Academic burnout

The daily struggle of students across the world


Makenzie Paul, Staff Writer

Students always have something to look forward to in their academic careers, whether it is elementary students looking to attend middle school, or middle schoolers looking forward to high school. Yet, what happens when the next step means applying to college?  According to Psychology Today, “burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress.” Academic burnout is something that most students will go through during their high school years. Freshman Abhinaya Rangarajin commented on when she thinks burnout occurs most often.

“It definitely happens [in] junior year,” Rangarajin said. “Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress around the 3rd quarter, like during the SAT and AP exams.” 

Junior Natalie Rayce can agree with this statement. Being in her 3rd quarter of junior year right now, Rayce gave good insight into how she is feeling during the peak of her academic career. 

“We’ve been doing it for a long time, but the end isn’t in sight yet,” said Rayce.

Stress and overworking are the leading causes of academic burnout among high school students. Sports in and out of school can factor into these stresses. Senior Jack Crandall not only plays tennis for the school, but is also involved in many extracurricular activities. 

“During tennis season, my sport was definitely causing the most stress in my life,” Crandall said. “Now that my season is over, school is definitely weighing me down more. I feel a lot of pressure to keep my grades up for college. My stress also comes from all the clubs and extracurriculars I’m involved in. I have a lot to keep up with on top of my schoolwork.” 

Stress levels in the middle of the school year are some of the highest among high school students. AP tests, SAT, PSAT, and next year’s course scheduling all factor into the everyday stresses that students go through. Some students were asked what their everyday stress level was on a scale of 1-10.

“Depending on the day, I could say like a seven or an eight,” sophomore Brice Boggan said.

Many other students interviewed also said around seven to eight. The fact that all four grades have similar daily stress-levels is compelling. Crandall has taken eight AP classes throughout his high school career.

“Apush, AP Gov, AP Lang, AP Micro, AP Macro, AP Spanish, AP Lit, and AP Calc AB,” Crandall stated.

So how does a senior that has taken a substantial amount of AP classes have a similar daily stress level of freshman in regular classes? Mental health professionals believe that  everyone processes their stress differently and in their own unique way. Whether you’re a freshman involved in many different sports, or a senior in multiple AP classes, stress and academic burnout is eventually inevitable.