Battling Burnout

Stay vigilant for signs of stress this spring.

Blonde student in classroom, red sweater

While spring brings a much-needed break from winter weather and the promise of summer, it can also be one of the most stressful times for the college students in your life.

As the end of the academic year approaches, students can face burnout just when they need to rally to finish assignments and projects, study for exams, and think about their next steps, such as summer jobs and internships. If they are approaching graduation, it can be even more stressful, as an entire chapter of their lives is wrapping up and breaking into the adult career world can bring added pressure.

Some of the signs that the student in your life could be suffering from burnout include a noticeable loss of motivation and decreased satisfaction with performance, a sense of failure (imposter syndrome), detachment from their studies and demands, emotional exhaustion, and increased procrastination.

If you notice these signs, it’s a good idea to take the lead on a discussion around what’s going on in their lives. While you probably won’t be able to “fix” what is causing the burnout, you can play a role in helping to ease it and in helping the student make it through this period.

Consider taking a step back from your role as a parent, guardian, or mentor and instead become an accountability partner. For example, you may agree to help the student by sending reminders on project deadlines, or sending always-appreciated gift cards for coffee, favorite foods or self-care items. You might also collaborate with them to establish boundaries with school or work, extending time for rest and/or self-care, or improving skills such as time management and delegation of tasks.

At LIM College, the Office of Counseling Services offers a number of supports for students including events such as “Donut Stress,” where snacks, goodies and psychoeducation on anxiety and stress are provided to help students prepare for finals.

The Office of Counseling Services also hosts uplifting mental health events such as the “Fresh Check Day” college check-in, in tandem with the Jordan Porco Foundation, that features peer-centered interactive booths, a festive social atmosphere, and ways to relax between classes to alleviate stress and isolation.

While burnout is often resolved once students have completed the final stages of their coursework and get past this particularly challenging time of year, some students continue to face burnout in other areas of their lives. In these cases, connecting your student with a professional counselor to address their ongoing concerns is a great next step. LIM students may contact the Office of Counseling Services at