Before I came to university, I had no idea how exhausting studying can be. For me, “studying” meant freedom at that time. Carefree life, free time scheduling and little work. All the usual clichés and prejudices that existed at that time had burned a non-realistic picture of typical student life into my head.
Rarely have I been so wrong.
Many undergraduates start their university career with similar expectations. But at the latest after the first examination phase, these students know that studying is above all one thing: work. Hard work to be exact. Of course, studying is also fun and can be one of the most beautiful parts of your life – only without the necessary commitment you will not get far.
You should not overdo it anyway. Recent surveys show that a large proportion of students at German universities feel regularly overworked. Fatigue, burnout and depression are common diseases in academic education; Ascending trend.
Why? Because these students are always going on.
They are tired – and keep learning.
They are overworked – and still put in a night shift.
They are mentally exhausted – and cancel their holidays to take the next exam.
It can be fine for a while. During stressful phases of your studies, and especially during the exam period, you will often be pushed to the edge of your performance limit. However, if you remain permanently in this condition, there is an increased risk that you will get sick and fall out in the long term.
In order for this not to happen to you and for you to get a keener awareness of your condition, in this article I have collected the most common signs that you are overworked and need a break. If many (or all) of the following observations apply to you: Do not worry, everyone is occasionally under power. However, if these signs are of a lasting nature, it would be good if you react and change something.
But let’s take a look first.
These 13 symptoms can tell you if you’re overworked.
1. You sleep badly
Sleep disorders are often a result of overwork. Problems falling asleep, restless sleep and a little restful sleep are clear signs of an increased level of stress. The mean thing about it: Because you sleep badly, you become tired and unbalanced. This usually causes even more stress because your productivity suffers – which in turn leads to major sleep disorders.
2. You will not get out of bed in the morning
Do you like to turn around in the morning and continue to doze for five minutes? No problem. However, when five minutes become 30, 60, or more, you should question your behavior. The reasons for staying in bed for a long time are mostly – oh wonder – fatigue and the desire to keep the harsh reality at a distance. Once or twice a week, this form of sleeping in is not worrying. But if you catch yourself more often, you should be vigilant.
3. You are not in the mood for a new day
(Almost) no one likes the 8 o’clock lecture on Monday morning. However, if this unmotivated feeling sets in with you every day, something is wrong. In this case, you should review your daily content critically and then decide whether you basically have no desire for your studies or whether “only” disturbs the way. The latter requires changing your way of working.
4. Your study content is no longer of interest to you
Your studies can be so exciting and interesting: if you overdo it and mercilessly overwork, it will not be fun at some point. As with all things in life, the dose is crucial. Too little brings nothing; too much will eventually become toxic. If you think your study is good in itself, but have had more serious doubts or interest for some time, you may want to back down a gear.
5. You can not concentrate
No one in this world can be concentrated around the clock every day of the year. Power swings, highs and lows are completely natural. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with persistent difficulty concentrating, it may be that you need a break. Breaks are the guarantee for a sustained, strong performance curve. Only with breaks you stay focused and motivated. You will not get far without interruptions.
6. You forget important tasks or deadlines
Our memory is a muscle. As we train this muscle, it becomes bigger and stronger. However, if we move one training session to the next, with insufficient time for regeneration, we are likely to get injured – and throw ourselves back. If you are recently forgetful or miss important details, then give your brain a rest.
7. You make mistakes
Have you often had the feeling that your studies are growing over your head lately? Undercut you small and big mistakes. Which would have been unthinkable some time ago? Then you may be overworked and should take something back. Mistakes are a direct feedback of your behavior and mistakes are good. You can learn from mistakes. Therefore, you should take them seriously and draw consequences on the spot.
8. Your desk is pure mess
Disorder of your thoughts often transfers to your environment. Especially in places where you spend a lot of time and the other people are not so often seen. A prime example of this is your desk. Many students swear by a messy desk. That is “creative” and only a “genius” master the chaos. That’s both nonsense. These are excuses for overstraining yourself and trying to talk nicely about the situation. Are you also a nice speaker?
9. Your fellow students annoy you
Without your fellow students, your studies would be only half as nice – if at all. But I bet there are days when you do not want to see any of them. I’m right? If your favorite classmates are annoying you a lot at the moment, you may have spent too much time in the past few weeks. Also in the interpersonal area revision becomes visible. A short break then works wonders and can refresh any relationship.
10. Things that used to be fun in the past will be annoying
In your studies, there are certainly areas and tasks that you enjoy. And there are necessary evils that you accept because the big picture is all right. But as soon as the positive things start to get annoying, the alarm bells should ring with you. If you observe something like that, you have to analyze your situation: Has your inner conviction changed? Are you suddenly pursuing other goals? Or could it be that you are simply overworked?
11. You only talk about your studies and your achievements
Attention, truism: Language is a mirror of our soul. Sounds pathetic, it is – but the essence of this statement provides a valuable clue to your current state. After all, if you’re overworked and continue to study around the clock, it will affect your communication. In conversations, you only know one more topic: your studies. Pay attention to what you say when someone asks you how you are. What are you talking about first? From learning? From your exams? How do you start a conversation? Which other topics do you speak to?
12. You can not switch off
Many students mix their studies and private life almost completely. These students have no fixed boundaries and therefore can not switch off completely after a hard day at Unitag. Question: Can you enjoy your after-work session after completing a lesson? Or are you still thinking about possible exam tasks? Will you be able to draw a line at a fixed age and continue your work the next day? If that does not work out so well, you might soon be overworked.
13. You do not begrudge yourself any free time and relaxation
In my experience, leisure time is a wave of learning: there are times when you have an awful lot of time for hobbies and recreation – and there are times when half an hour of internet a day feels like an excessive waste of time. Leisure is thus distributed unevenly by nature. The trick is to divide up these periods so that you can have enough rest during stressful times. If you can not do that, the workload could become too much for you in the long run.