Are you fed up with feeling overwhelmed with school? Whether you're doing a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate-level work, all you know is that it feels like you are on a hamster wheel and can't get off. Every day you wake up to endless papers due, seemingly unsurmountable projects to worry about, and exams or presentations to prepare for. Juggling all of this along with your other responsibilities feels overwhelming, and at this point you're wondering if you're really cut out for this. You're wondering if you bit off more than you can chew, but on the other hand fear the consequences of dropping out.
And if you're neurodivergent instead of neurotypical, all these issues can get compounded by the fact that not everyone understands how your brain works. To say that it's frustrating is a huge understatement.
Test Anxiety & Academic Overwhelm
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Fast forward to a few weeks from now. You're starting to see the connection between what you've been telling yourself and how you feel. You're starting to get the hang of noticing when you accuse yourself of things which aren't true, and have set up some handy systems that help you keep on top of everything that's due. You've started to get a hold of that pesky anxiety which was blocking you from moving forward, and are even incorporating ways of preventing anxiety from creeping in in the first place. You're discovering things about yourself that you never realized were fueling the academic overwhelm, and are now committed to shifting those patterns. Overall, it's all beginning to feel doable, and you feel relief. Better yet, you rarely feel like a frenzied hamster on an endless hamster wheel!
Let's tackle this together. Let me help you create a world in which the mere thought of your school responsibilities (and your next exam) doesn't send shivers down your spine. Imagine that!
What is Academic Overwhelm?
Academic overwhelm is the state of feeling extremely stressed, anxious, and burdened due to the demands and pressures of academic life. It occurs when the academic workload becomes too demanding or when you feel like you're unable to cope with the expectations placed upon you. Academic overwhelm can affect students at any level of education, from primary school to university, and therefore can affect people of any age. Some common causes of academic overwhelm can include:
Heavy workload: You may feel overwhelmed due to an excessive amount of coursework, assignments, exams, and projects to complete - and with not enough time to do it in!
High expectations: You might experience overwhelm when you think that you need to meet unrealistic standards set by either yourself, your teachers, your family, or your classmates. Often the highest expectations will be set by you, and you have hard time lowering them.
Time management difficulties: Poor time management skills can lead to procrastination and a sense of being constantly behind schedule, contributing to overwhelm.
Perfectionism: The pressure to achieve perfect grades and meet exceptionally high standards can be overwhelming for you if you have perfectionistic tendencies.
Lack of support: Insufficient guidance or lack of support from teachers, mentors, or peers can make you feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to navigate your academic responsibilities. At this point, graduation can seem like 10,000 years from now!
Burnout: Chronic stress and exhaustion from continuous academic pressure without adequate rest and self-care can lead to burnout, further intensifying your feelings of overwhelm.