Student Burnout: Understanding the Rising Exhaustion Among Students and Breaking Taboos

2023-09-12 20:50:01

In her office, psychologist and coordinator of the Student Support Center at Laval University, Marie-Claude Breton, hears more talk about exhaustion than at the start of her career. It’s difficult for her to say if it’s because there are more cases or simply because taboos are less present than before and people dare to talk about them.

“It’s true that there are still taboos in the collective imagination, taboos sometimes among students […]. For universities, it is clearly no longer a taboo,” she assures.

As inflation takes its toll on the student population, some students have to work more to make ends meet, which overloads their schedules and can lead to burnout.

“I think of a student who told me recently: ”I’m exhausted at my age, it’s going to be good when I’m on the job market,” but that’s not true,” assures Ms. Breton , specifying that we must not underestimate the challenges faced by young people at school.

Director Caraz encountered several challenges when she was studying television at UQAM 10 years ago. Combining studies in a demanding program and a student job where she accumulated hours, she experienced student burnout.

“I feel like my burnout stole a year of school. There are very few memories attached to that moment. It’s like I deleted them, so I feel like it’s stealing a little bit of your crazy years,” she confides.

Eva Favre, who is a nurse, also experienced student burnout during her last CEGEP session. She, who is passionate about nursing, had lost all desire to learn.

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“I got to a point where I was mentally and physically exhausted,” she explains.

She explains that she felt a lot of pressure linked to her field of study where you always have to be efficient and meticulous.

“What they also instill in us is that we are the caregivers and it is actually up to us to care for others and not the other way around,” she believes.

Each university offers a psychological assistance service to members of its community who feel the need.

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