To preface this column, I am not the pinnacle of academia. If anything, I would be found in the median of the pool of college students. I’m not seeking to victimize myself as I detail my grievances, simply allowing for a space in which I can vent the burden and fatigue felt by myself and my peers. The application of condensed academic calendars came in the wake of the pandemic. At first online schooling found itself on shaky ground as the world of higher ed attempted to transition to an unparalleled medium in 100 percent online classes. We transitioned into a new normal, an imperfect normal; teachers and students alike felt the negative effects due to a lack of structure, socialization, and the ability to feel connected… A survey performed by found that 85 percent of college students felt that their grades suffered while in online classes. While broad findings do not conclude major variance in grade performance, failure rates ticked up 3-5percent in colleges and universities. Moving from online to hybrid complicated things more, fluxing in-class times at the whim of infection rates and social distancing policies marred the attempt to get back to what we once knew. The code-switching between in-person and online taxes students, adding stress and uncertainty to a time already full of it. So moving back into a “normal” college experience with in-person classes at first brings a semblance of hope;  however, when subject to a rapid-fire consumption on the students’ part and frustration on the teachers’ part has led to ubiquitous burnout for all parties involved. My motivation, while already lacking, has been wiped out and I feel as if the same has happened to teachers and students alike. With no breaks and a calendar scrunch that we find ourselves attempting to take in and internalize, a college course is moving at an impossible rate. We have no break to detox and come back to earth we’re all running the treadmill at its max speed and wheezing to keep up (I myself have fallen off, onto my face) There is no fault in this circumstance it is merely the way it had to occur, but what there is or rather should be are understanding and solace. Sure we’ll have minor breaks next semester but for the last year and a half, it has felt like a bull in a china shop and to this point, all the ceramic has been broken only to leave the bull writhing in the shards, still stampeding. To my friends here at Rocky, I champion you; you’ve got here and the green grass can be seen. Do not falter or sway, do not fall victim to the bleakness here in this bleak November… I love you. I am you. Take time for yourselves because no matter how daunting it may be, the burnout won’t persist so long as we persist.

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