Students learn to identify their triggers to battle end-of-the-school-year burnout

With less than ten days left of the school year, it is common for some teahcers to cram in last-minute assignments, leaving students racing to get everything completed. This pile-up of schoolwork and the anticipation of summer has led many students to feel burnt out.

“Burnout is just when you’re so exhausted you cannot put any energy toward anything else,” Health and Wellness Counselor Missy Gomez said.

Burnout can look different among anyone, so it’s important for an individual to be able to specifically identify what triggers them.

“Not wanting to study anymore, not putting effort into studying or putting effort into assignments, not caring much about what your grade is – in the class or for an assignment,” Gomez said.

Junior Langley Esterle feels burnt out after receiving a lower-than-expected grade on her final Algebra II Honors test on May 15, 2023.

A more serious level of burnout, though, can be seen if students face a complete lack of energy and enthusiasm in their lives outside of school.

“Not having the energy to do things that you would normally want to do, whether it’s, like, after-school activities, hanging with friends,” Gomez said as identifying signals that a student is burnt out.

When students reach these levels of extreme exhaustion, they are encouraged to seek help. McNicholas students, in particular, often visit Gomez to vent or talk out their to-do lists in order to create a stress-free plan. Students can also speak to their teachers for advice on how to complete all their work in that class. Students are also encouraged to take breaks and spend time with friends doing activities they enjoy.

“The end of the school year, a lot of students think they need to cram, but really, they need to be outside doing things. They need to be hanging with friends so that they are rejuvenated for school,” Gomez said.

Students can be at various stages of burnout: they can be deep in it, not experiencing it at all, or just feeling the starting effects of it. To avoid reaching a deeper level of exhaustion, it’s important to redirect their thoughts.

“They need to do something that has nothing to do with what they are burning out from,” Gomez said.

Along with burnout, teachers are constantly reminding their students to finish off the school year strong, but many students struggle to understand how they are expected to do this when it is almost summer.

“Finishing strong doesn’t mean utilizing every single ounce of your energy towards my class, just get through it,” Gomez said.   

In order to finish off the school year strong, students need to understand their boundaries or know when enough is enough. Gomez suggested making goals each day so that it becomes easier to respect one’s limits.

“Remember you’re still teenagers, you need to have fun,” Gomez reminded McNicholas students as they face the final days of school and exams.

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