5 Common Causes Of College Burnout

University of Southern California

It’s extremely easy to start feeling burned out when you’re a college student. In fact, rare is the college student who doesn’t often feel burned out. But there’s a difference between feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and feeling like you genuinely want to drop out of school.

If you’re feeling like you need to take a step back, you might just need to reassess some aspects of life. Here are 5 common causes of college burnout.

1. Declared the Wrong Major

A lot of students start to feel as though they are not suited for college simply because they chose the wrong major. If you find that you like being in school, but you just don’t like any of your classes, then you should start asking yourself exactly what kinds of classes you would prefer to take.

Maybe you need to start auditing other classes just to find out what they’re like, and the next semester you can see about enrolling in the ones you find interesting. If you find a class you really like, you should talk to your counselor about what it would take to switch majors.


2. Attended the Wrong School

Whatever reason you originally chose your school, if it’s not doing it for you, then you’re probably not going to get much out of it – if you even finish school at all. Many college dropouts end up quitting because they don’t like the vibe of the school that they chose; not because they weren’t “college material.” If you are currently at Brown University but feel like you would enjoy studying much more at University of Southern California, then don’t waste anymore time twiddling your thumbs. Talk to your counselor and start filling out your transfer application for the next year.

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3. Bad Living Situation

Some students start to lose their interest in college because they have an either unpleasant living situation, or one that is not conducive for succeeding in school. If you are living in the dorms but find the lifestyle too distracting for you to excel in your courses, then you might want to look into renting an apartment with a couple of friends. If you are living with people that you don’t get along with, then you should start looking for new roommates.

4. Poor Study Habits

Sometimes your struggles in your courses are nobody’s fault but your own. If this is the case for you, then you need to look into what you can do to change your modus operandi. Start getting organized and commit yourself to creating good, productive study habits. It’s never too late to turn a new leaf, and you will feel so much better once those habits become second nature. Just believe in yourself and hold yourself accountable when you start to feel lazy.

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5. Heavy Course Load

If you are getting burned out with school because you simply can’t take on the number of courses that signed up for, then you need to consider withdrawing from a class or two before it’s too late. This may delay your graduation or force you to take summer courses, but at least you will get to enjoy your college experience. Plus, you can always take online courses over the summer so that you won’t have to worry about missing out on going home during your break.

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