Burnout & What That Means For Us


Everyone is different. That’s what makes us human. Our humanity is composed of our individuality, our interests, our flaws. Imperfection is intrinsically tied to what makes us us. 

It’s natural to struggle, of course, but for most people, that struggle has been taken to a different level. Being a student in 2022 is difficult in ways older generations can have difficulty comprehending. We were the first generation to be raised in a world where everything is instantaneous. Immediate gratification is something we’ve been spoon-fed since we were young. In a world where everything is moving, constantly, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and fall behind- I don’t think people were built to be stretched to their limits like this.

As students, we experience the world’s motion at full tilt. Eight classes a day, five days a week can pile up faster than a lot of people realize. Depending on the difficulty and college application of the class, some students may be taking core college classes on top of high school classes with only brief breaks, and we’re doing this un-or-under-paid, with little schedule freedom.

That doesn’t even begin to cover extracurriculars. It’s a lot.

Despite everything, we push through, but that doesn’t make it easy. Burnout, the feeling of exhaustion to an absolute limit, is depressingly common, with 76% of Americans reporting their experiences with it. Most days, it’s difficult to get out of bed.

That begs the question: what can you do?

One of the most important things to remember is that it’s okay to take time for yourself. Expectations may be high, but they don’t hold greater value than your energy and your mental health. Make a cup of tea, or watch a movie when you’re stressed. Distractions and simple comforts are at very least a good regulator. Give yourself time to breathe.

That also includes taking mental health days. Despite the stigma around them, having a day where you’re able to breathe is incredibly important; it gives your brain time to rest and your body time to manage its fatigue. Though we only have a certain amount of excuse days a year, being stressed to the point of needing to take a day off, in my opinion, carries the same weight as if you were physically sick.

Celebrities perpetuate a hustler mindset- give 100% every day, never stop moving, never stop working for whatever you’re working for. The endorsement of well-known (and well-paid) figures, however, doesn’t make the sentiment any healthier. Giving 110% every single day will eventually lead to a crash, whether voluntary or not. If you have a day where you can only give, say, 30%, all that means is that you’re human.

If you can, plan ahead, so you don’t have to do everything in one night. Staying up until 1 to work on a project due the next day is the worst feeling. It’s not always possible, but when it is, schedule your time so you have opportunities for breaks. There’s no use in trying to complete every task at once.

Make sure you’re eating enough. Give yourself a day to rest. If you’re comfortable, talk to a teacher of yours if you’re falling behind. They’re people, too, and most will be able to sympathize. We only have three months left.

It’s going to be okay.