Satire: Office of Campus Life issues statement on burnout

'We ask that students be mindful of the burden they place on the administration when they engage in the 'burnout' lifestyle'

 Satire: Office of Campus Life issues statement on burnout

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

On Nov. 11, the American University administration issued a statement regarding “burnout.” Burnout, or the feeling of energy depletion and exhaustion, tends to hit hard toward the end of the semester. Over the course of the pandemic, conversations about burnout have only increased.

The Office of Campus Life addressed the concerns of an increasingly burnt-out student body in a lengthy email: 

Dear Students,

As we begin the new semester, we would like to share with you some reflections about burnout, particularly regarding online learning and the hybrid model. 

Over the past semester, many students have expressed concerns regarding feelings of emotional depletion and exhaustion. Additionally, members of our administration have noted multiple incidents of students sleeping in unusual places. One faculty member found a student asleep in a bathroom stall, equipped with a complete sheet set and comforter. Another staff member found a student taking a “power nap” in the Terrace Dining Room, using a modest set of meatless meatballs as a pillow. Further, there have been multiple reports of students sleeping during class, claiming that “class is the only time they get a break from homework.” We take these incidents very seriously. Preventing burnout is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of our students. 

Over 20,000 students have reported feelings of burnout to the Office of Campus Life. Given the total count of undergraduates at the University, these numbers indicate that some students must be reporting twice. It is also possible that students who report burnout to the administration are so burnt out that they forget they did so, and perhaps report their condition another two, three or even four more times. 

To gain a better sense of the degree to which burnout is affecting our student population, we’ve looked at the data provided by the various health organizations, ranging from the World Health Organization to the American University Health Center. 

  • Around 98 percent of students are lying about experiencing burnout.
  • 1 in every 850,000,000 incidents of burnout are self-inflicted and unpreventable. 
  • Only 90 percent of students say burnout inhibits their academic performance.
  • .001 percent of psychologists believe burnout is not real.

As the data demonstrates, the burnout epidemic on our campus has been grossly exaggerated by our student body. We ask that students be mindful of the burden they place on the administration when they engage in the “burnout” lifestyle. We also ask you to recognize the effect of strange sleeping habits on the faculty that discover you submerged in meaty pasta sauce or entangled in a fitted sheet. 

To be honest, this whole “burnout” thing really makes us look bad. Let’s all work together to ensure that burnout is no longer experienced — or better yet, no longer reported — on our campus. 


The Office of Campus Life

Nora Sullivan is a junior in the School of International Service and a satire columnist at The Eagle. 

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