If there is a term called mid-life crisis, there should be one in college called “mid-term crisis.”
It’s mid-term time, and students are likely feeling the stress with all the academic pressures building up. Countless homework assignments, and time-consuming projects, and numerous study hours required for exams can take a toll on all FC students. One thing not to forget is that even faculty are experiencing the stress during this mid-term time.
Professors may experience burnout from grading papers, reading assignments, preparing lectures, accommodating various needs… I’m sure the list goes on. As a Psych Counselor, the number of people continuing or seeking services has been enormous. Seeing students back-to-back-to-back (at times 6 students in a row) for up to one-hour sessions can be strenuous to the point of burnout. Not only the massive amount of time needed, but also something called “compassion fatigue.” This is when caring for others can cause stress. Even healers need healing.
So far, I can honestly share that I am not at the stage of burnout. I continue to practice self-care, such as doing yoga and maintaining a social life. I also practice my own forms of mental health through coping skills, such as positive thinking and deep breathing techniques. Is this enough though?
For now, it seems to be. However, I wonder what it would be like if times get very difficult to where burnout is more likely. What if my current coping skills are not enough? Luckily there are a multitude of ways to gain wellness – some days some work, other days they may not so much. I’m sure the same applies to FC students.
As a Psych Counselor, I help guide students toward ways of managing stress rather than finding ways to avoid it (avoidance tends not to help). When burnout is evident, whether a student or faculty, I feel it is necessary to teach ourselves and maintain the ways of self-care. If I teach that wellness is important, I would like to support my own words with finding ways to rejuvenate the mind and body before it reaches the point of damaging burnout.
What do others feel?