Burnout Fest

Burnout Fest

Camila Gutierrez, Media Manager

The race started in August. You felt ready; eager even. As the mile goes on, the first two laps are easy, but it’s the last two that get you. Your legs feel heavy and you’re just not sure if you can keep running. You want to walk, crawl even, but you did excellent the first two laps! It just feels like you’d disappoint yourself if you change your pace—like you’d dispose of a previous you’s effort. Deeming their labor worthless. Making that motivated version of you lose the race. 

This story is not about running a mile.

We are on the last two laps, aka second semester. 

Recently, there’s been a surge in feeling “semester two burnout.” With now just over one month away from summer break, how can there not be? 

But it seems as though every obstacle under the sun is being thrown at students: workload, semester two sports, and no time to recover from brain-fry. 

Throughout these past few months, life has been hectic for students, with CMAS for the middle schoolers, and the Psat looking down upon the high schoolers. Spring sports events. Through these very time taking times it feels like all the work in the world is just piling up pushing students into assignment debt; lowering their grades. 

Who can we turn to though? Teachers—

Yeah, they’re burnt out too. Underpaid, underappreciated, and overwhelmed. Their weekday memories are filled by the loud minority of students who agonize them. Too often, it feels like the student ratio in PSD schools is 1 teacher to 32 students. Students can only imagine what it would be like to have a lot more aid with smaller class sizes. 

If only we had more time.

You know, since the majority of high school students have been forced into the middle school schedule. Forcing them to juggle eight classes each semester, which leads to a suffocating afternoon of homework. And an asphyxiating finals week.

I think part of the deal is the fact that as students and teachers, we don’t have any control over our schedules from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. This topples into a domino effect of, bedtime procrastination for many students, in which they stay up late on a school night due to the agonizing predictability of their schedules. We stay up late, wake up early, get through seven hours of school on less than adequate sleep.

We can’t keep up with the lessons because we’re tired, the work topples on, and we get stuck in a constant cycle of burnout and procrastination. Worsened if we dare pursue interests like sports or clubs.  We flame to a point where our weekends are no longer a day of rest, but days off with a slim potential of catching up, trying to keep our heads above the water. 

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

At least we’re changing to the hybrid model next year, so we can focus more on our mental health with only three to four classes to juggle. “Plus,” high school English teacher Halboth added, “switching classes halfway through the year may give you a change of pace and setting that can help with that April burn-out, too! You’re not doing the same thing all year.”

End of the race 

There’s now one lap left in the race. And you changed pace, but you know it’s okay because, at the end of the day, you did your best even if all the odds were against you.