Experiencing Burnout in High School

Many students experience the serious issue of burnout, as the overwhelming amount of work they experience from balancing school and jobs or extracurriculars. The work built up from priorities students need to do often yields few feelings of success and accomplishment, resulting in the detrimental effect of burnout.

Photo by Brooke O’Flaherty
Burnout is an issue many students experience from overwhelming amounts of work.

The lives of millions are affected by mental illnesses; it meddles with people’s understanding of others and the ability to function. It interferes with performance in school, work, and social interaction; these effects can be temporary or long-lasting. The rate of youth experiencing a mental health condition continues to increase in the United States: one in five youth aged from thirteen to eighteen contract a severe mental disorder during their lifetime. Burnout, a state of extreme emotional physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress, is thus becoming more common at younger ages. It leaves many feeling helpless and hopeless.

Senior Nicolette Norico explains some of the social factors that weigh on youth and stimulate self-deprecation.

“Some of the big signs in kids and teens of mental disorders is social detachment. Kids tend to isolate themselves in fear of being ‘too weird’ or ‘too sad’ or ‘too awkward’ when in reality that is not the case. Noticing small differences in children could help spot disorders earlier on and get them the help they need before it’s too late. People need someone to be there for them,” said Norico.

Mental disorders develop from two aspects: nature and nurture. Environments, circumstances, and upbringing of someone heavily contribute to the susceptibility to a disorder as much as biological factors do. Since these illnesses are psychological rather than physical, they are often viewed as less important or deriving from laziness.

Senior Abigail Jones addresses the importance of mental health awareness.

“If someone is battling a mental health issue, knowing that there are resources available can be extremely helpful and increased awareness helps to break down stigmas around mental health. Just knowing that someone cares enough to ask can sometimes be helpful. I think the notion that mental health is just as important as physical health has begun to be recognized but could be more widely known,” said Jones. “All things considered, I think it’s important to keep learning and listening when it comes to mental health.”

As the stress accumulates, one’s motivation and interest decline. With time, all of the negative effects of burnout will impact all areas of life, causing long-term changes to one’s physical and mental state.