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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

School burnout is dragging teens down

As the semester is coming to a close, students are starting to feel the effects of overworking themselves with homework and other activities.
The+burnout+faced+by+students+is+the+biggest+reason+why+the+breaks+taken+throughout+the+school+year+feel+incredibly+rewarding+and+motivate+them+to+keep+pushing+themselves.
THE MIRROR | VAL ARIAS
The burnout faced by students is the biggest reason why the breaks taken throughout the school year feel incredibly rewarding and motivate them to keep pushing themselves.

Balancing extracurriculars, academics and social lives, among many other aspects, can be a struggle for many high school students.

Even as the first semester of the 2023-24 school year is coming to a close, students are continuing to procrastinate on their school work. They are feeling more behind than ever, struggling to bring their grades up before the 20-week report card. 

This is greatly due to the stress associated with classwork and homework being assigned on top of all other activities that students are juggling so that they can continue with higher education. 

In comparison to other countries studied, like the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Japan, the US comes in first in terms of stress levels observed in students, with 67 percent of them reporting being stressed. 

These stress levels are mostly caused by their school workload. 

This is why Thanksgiving break seemed to be the perfect opportunity for students to recharge and get ready for the final three weeks before the semester is over. According to junior Renisha Patel, this break has been helpful. 

Patel feels that the break strengthened her motivation to do homework and is seeing the effects on her academics. 

“With six AP classes this year, I get home late only to do homework until I fall asleep,” she said. “The break really helped my motivation and it helped me catch up with work.”

However, there are still many stressors present on top of the rigorous classes, especially for seniors who have to worry about their college applications.

Senior Kyrillos Mina feels that with college applications, extracurriculars and homework piling up, it has become increasingly difficult to stay on top of the workload.

“I feel extremely overwhelmed primarily because of the college application process,” Mina said. “It seems as if every time we finish something, there seems to be a million more things to do.”

This sentiment is felt by the majority of students including those who chose to take rigorous classes.

Many students take AP and college-level courses because they believe that to be able to fulfill their college goals, they need to be challenged. Mina shares that his choice of rigorous classes is due to the aspiration of going to college to get a bachelor’s degree. 

“I chose these particularly rigorous classes because of the narrative regarding college applications,” Mina says. “I was always taught that more APs means better colleges.”

This is the case with numerous students.

In hopes of fulfilling their college journey goals, they are expected to excel in multiple subjects simultaneously, often at the expense of burning out. 

The pressure to maintain high grades and compete for college admissions adds additional pressure to students further adding to already present stressors. 

Patel feels the same way. Due to her high ambitions for a competitive career and major, she feels the need to challenge herself to get the best possible outcome after high school. 

“With my high ambitions, it is important for me to challenge myself with courses aligned to my interests because the medical field is very competitive,” Patel said. 

With the aspiration of ending the year strong, students continue to challenge themselves in hopes of living their college dream. 

The stressors are taking a toll on students; however, with another break ahead, students are looking to get past finals to take the well-earned break. 

“Only three more weeks to go,” Mina said. “Being on break showed me how much fun I could have if I feel good about my school progress, which is what I’m aiming for.”

The abridged version of this article appeared in the Fall 2023 print edition. This is an uncut version.

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About the Contributor
Skylie Molina, Staff
From catching a wave alongside a dolphin to studying for the next exam, my days are packed with a little bit of everything. I am a junior in my first year of journalism. Passionate about conservation and climate change, I am the founder and president of the VNHS Environmental Club. Involved in many other activities, I am a 3rd year varsity cheerleader, and found love for surfing. Outside of school, you can find me reading, spending time with friends or family, or doing math homework, and listening to some pop music.
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