High School is an important time for every student – it is a formative process, and every decision you make can have a profound impact on the rest of your life. However, high school is also a complicated process, and there’s a multitude of different aspects to process – advanced classes, extracurricular classes, standardized tests, and more. For many students, this can become overwhelming and difficult to cope with. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but you still need to take care of your mental health. In this blog, we’ll discuss burnout and how it can affect you as a student.
WHAT IS ‘BURNOUT’?
Burnout is the occurrence during which a student becomes overwhelmed with all of the work they are facing. It is common and nothing to be too worried about – it’s easy to overcome and something that everyone will face.
Burnout is more typical when faced with an influx of work during the school year, especially during the hardest school years (junior and senior year). Stress is normal to face, but burnout is marked by overwhelming amounts of stress that make it difficult for you to face any of your problems.
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What Are The Common Signs of a High School Burnt Out?
Various signs indicate you are facing burnout:
- Lethargy or complete alienation from work, where you no longer feel a need to be productive or motivated. You may feel distanced from your work and try not to think about it at all.
- Physical signs of stress, such as overwhelming exhaustion or headaches.
- Reduced productivity when you do work prevents you from working as hard as you usually can or at a much slower pace.
- Emotional signs of stress, wherein you distance yourself from others and are less motivated when trying to work on something
WHAT CAUSES HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT BURNOUT?
As a high school student, you are faced with many tasks daily. Any of these tasks can be responsible for burnout or can cause you to feel stressed. For example, schoolwork and homework assignments can cause burnout if you feel overworked for an extended period. The additional stress caused by an exceptionally competitive environment or household can also cause you to feel burnout from extracurricular activities or studying for standardized testing. While doing all of these things at the same time can seem overwhelming (and is the primary cause of burnout), there are many ways to cope safely.
Related: Most Important Life Skills for Teens
How To Avoid A High School Burnout?
Although high school burnout is, unfortunately, a common occurrence, that doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided. Here, we’ll go over some of the steps you can take to minimize the chance you feel burnt out from the work you’ll likely be facing.
Stress Management Strategies
There are various stress management strategies you can use to cope with the stress from your school and outside work.
- Create a routine – your mind will get used to the times in which you have to work and not feel so stressed outside of these times. This will also help you get some time to relax.
- Follow an effective studying method to maximize your productivity, such as the Pomodoro technique.
- Take breaks, even for a few days, if necessary.
- Do an activity that helps destress you, such as playing a video game or exercising. Exercising, for example, has proven effectiveness at minimizing stress.
If you form positive habits as you work, it’ll be easier to cope with your stress, and you’ll be able to minimize how much stress you feel during your work. Even the simplest of habits, such as brushing your teeth in the morning, create a routine that prevents you from stressing over simple issues. If you apply the same concepts to other areas – such as working for an hour when you get home then taking an hour break for a snack – your brain will get used to the routine and feel less stressed about work-related uncertainty.
Related: 20 Tips for High School Freshmen
It’s Okay To Say No
As a motivated student, you likely want to take on every task you possibly can – leading a club (or multiple), acing your tests, preparing for the SATs and ACTs, and more. However, it’s impossible for anyone to do all of those things – you have to budget your time. It’s even better if you focus on what you actually enjoy – you’ll be more productive that way and be able to work more without feeling like you’re doing actual ‘work.’ On the other hand, you may also have to say no to things you do enjoy – just remember; you don’t have to do everything to become successful – just do what you enjoy most and what you believe best demonstrates your passion.
If you commit yourself too firmly to one goal (raising a class grade, practicing for a big test), you may forget about some of the other important things in life. However, glossing over your health and self-care can make you even more exhausted and less productive. As a result, you should do what you need to do – take breaks, take care of sanitary necessities, and work effectively but not obsessively. If you have a good work/life balance, you’ll be a much better worker and be much more attentive and analytical.
It’s Okay To Ask For Help
Work is the hardest when you have no idea what to do. This may seem obvious, but students often struggle at school work just because they have no idea where to begin. If this seems to be the case, arrange a time to talk with your teacher or a friend – they’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. Asking for help is nothing to worry about – it can be a great time saver and is a necessary step to understand a subject and communicate its nuances effectively truly.
Have a mentor
If you feel overwhelmed by everything around you, it is likely not a fault of your own. On the contrary, it’s something we’ve all been through and will likely go through again. Finding an experienced mentor that knows how to deal with stress and can guide you through the confusing puzzle that is high school is a great resource. Often, students can find mentors by finding adults or older students with similar interests. Beta Bowl is an example of a program that will connect you with one of its many mentors for individual advice, feedback, and support as you learn and master a business-building skill set.
For further help and advice check out the Beta Bowl website.
While burnout is a common occurrence, it isn’t something you should fear. Burnout is easy to fix and something that only takes a few lifestyle changes to prevent entirely. Luckily, the same changes that prevent burnout will improve your overall quality of life – if you make positive habits and lower stress in your life, you will be a more effective and productive worker. If you ever feel the symptoms of burnout, just take a step back and relax – that’s often all you need. Burnout is a temporary state of mind and one that you can easily move past if you just put your mind to it.