factors that contribute to it.
Here are some common factors that contribute to burn out:

1.) Course Load and distribution:
Like most of us, scheduling is the key on succeeding at Cal. With that said, I suggest to NOT take classes beyond your capacity. Ask friends and PAL advisers to evaluate your class schedule to have a better idea what to expect in these classes.

2.) External stress:
These can be in a form of financial need to drama within friends. I know that these factors are sometimes beyond our reach but these issues if not resolve can discourage and distract you from focusing on your goals. The way to fight this is to NOT give in. I believe that every problem has a solution and if we only stop, think, and assess the situation then we can potentially solve it.

3.) A slump can hurt your GPA:
As we all know by now, good GPA is pretty tight to come by. So a simply blemish on one of your classes can drastically hurt your GPA even if you had straight A’s. Remember that your GPA will never be the same again so snap out of the slump and get back on track.

Ken Juacalla | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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