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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Seniors outrun burnout treadmill

WED. | 05-12-21 | OPINION

Co-Editors-in-Chief                             & 

     The constant pressure of school for 13 years can leave one feeling worn out. Seniors especially suffer as they enter the end of their second semester and begin to plan their futures. Along with the strain of their high school lives, they are beginning to detach and prepare to go out on their own for the first time.

     According to an article by New York University, a study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that 90% of high school students were “stressed” or “somewhat stressed” in a poll of 128 students. This prolonged stress can lead to a drop in motivation; an ailment which has become so normalized that there is now a term for it: senioritis.

     This stress can be caused by any number of factors including heavy workloads and high expectations. According to the College Board, the average student takes three AP courses over their high school career. The average Ivy league student has taken from seven to 12 AP courses. While both of us took quite a few AP courses in high school, upon reflection we have questioned the social and academic sacrifices made in order to do so.

     Instead, we feel that choosing classes based on passion and enjoyment rather than GPA yield much greater satisfaction and

Educators' Night.jpg

Graphic by Tierney Reardon

personal happiness. If you enjoy the challenge of AP courses, then, by all means, take AP courses, just don’t bend over backwards to meet criteria that causes you to sacrifice your happiness. We feel that the purpose of school is often misconstrued to be interpreted as a means to an end: to make a good grade or graduate. However, high school should be an environment where students should instead feel free to explore new interests, even if it’s not going to get you the most GPA points. This is not limited to AP students either. The constant expectations that one should be able to lead a satisfying life by going from test to quiz to lecture does not cut it, no matter the class. With so many students being placed on the so-called academic treadmill, motive and passion are often lost, causing students to drag their feet as they wade through classes on the way to graduation.

     In order to get off that treadmill, we have a few tips. First off, get on a treadmill. More of a figurative one this time. Go outside, breathe in some fresh air and get some exercise (whether treadmills are involved or not). Second, get some sleep. While we don’t recommend taking a nap during class, sleep is important. Third, spend time with friends and family even if it needs to be virtually. Often getting busy can extend to abandoning our loved ones and they have to become a priority. Four, develop some hobbies. Taking time to do something that you enjoy that is not obligatory in any way is a good way to recenter yourself.

     In a world focused on outcomes, balance is not natural. We have found that regular incorporation of these efforts result in a more stable approach to lessening burn out as we approach senior year. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Underclassmen, follow your interests and take advantage of the unique opportunities Rose provides. Seniors, keep going, but don’t forget to take a water break.

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