This is how to avoid burnout in your first term of university

First year can be physically and emotionally draining

The first term of university is an exciting time. You’ve just left home and have near-complete freedom. You can go on nights-out whenever you want, you’ll meet loads of new people and hopefully form some long-lasting friendships. But the first term of first year can also be draining, physically and emotionally. In some cases, it can lead to burnout.

People are really generally quite good at handling stress, but prolonged periods of overwhelming intensity can become too much. At this point, you may feel exhausted, cynical, detached or like you’re unable to accomplish anything. This is burnout and while it’s an unpleasant thing to go through, it’s completely normal.

Here are some top tips to help you avoid burnout in your first term of university and what to do if you are experiencing it:

Eat well


As a fresher it’s very easy to slide into a diet of pesto pasta in the day and cheesy chips at night. But you’ll feel so much better physically and mentally if you try and eat as healthy as possible. Not saying avoid the cheesy chips. I love cheesy chips. Just supplement them with some fruit, veg and maybe even an Actimel every now and again. Healthy gut, healthy mind!

Get your sleep in

So it naturally follows that if you’re going out loads, you’re probs going to get tired quote quickly and this will negatively affect other aspects of you life. It’s important to get your rest, take a few nights off here and there, and catch up on that beauty sleep.

If you get Freshers’ flu, rest up


This is so important. If you get ill, your body needs time to recover. Don’t force yourself to do too much!


Excercise is so good for your wellbeing and will help you fight off burnout. You don’t need to do a half marathon or anything but a few trips to the gym every now and again could help you feel more on track.

Think constructively about your goals

So you sit down in front of the TV and actually relax for the first time in ages, but your mind is going 100 miles an hour thinking about all the things you should be doing to achieve your goals.

One exercise you can do to combat this is jotting down your unmet goals and writing where, when and how you’re planning to meet them. You could also try shifting your worries into thinking actively about how you can meet your goals, developing strategies to help you get there.

After that. Put your feet up and carry on re-watching Below Deck.

Take regular study breaks

It’s important to take regular study breaks as although you’ll technically be working for less time, you’ll work more effectively when you do hit the books.

Don’t feel you have to go out EVERY night

No one’s going to think you’re any less of a legend if you decide not go out for the third time that week. Actually use some of your spare time to relax and you’ll reap the rewards.

If you do get burned out, try and tackle your short-term coping strategies

It’s pretty common for people to reach for a pint after a stressful day, and highly likely that this will alleviate some stress. But it’s important to recognise that this is a short-term fix.

Alcohol and drug use could worsen your burnout in the long haul so addressing these coping strategies early doors could help prevent the onset of first term fatigue.

Talk to friends about how you’re feeling

Don’t battle burnout on your own. Talk to friends and family about how your feeling and you’ll feel much better for it!

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