by Grant Batchelder

Last week, I gave a presentation to our undergraduate residence life staff on burnout. We do an in-service training for them about once a month and talk about topics we feel are important to them at that time. It is now the second semester and I know that many students, especially in residence life, begin to feel burned out at this time.

It also occurs to me that many new professionals begin to feel the same way at this time. We have been going since… well I’m not sure I’ve ever had a break, but at least since August, with a few short breaks for the holidays. New professionals are also in the process of working out their own personal life balances and wellness in this new role. That is a tough part of our profession. A lot of us live and eat where we work. The lines get blurred and there is very little opportunity for escape. We have high pressure jobs and often don’t have the right sleep, eat, exercise balance. These are all factors for burnout. I want to stress to every new professional how important it is to do these things and make sure that they take care of themselves as well as their students.

A final suggestion is to write down all the things you love and want to get out of your position then to write down all the frustrations you have at work. Compare the two lists and see which of the frustrations inhibits your ability or stops your gratitude in the first list. These are your burnout pressure points and the areas that you need to watch out for, maybe even talk to your supervisor about these areas and discuss plans to limit these pressure points.

Now that I’ve said all of that, I hope that each of you has a great spring semester.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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