We’ve all experienced them. The slight feeling of dread creeping up from behind you, the nervous pitter-patter in your stomach that comes with the thought of the upcoming work week. Officially, the term is referred to as the “Sunday Scaries:” “feelings of anxiety or dread that happen the day before heading back to work.” These feelings often are associated with burnout and can stem from an unhealthy work-life balance.
As Cornell students, it’s easy to get lost in the work hard, play hard mindset. Throughout the weekday, many students can be found across campus grinding over piles of assignments and studying for prelims, whether it be in their dorms, the various libraries available to students or outside if the weather is just right. Conversations are filled with complaints about problem sets and essays to write and the never-ending feeling of anxiety from deadlines. Then all of the sudden, the weekend comes around and students let loose from all school-related stress and party like there’s no tomorrow. Friday and Saturday are dedicated to questionable decisions and nasty hangovers, then Sunday rolls around, leading to the Sunday Scaries, and thus the cycle begins again.
This mindset may work for some, but for others, it can get extremely draining. We have officially passed the mid-semester point, meaning that students are experiencing burnout from the constant cycle of working and partying. It can be difficult to break yourself from this cycle because it is deeply ingrained in Cornell culture. Living in Ithaca, it can be difficult to find and access other weekend activities to do other than going out to parties, especially for students without access to cars or other methods of transportation. For those looking to break this cycle, it is important, especially at this point of the semester, to look for other stress-relieving methods that positively contribute to emotional and physical wellbeing.
Personally, I have been especially feeling the effects of burnout over the past couple of weeks. It’s a different type of burnout compared to what I have experienced in the past; coming into college, I did not realize that students are immersed in school all day. For those who live on campus, there is no separation between our school and personal lives. After attending classes all day, students head to their study spots on campus to finish their assignments. In high school, there was a physical distance between the places we worked and rested. Students in high school leave campus after the school day is over and are allowed to recharge in places they felt safe in. However, on a college campus, it can be difficult to do so if there is a lack of distinction between these spaces. While partying may be a good stress reliever for some, it could be the opposite for others.
During these times, I encourage you to find a spot on campus that is there purely for you to escape to, whether that be in your dorm or a quiet bench by the Slope. It’s important to prioritize your well-being, especially when school can be extremely stressful. This distinction between your spaces, whether it be for your academics or for your personal time, is one that must be clearly marked. According to Forbes, once you separate your work and personal life, your overall quality of life improves because stress levels will start to decrease. The boundaries you set are the ones that will eventually wish the Sunday Scaries away.
Adin Choung is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. She can be reached at [email protected]. A Dinner is Served runs every other Thursday this semester.