Burnout. It’s a hot topic and a relevant point of discussion for those in our profession. Although this happens to everyone at some point during their working life, it is something most Student Affairs Professionals battle. I know it is something I am struggling with as I continue to transition into a professional career. With the summer term beginning next week, it has been nonstop in my office for the past couple of months. Some offices will slow down during this time of the year, but the Financial Aid Office tends to speed up. This pace will continue the rest of the summer and well into the beginning of the fall semester.

This is the time of the year where people focus on vacations and spending time at the pool but for me I am focusing on work and staying on top of things in the office. Don’t get me wrong, I will spend time at the pool on the weekends but I probably will not get a true vacation this summer. I am hoping to plan ahead and take a beach vacation next summer. However, the lack of time off can make burnout even worse. I am working on ways to improve my mood during the long work week. One example is to do fun things during my lunch break (i.e., Starbucks trips, reading a book, watching a comedyshow/tv?, and walking my dog). This helps break up the day and offers a fresh start to the afternoon. We all need our “me time” and need to find ways to make our lives less stressful.

Even if you just play music or find time for fun in your office, it is important to find ways to decrease stress and burnout. It will make you happy, more productive professional and your coworkers and students will also be happier people. It is time to enjoy summer! 

Amber Phillips

Student Affairs - the First Years

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