Struggling with burnout? Here's how to manage academic stress

Fall brings beautiful autumn leaves, pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather...but also the stress of the middle of the semester.

Work often starts piling up around this time of year, with midterms underway and—for high school seniors—college applications due. If you're feeling especially burnt out and anxious right now, you're not alone. It can be *really* difficult to juggle your academics with your social life and wellbeing, but we've rounded up five tips for overcoming the mid-semester/quarter stress of being a student.

Find the organizational tool that works for you

Ever feel overwhelmed by the knowledge that you have a million things to do, but can't keep track of them all? Definitely try out some organizational methods to help you map out all your tasks and prioritize the most important ones. We love digital tools like Notion, Google Calendar and the Reminders app, but a classic planner or bullet journal work just as well. Being able to visually arrange your assignments can be *super* helpful, and physically crossing something off your to-do list is very satisfying. It can often be a process of trial-and-error to find what works best for you, but a good organizer can be a total game-changer.

Set (at least) one hour dedicated to *you*

With school from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., soccer practice at 4 p.m. and homework at 7 p.m., your busy schedule can put your well deserved ~me-time~ on the back burner. Take at least one hour out of your hectic day to *fully* relax and do something you enjoy, whether it be watching Netflix or baking brownies. Allow yourself uninterrupted time for some TLC—without feeling guilty for not being productive for a few hours.

Prioritize your health

Yes, your health is more important than getting an A on that algebra quiz or writing the most award-winning essay. Make sure that you're getting enough sleep (at least nine hours is recommended) and that you're not skipping any of your meals. Of course, school is important, but don't work hard at the expense of your health. Caring for your physical wellbeing can help improve your mental wellbeing and help you thrive as a student.

Be kind to yourself

Would you berate your best friend for bombing a test? Of course not—so why would you do the same to yourself? Don't get mad at yourself if you get a bad grade or don't feel like you're doing your best. It's OK to feel disappointed, but know that it's OK to make mistakes. You're human; you can't always be the Perfect Student. Instead, be proud of yourself for your successes and for doing *your* best. Be kind to yourself—you deserve it.

Don't hesitate to ask for help

You are never alone! You have several people around you who love you and care about you. Don't be afraid to reach out to your teachers if you're having a hard time in their class—more often than not, teachers genuinely want you to learn and do well, so don't be afraid to ask for an extension or some one-on-one tutoring. Also, your family and friends will always be there to support you. Having a family movie night or an advice sesh with your bestie can be *super* stress-relieving—all you need to do is ask.

Have any more tips about burnout? Let us know @girlslifemag on Twitter!

Slider image via @lawstandfound | All GIFs via GIPHY


by Jinny Kim | 12/1/2021