I wake up on my fourth alarm. Class starts in five minutes. I remember waking up late my first year, how the adrenaline powered my bike up the hill from South Campus, the sun on my neck, Joanne telling me to hold on a minute, how my anxiety subsided as friends smiled and shouted “Smoot!” as I wove through the Pit.
A few weeks into this semester, I log in to Zoom, my camera off, my blanket on, my curtains blocking the sun so the screen doesn’t glare. For a moment, I try to focus on the lecture as the professor’s voice lags on my overcrowded WiFi. It’s not long until my attention deficit finds rescue in my Twitter feed of 280 characters.
Honestly, I’m exhausted. It’s tough finding purpose and discipline in these days, lacking any structure beyond a rectangular screen.
It’s easy to deflect my burnout on the University, which still refuses to give students a fall break or the standard reading days before exams. But the reality is, I’ll grow old waiting on the administration to make a right decision, and I’ll waste this last year of college if I don’t start making the right decisions for myself.
Here’s how I’m trying to survive Zoom burnout. These are easy to write but honestly difficult to establish as long-term habits. Do what you can to build a healthier, energetic routine and don’t worry about being perfect. We’re all going through this together, so never be afraid to reach out to friends, family or mental health professionals for support.