Boomers say that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. If you ask a college student? Going broke.
Many college students and recent grads are not only seriously strapped for cash, but as a result, we’re also known for being the “burnout generation.”
We strive to optimize every part of our lives. We fail. We try even harder, like with a new planner or after a weekend getaway. We burn out, again. Rinse and repeat.
In "How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation", Anne Peterson references John Cohen, a psychoanalyst and burnout expert: “The exhaustion experienced in burnout combines an intense yearning for this state of completion with the tormenting sense that it cannot be attained, that there is always some demand or anxiety or distraction which can’t be silenced.” Sound familiar? The cycle rages on, no matter how many times we are told to “just relax” or do “self-care."
“You don’t fix burnout by going on vacation. You don’t fix it through “life hacks,” like inbox zero, or by using a meditation app for five minutes in the morning, or doing Sunday meal prep for the entire family, or starting a bullet journal.”
So, how can we “just relax” if a face mask isn’t going to cut it?
1. Ask for help. Confide in loved ones, seek on-campus resources, or speak with a professional. Utilize your resources to form a plan of action that fits your personal financial goals and mental health needs. For example, visit the financial aid office, academic advisor, or therapist on campus to address your situation.
2. Keep it simple. Instead of adding more stuff to your plate, say no to things that are draining you and your money. For example, instead of eating out for the fifth time this week, invite some friends over to test out some Pinterest recipes.
3. Keep working on it. There’s no quick fix or one-size-fits-all answer. It’s not a box you can check off on your to-do list (no matter how much we place our self-worth on doing just that). There are a lot of factors to financial strain and burnout for college students, and they all add up to high expenses and little time. It’s a systematic problem that requires complex solutions. If you seek help and create a strategy that is right for you, you can make strides in coping with your finances, your mental health, and your life.
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