The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students, faculty are burned out from work

Southeast students Duc Tran and Tai Pham resting in the hallways of SE. (Shot by Alex Hoben)

Stress, fatigue beginning to pile up

Austin Folkertsma
campus editor

One in four students said their depression increased due to the pandemic, according to the mental health awareness nonprofit organization Active Minds.

This is NE student Ariana McKinney’s first semester of college, and she’s already feeling burnt out.

“I feel mentally exhausted,” she said. “In a college course, there is a lot more information that you have to obtain in a shorter amount of time, and there are some of the same aspects that community college and high school share, but it’s definitely a lot more work.”

NE student Emely Rivera said it’s also her first semester in college, and she feels tired but overall OK.

“I feel like the transition from high school to college is so different because, in college, it’s on you if you want to pass or not because you’re paying for the class and the professors are getting paid regardless, whereas, in high school, I feel like you don’t have to try so hard because you don’t pay for the coursework,” she said.

NE associate professor of English Rebecca Balcarcel said she feels tired because there are a lot of extra things that she worries about and things to do because of COVID.

“I love seeing students and I love teaching, but I’m finding myself feeling tired, needing more sleep and trying to find more ways to stay positive because there’s a lot to feel worried and scared about,” she said. “I try to talk to my colleagues, and we support each other, share stories and find out what’s working for us, and the students help me by bringing their energy, and that just adds to my energy.”

She said she was excited to be back, but she was liking her new routine. She didn’t have to commute and felt more creative online.

“In terms of burning out, especially toward the end of the semester, it really goes two ways depending on the student,” NE student Sean McDonald said. “Some students, they get in that hyper-focused state, like, ‘We’re right at the end, let’s just do this last push and get it done,’ and other students are just like looking back on the semester thinking ‘What did I do with my time?’”

He said because of COVID, he took time off from school, but coming back into this environment, he feels like he hit a brick wall because not only was he having to deal with coming back after being gone for so long, but also figuring out Canvas. 

He said he feels like TCC didn’t do a very good job in transitioning students from Blackboard to Canvas, and it was more of a “figure this out on your own” type of situation.

“I retired from the Navy, and I had a lot of baby-time, so coming back into an environment where I got to see a lot of adults was really nice, so I was really excited to be back in school,” NE student employee Arely Martinez Romero said.

She said about the second month into the semester, it was really hard for her, and she was feeling really stressed out from the school work and studying all the time.

“I suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression, but being a student worker, it’s really helped me feel proud of what I do and interacting with other students has really been a great experience for me,” she said. “The more people know that they aren’t alone, the better,”   

She said she wants students to know that if a single mom that suffers from PTSD, anxiety and depression is doing it, then they can do it too.

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