Fizzling Out? Here’s How to Avoid Burnout


Pepper Ritchey/ Villanovan Photography

Villanova’s health center.

Katie Formato, Staff Writer

With only six more weeks until summer break, schoolwork starts piling up, the to-do list gets longer and it starts to feel like there are not enough hours in the day for students to complete their extensive workload. At this time in the year, it can be easy to feel burnt out with work. However, when one is feeling overwhelmed, it is important to prioritize time in one’s day to focus on oneself. 

Burnout is something that many college students experience, especially before a big break or at the end of a semester. In order to help students avoid the feeling of burnout, The Villanovan spoke with the Associate Director of the Office of Health Promotion, Kristy McCarthy, about her tips to help prevent burnout and to provide insight on recommendations for when students are feeling overwhelmed by their workload. 

“Take good care of yourself to avoid burnout,” McCarthy said, when asked what to do to avoid burnout. “Self-care doesn’t have to look like spending money on a yoga class or treating yourself to an eight-dollar iced coffee. Instead, students should think of self-care as a way to make things easier for themselves in the long run. This can look like setting boundaries, [such as] saying no when you have too much on your plate [or] studying a little bit every day instead of cramming and staying up all night.”

It is also important to prioritize one’s self-care and make time in one’s day to focus on oneself.

“Self-care also can look like the basics –[making] sure you are eating three meals a day, getting plenty of sleep, making time for friends or giving yourself plenty of breaks,” McCarthy said.

Different things work for different people. With the weather getting warmer, take advantage of the sun and spend a study break going for a walk outside to get fresh air or sit on a bench and listen to some music or a podcast. Whatever makes one feel in a stage of peace will help benefit one’s mental health when feeling overwhelmed.

“When things get stressful [and as finals approach,] remember to take breaks, fuel yourself (three meals a day at least), hydrate and get plenty of sleep,” McCarthy said. “It is also helpful if you plan ahead. Plan out your assignments and times for when you will study, schedule out your finals week and plug in times for breaks. Even schedule sleeping hours to make sure you are getting enough sleep.”

Managing one’s time effectively will help students succeed with finals approaching. Keeping a planner of important due dates for tests or essays can help keep a student organized. Also, when looking at assignments all together and thinking that one has so many things to get done, change perspectives and take it one assignment at a time. Checking one thing off one’s to-do list will help one feel more productive and ease anxiety.

McCarthy further explained the importance of utilizing the tutoring centers on campus. “If you need to access the Writing Center, Math Center or tutoring services, make those appointments now,” McCarthy said. “If you think about these things now and come up with a plan it will be less stressful and hopefully keep you in a better place mentally.”

However, there are already many students that are feeling burnt out and are wishing that they were sitting on the beach instead of in the library. Luckily, at Villanova there are so many different resources available for students to use if they are feeling this way. 

“The Counseling Center, tutoring services and Learning Support Services [are all really helpful],” McCarthy said. “Personally, I like utilizing the Eisenhour Matrix, which is a task management tool that helps you organize and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance.”  

Another great resource that Villanova students can utilize is the Thrive 365 Portal. 

“The Thrive 365 portal has tons of great information, tips and resources all to help students with a variety of topics, including burnout” McCarthy said. “Students can access the portal by going to or by searching ‘Thrive 365’ in MyNova.”

If students are interested in learning about more resources on campus that can help their mental health, they can visit the Resources for Health and Well-Being on the Villanova University website. Also, if anyone wants to make an appointment with a tutor, they can visit the Tutoring Services site on the Villanova University website. Lastly, if one wants to learn more about Thrive and its resources, they can visit