Student burnout is a real thing

Are AP classes worth the stress?


Maria Torres, Reporter

Picture this, you’re a 16-year-old student that goes to Enochs High School; you’re in all Advanced Placement classes, you play sports after school and you have a job.

You wake up at 6 in the morning and get ready then leave for school at 7, you have six classes to go to, four of your AP classes; you get assigned 100 terms, and you have to read a book and answer questions for your English class which is due in a week.

Next, you have history – you get assigned terms for 3 chapters along with study questions. Chapter 6 you have 18 terms, Chapter 7 you have 24 terms, Chapter 8 you have 14 terms, along with 6 short answer questions that you have to answer with at least a 1 to 2 paragraph response. 

You then go to science; you get assigned a project that’s due within the next two days. After that, you go to Math, where you learn a new lesson every day and get assigned three to four pages of math homework for the night that’s due the next time you walk through the door. 

After your four main classes, you go to your two electives which you may or may not have homework in. It’s now 2:06, and you have to go straight to work a four and a half-hour work shift just so you can get off at 6:30 and go straight to soccer practice – where you won’t get done and home until 8:40.

You then have to stay up late and make sure all your homework is done and ready to be turned in; you also have to find time to eat, do chores, and take care of any other responsibilities you may have. 

This is an example of student burnout. There are two types of burnout, self-internal and locus of control, or in other words, external burnout. Self-internal is the most common type of burnout that students tend to get. This is where you bite off more than you can chew, and you feel that you have to be the best at everything you do.

If you aren’t, it feels like you’ve failed.

Students who have self-internal burnout usually tend to take on so many things that they never really have time to relax – just like the schedule that the student had in the example above. They may also tend to feel that if they don’t accomplish all these amazing things, then they aren’t an amazing person and their parents have nothing to be proud of.

When talking to the school counselor Greg Shannon, he said, “I would say I see about 25 freshmen in the beginning of the first semester who have burnout, usually it’s because they are coming from middle school and taking all of these honors classes and bit off more than they can chew.”

Shannon also says that most of the time when students go to him and they are burnt out, they usually are taking AP classes, have good grades, and do extracurricular activities. They just overwhelm themselves with all of these activities because of the mindset they have. 

When talking to school psychologist Monique Pettis about solutions to help with self burnout, she said the best way to help with self internal burnout is to make sure you take thirty minutes a day at least to relax and clear your mind or doing something you enjoy. For example, going on a walk, doing yoga, or listening to music. 

When asking if students talking to other students about what their feeling would help them get out of being burned out, she said, “Oh I most definitely believe students being able to talk to other students who feel the same way or are going through the same thing would help them a lot.

“I think it’s a mix of things. I think students should talk to other students who are going through the same thing, but I also think they should talk to someone with an unbiased point of view on their own.” 

One solution to help put this into action is if enough people who feel this way are willing to talk to someone and get the help needed.

Enochs can start a club in January to meet once a week and sit down with the guidance of Pettis. We can talk about how we’re feeling and what we’re going through; Pettis would be able to guide us towards a path that would not only help students come out from being burnt out, but also help prevent students from getting burnt out moving forward.