Did you see all the assignments we have? Have you finished the project? Did you hear we have a test next week? These questions are constantly floating around our school. Student burnout is starting to become more prominent as we have begun diving into the second semester. Being a junior in highschool, I am constantly  feeling burnout. With the excessive workload and the high academic pressure we put on ourselves, many students are leading into the negative cycle of  burnout. 

One of the major factors that contribute to student burnout is an excessive workload. Having too much work can have negative implications on a student’s mental health. A large workload adds unnecessary stress, limits students’ social life and can limit students’ time for leisure. Another factor of burnout that can come from an excessive workload is lack of sleep. It is estimated that fewer than one in four high school students get up to eight hours of sleep. When teachers assign excessive amounts of work, it causes students even more stress as they struggle to meet their deadlines. As a student who has a rigorous class schedule, in arguably the most difficult year of high school, I relate to having an excessive workload. For students who have a demanding schedule such as mine, it can be difficult to keep up with the workload from all of the honors and AP classes we are taking. When the workload begins to be excessive, it causes a lot of students to begin to shut down and become burnt out. As we are getting into the second semester, it is becoming apparent that students are beginning to feel burnt out from the significant workload. 

It is especially prominent at our school that students have unrealistic expectations of themselves academically. It is one thing to want to do well on a test, but being extremely disappointed with a single low grade is outlandish. One of the main factors of student burnout is the immense pressure students put on themselves to perform at an unrealistic academic level. There have been countless times in which I have not received the exact grade I wanted on a quiz or a test and I beat myself up for it. This causes me to feel overwhelmed and overwork myself. Feeling this much pressure can also lead to students developing bad nervous habits such as not eating enough or just always feeling anxious. There was a study done that came to the conclusion that a whopping 75% of highschool students always feel anxious or stressed. All the pressure highschool students put on themselves to perform at such a high level academically takes a toll on their mental health. This constant feeling of pressure  leads to students being burnt out and not being able to function as well in school. 

A large amount of people like to argue that because high schoolers are so young, they do not really understand what it feels like to be burnt out. We are told that there is nothing for us to stress about and that our lives are easy. However, school has become more challenging over the years and the expectation that students have to get into colleges has skyrocketed. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and burnout due to the excessive workload we have and the pressure put on us. 

Student burnout is a common issue that needs to be addressed. When students have an excessive workload and unrealistic expectations of themselves, it is hard for them to stay grounded. It is important for adults to understand how students are feeling and how they can help them become less overwhelmed. It is important for students to learn how to take a step back and take care of themselves to avoid burnout.