Burnout becomes increasingly prevalent in the lives of adults and teenagers

Illustration+by+Laura+Rico-Zarate
Back to Article
Back to Article

Burnout becomes increasingly prevalent in the lives of adults and teenagers

Illustration by Laura Rico-Zarate

Illustration by Laura Rico-Zarate

Photo by Laura Rico-Zarate

Illustration by Laura Rico-Zarate

Photo by Laura Rico-Zarate

Photo by Laura Rico-Zarate

Illustration by Laura Rico-Zarate

Story by Josette Rivera, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






   Life for a teenager is often stressful, hectic and tiring; when a student manages to keep their life together, peers look onto them as models to follow. However, when it comes to balancing difficult classes and material, social life, extracurricular activities, outside commitments and perhaps a job, burnout can be a heavy sacrifice that many high schoolers make in order to stay on top of things.

   “My burnout is procrastination. I wait to do things until I have to, and then it becomes a chore,” Adrian Kristan (12) said.

   A full schedule isn’t the sole cause for this condition, however, as poor time management, an anxiety disorder or a “high-achieving” personality are all cases that can lead to burnout.  In simple terms, burnout is a negative reaction to high levels of chronic stress over a period of time that can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a loss feeling of achievement. Although burnout is rarely spoken of or addressed, it is a critical issue in today’s youth. A study done by Ohio University showed that 31 percent of teenagers in the United States reported feeling overwhelmed, 23 percent skipped a meal due to stress and 36 percent reported feeling exhaustion.

   It’s common for someone experiencing burnout to skip a meal, keep from sleeping or forego time spent with friends in order to create more room for work. These occurrences aren’t commendable and are unhealthy, but peers often admire the student’s apparent “strength” to push through the pain and remain afloat. A lot of parents also often compare their children to someone else’s as a means to encourage them and motivate them to push through, further increasing those bad habits.  Students who are pushed to achieve too high of an expectation set by social expectations, people in their lives or by themselves can suffer harsh consequences in their health and performance.

   “Academic professions run in my family; both my parents and grandparents are teachers, and I’m expected to succeed. When you stick your nose to the grindstone and don’t pay attention to your health, everything may seem irrelevant and you just want to give up,” Kristan said.

While hard work and persistence are honorable qualities to have, there is a limit on how far one can go before they have to slow down. Anything that leads to one’s own deterioration should be treated properly and discouraged. Burnout is an awful experience to undergo; it is not admirable and should not be strived towards. Time management is an important skill to possess: a schedule should be set to spread work out evenly. It is vital to remember that sleep is also important; if more time is needed to spend on work, students should try sleeping first, and then set an early alarm to get a head start on the day. Don’t forget meals: dehydration and hunger can lower performance quality, awareness and stamina; keep water and a snack on hand.  It is key to put health ahead of work, because without a strong mind and body, quality cannot be reached.

   “Students should take breaks during work, making sure that you don’t stay on task for too long so that you can think properly,” Emily Eames (10) said.