Burnout All Over – How are students feeling as we near finals week?


Muniratu Shaibu

As school comes to a close, almost everybody is feeling exhausted and burnout. It has been especially bad this year, with students in all grades feeling the stress. “Honestly, school’s just a b*tch,” Nasteho Abdi, a student at South said.

Muniratu Shaibu, Staff Writer

The end of another school year is right around the corner, but students and even teachers seem to be giving out. Each quarter has a quite a consistent pattern, but the fourth quarter always seems to hit us all a bit differently. With all of us at the brink of summer after 8 months of schooling, many students yearn for the 3-month vacation that awaits. It only makes it harder to stay focused or ‘locked in’ on school as we near the finish line. Especially considering the fact that after Spring Break, the only off days that were given were for Eid-al-Fitr and Memorial Day only, increasing chances of burnout. 

As a sophomore myself, I can say there’s a noticeable difference between my workload from freshman year as compared to sophomore year. I can only imagine the workload of the juniors or the ‘senioritis’ among those graduating. Nasriina Abdo, a junior at South, speaks on how difficult this past year was for her. “Junior year was genuinely traumatizing, and I can’t wait to take a vacation from all these work loads,” she said. She also adds a bit of a message to underclassmen, “Being a junior comes with a lot of responsibilities and to be quite honest, this is the year to get your act together or lose it.” As a sophomore I take one AP class, had seven classes during my first semester, and multiple extracurriculars, it gets difficult to juggle everything. With that being said, procrastination can just become easier and the raw feelings can’t be held back sometimes. “Honestly, school’s just a b*tch,” Abdi mentions, keeping things very real.  

Throughout the year, sports come into the picture, making student athletes prone to burnout. Abreham Tekele, a sophomore who’s part of a soccer club, speaks on this experience himself. “I come back from sports around 8 pm, tired and exhausted, but then remember I have assignments and now I have to stay up,” he said. “It’s decision fatigue,” as Naihomi Reyes, an Open English 10 and AP Lang teacher calls it. “Sophomore year is fun and easy ‘till you decide to take a one or two day break and work piles up,” Abdi, recalls on this past year. Even though one could stay on top of their classes for an extended period of time, there’s no actual break or rest. Teacher or student, there’s always work to be done or be graded. 

“You have to recognize that they’re tired, and it’s because we ask a lot of them,” Reyes says. Teachers have much of an impact on their student’s school life and it’s important they take what they ask of us into consideration. I think a lot of time teachers are stuck between sticking with a curriculum or easing off of that for the sake of their students. However, “You can’t do everything, because when you try to, nothing gets done,” Reyes also adds. This goes to show how important it is we take baby steps, despite the pressure on our shoulders. 

Though many are feeling quite hopeless or don’t see the point in putting effort at some point, there are some words of encouragement to be shared by other students. A lot of times, the problem is a lack of time management and organization. Mubashir Mohmmud, another sophomore at South, goes into a bit more detail about how a disorganization can be a setback. “Because of my lack of organization, work stacks up at the end of every quarter,” he said. Even as someone who aspires to stay organized throughout each quarter, the workload towards the end is almost inevitable. “As much as I delay doing so, it does actually help to use the class time you’re given,” Mubashir carried on. After all, I’d have to agree that even with the workload, we are given time to complete that work, it’s up to us to “use that time wisely,” as Abreham adds. 

Reyes speaks on how as a teacher herself, she experiences burnout and can use work days to her own benefit too. “I try to give a ‘Flex Friday’ to try to give some room in the week,” which is essentially a workday. Alongside that, there are many other things we can do to address and combat burnout among students, staff, and teachers. Reyes adds to this by mentioning how back in the 2020 school year, though we were online, there were a few things on that schedule we can implement now. These changes include, “changing the schedule to having office hours as many students need to check-in, or Wednesday work day.” Having time within our schedule to come to our teachers one on one would allow students to actually receive direct help from their teachers and maybe even dispel the feeling of isolation when students feel burnout.