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Avoiding burnout amid final season

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APRIL 26, 2023

With finals just around the corner, UC Berkeley students and organizations offer tips on how to destress and events to help the campus community avoid mental burnout.

Student registered organizations such as the Muslim Mental Health Initiative, or MMHI, planned several events this week. Communications Director Rameesha Muhammad said MMHI offers community Ummah talks to students to discuss mental wellbeing and social media. Led by Muslim-identifying therapists, the Ummah talks cover a wide range of mental health concerns, she added.

Muhammad noted MMHI will also host a wellness party during Reading, Review and Recitation, or RRR, week for students to gather to destress and enjoy some good food. The event takes place every semester during the same week, according to Muhammad, and sometimes features a guest speaker. Students that attend the wellness party leave with goody bags filled with knick-knacks aimed to help them destress.

“At Cal specifically, students are very goal oriented and driven, and while that is a good thing, it can become harmful if it goes unchecked,” Muhammad said. “We see that a lot with students in terms of burnout, or in terms of just being so overwhelmed with the general culture here.”

Additionally, the ASUC Mental Health Commission organized a Llamapalooza event on Tuesday, bringing llamas to Memorial Glade to help students decrease their stress levels.

At the event, several students shared how events and other practices help combat stress during finals season.

“RRR week is integral to me not absolutely burning out,” said Tulsi Fernandez, a campus psychology major. “Mental health week is such a comfort because everyone’s in the same place. When we’re gathering for events like this and workshops that different campus partners are hosting, it’s a nice way to find community in your distress and also at least partially sustain yourself.”

The ASUC’s Student Union Program, Entertainment and Recreation Board, or SUPERB, is hosting SUPERB LAND on the campus glade this Friday at 5 p.m., an event that will feature many carnival activities and games.

Alex Silva, a campus civil engineering major, said he likes attending events hosted by the Engineering Student Services, such as their tote bag decoration nights.

Silva said he tries to prioritize his mental health on a regular basis by ending his studies by 10 p.m. and leaving his remaining work for the following day.

“A lot of people here need to give themselves a break,” Silva said. “Because Berkeley is prestigious, everyone wants to be the best, and it’s okay to not be the best. Be happy with what you did, don’t be mad at yourself for what you could have done. I think a lot of people need to realize that here.”

Campus English major Chelsea Bustos said, although she enjoys events like Llamapalooza, they are not sufficient in addressing mental health. Bustos added that she finds it challenging at times to prioritize her own mental health over her academic commitments.

Bustos also noted mental health should be a year-round priority for the campus community, not just during RRR week, adding that once students leave organized events, they are stressed again.

“What’s funny is that we’re using these llamas to help us with our mental health, but I don’t think it should just be like ‘okay, we know RRR week is stressful for you guys so we’re gonna give you llamas,’ ” Bustos said. “I don’t think it should just be during that time — it should be throughout the whole semester.”

Contact Madison Creekbaum at 


APRIL 26, 2023