Burnt Out on the Brashier Treadmill

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Alia

As the assignments, extracurriculars, applications, planning, and much more begin to occupy students' time, Brashier students are enduring the burnout and are attempting to make it through the last semester (Photo courtesy of Alia Abbas).

Burning out is not the New Year’s resolution many have in mind. Compared to the wishful thinking of a consistent daily grind in the gym and burning calories, which by the way is usually ephemeral every new year. Many teenagers at Brashier have found themselves falling off the academic treadmill, burning grades and motivation with them. 

After the much needed two-week winter break, some students embarked on the new semester with passion and a new hard-working mindset. The fuse cuts short, and by the middle of the first week, back some students already experience burn out. How is that possible? How was I so motivated at first and now I’m falling through the infinite hole of despair? Why is it so hard to be like the Ivy League students who seem to be on top of their game all the time?

First of all, what is burnout? Burnout is an emotional, physical, and mental state of exhaustion caused by excess and prolonged stress that nags you over time. Burnout side effects include emotional drainage, feeling overwhelmed, and overthinking. As the stress and anxiety build-up, we fall short of meeting the constant demands of life. It can spill over to all the different areas and roles you play in life. For example, if you fall behind on tedious homework assignments at school today, by the end of the week you feel like a failure in your class, a disappointment to your family, an inferior employee, or an unsuccessful player. No sugarcoating, this is a contagious and unhealthy “disease” that is common among everyone. It can also cause physical changes to your body that make you increasingly more vulnerable to falling ill. There are three main signs of burnout: physical, emotional, and behavioral. 

“When you hit a wall and you can’t push through it because it’s completely psychological is what burnout is to me. I have a lot of fatigue, my eyes feel tired, and I can’t focus. Everything apart from the first week of the semester is burnout for me. It’s difficult to stay motivated in education,  because we’re just chasing grades and it’s just facilitated toward our ability to achieve high grades, and at this point, it’s not even about the knowledge we are gaining from these high or low grades,” said senior Daniel Kisler. “I just sort of step back from my work and recollect myself, and mostly watch productive YouTube videos for a very short break,” added Kisler. 

There has been a new trend and popular demand for content covering the vast amounts of mental productivity or successful habits over the past decade. As your emotional motivation degrades one of the consequences is that it can have an impact on many other things, and what many creatives and self-help and health influencers have been contributing to driving a new industry to help people dealing with burnout. From detailed and interesting explanations for sharing new ideas and original content, these creators always have a way to possibly help you decrease your burnout.

“Hard work pays off in the end, but the exhaustion in the middle of the beginning to the end is hard. I usually go to the art room to paint or the nurse’s office to be enlightened by the nurse’s wise words and distressing fuses, and sometimes I go to Shady Shuler’s room too, amen. Besides school work that can stack up easily, I work at Harris Teeter on Augusta Road, for about an average of 22 hours a week. I have an internship at the Greenville Memorial Hospital,  now known as Prisma Health. I work in the ICU units with nurses and other staff members to distribute check-in wristbands and do paperwork. I also assist in the operating room with procedural tasks and other emergency departments. I feel like there isn’t anything significant that motivates me to come to this school, other than the fact that I want to go into medicine and be able to do what I love at the same time,” said junior Gavynn Grant.

Passion is usually the drive to human motivation. Not everyone knows what they want to do five years down the road as Gavynn does, but in the present moment, all that matters is what drives your creativity and passion. It can span from anything from a personal interest to academic interest. Lust of reading and classics to STEM and epidemiology. Whatever subject, extracurricular, books, habits are pulling you closer to them, those are the ones that will most likely create time barrier of familiarity and curiosity to flow when you are burnt out in all other areas. 

For others, keeping themselves occupied in fun activities that require little to no exertion of brainpower can help them diffuse. 

“I attempt to keep my self motivated by making sure I occupy myself with hands-on activities like painting, playing guitar, piano, and going to the gym. Sometimes even something small like making a friendship bracelet while I’m in the car or watching Netflix is helpful because it keeps my hands moving. It also helps me not resort to bad habits or withdraw from people and school,” said junior Megan Smith

“When all of this (burnout) gets too much for me, I like to stay in the comfort of my room and watch Tik Toks all day to distress,” said sophomore Amaka Eke.

“With my larger burnouts, I find that my martial arts classes really help. It’s a really good way for me to use my stressful energy in a better way. Just listening to music and taking breaks to watch shows or YouTube also really helps me. I also sometimes think about what motivated me at the start and why I’m studying in the first place,” said senior, student forum member and nurse practitioner intern, Sakina Naqvi.

Personal breaks are the best way to play keep-away with burnout. A short and sweet break can usually give you enough time to relax your brain after a session of work and give you enough time to soak up the enjoyable content of social media without leaving you scrolling for hours. There are various techniques such as the Pomodoro method, Leonardo da Vinci’s method, and much more to help you find out how much time is enough for you to get the work done without leaving you burnt out. 

Many days feel bad to Brashier students: that’s how you know you are on the road to burnout. Most days we feel helpless and unappreciated. Dragging ourselves out of bed to get anything done requires the determination of Hercules, so you would rather lie on your bed, helpless. However, as we embark on the new decade, the new year, the new semester, Brashier kids are pushing through with an even more immense feeling of capability and productivity. Keeping healthy habits, mindset, and support systems will decrease any chance of burnout for your new semester. Cheers to high grades and high mental stability.