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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Already Burned Out?

Paul Tointigh shares his tips to avoiding college burnout
Emily Loughridge
After exhausting himself with various responsibilities, Paul Tointigh crashes on his living floor, surrounded by a mess of homework, papers, books, and a planner.

Do you ever just want to collapse on the floor, fall asleep, and wake up to find all your classes have been canceled for the rest of the week? Maybe that’s my wishful thinking, but when you overload yourself, you begin to dream of ways to escape the grind.

The first few weeks of college can be stressful. When you get every syllabus for the entire trimester, seeing all of the assignments yet to be done is daunting. If you don’t know the professor or don’t know hardly anyone in your classes (or maybe even no one at all), this can add to the stress factor.

I managed to overload myself by being involved with 12 hours of classes and having prominent roles in four campus organizations. If I was cloned and there were three of me, maybe I could manage to keep all of that under control, but there is only one of me. I already had to leave one of the organizations to keep myself afloat.

Burning out in the first two weeks of class is not the healthiest thing to happen to you. To help you get over that burnout you are going through (or may soon go through), here are three tips I would give:


1. Time management is key.

It is easy to waste 20 minutes of the day on your phone, yet those 20 minutes could mean the difference between getting an assignment done early or staying up until 1 a.m. to finish it. Buy yourself a planner and dedicate specific sections of your day to certain things. Set aside time for work, eating, doing fun things, and yes, even sleeping. Sleeping is productive.


2. Get a good night’s rest.

Going through a busy day on six or less hours of sleep a night can make your day feel a lot worse. I have done this plenty of times to know firsthand that this is not optimal for doing your best throughout your day.

I had an 8 a.m. math class back at my last college, and I could have gone to bed earlier the night before to help me get through that class. But instead, I kept going to bed late and that led to me relying on coffee in order to keep from falling asleep through class.

Always remember, a good night’s sleep starts the night before. Make sure you discipline yourself to get into bed and fall asleep. It isn’t easy at first, but with consistency, you’ll be falling asleep within 15 minutes of laying down. If you find yourself with an 8 a.m. class, get that good night’s sleep. Your body will thank you.


3. Taking a breather is okay.

You may feel the need to always be on the grind no matter what. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to work non-stop to avoid “wasting time” and getting things done. Doing this, however, can be detrimental in the long run. It is perfectly fine to take 30 minutes to take your mind off of what it is you are doing and have a “mental recess” if you will.

For me, this is doing something like going to the gym or playing ultimate frisbee; both activities help me to clear my mind a great deal. Whatever you need to destress, do it. You can also tie this into the time management tip that I listed above, and set yourself a time to recharge throughout the day.

Burning out within the first month is not great. I have done this many times over. But since I am now in my fourth year, I have gained all of this experience that I hope can help you get through the rest of your college career. Keeping these tips can help your motivation and your mental health a great deal, and keeping these in check will give you a great year.

You got this.


Paul Tointigh is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Paul Tointigh
Paul Tointigh, Senior Writer
Paul is a fourth-year communication major, having obtained his associate’s degree in Arts from Redlands Community College. Paul transferred to USAO and became a member of The Trend in the fall of 2022. He recently began a job at Viridian and is an active member of the BCM, serving on the leadership team. When he isn’t attending to his many duties, Paul can be found at the gym, attending campus ministries, or spending time playing his guitar. Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: Jan. 2024 - present Managing Editor: Dec. 2022 - Dec. 2023 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Emily Loughridge
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a fourth-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining minors in psychology and liberal arts, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Nov. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022