Burnout, Part 2: Pressure at Home

Photo Credit: maxpixel.net

Photo Credit: maxpixel.net

Quin Benedict , OwlFeed Opinion Columnist

It was an impossible juggling act, I was so… so tired. I couldn’t keep track of everything at once. As the stress from schoolwork piled up every other part of my life began to slip through the cracks. 

Burnout had begun to seep into my social and home life.

Helpguide explains that “Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.”

In addition to school, every student at Agua Fria has responsibilities and expectations to uphold. Trying to keep up with these as well as having a social life and free time to relax and unwind is an impossible juggling act that often leads to burnout. A prolonged state of high stress leads to exhaustion and until you take a break, this burnout will not relent.

In Part 1 of this series, Agua Fria students gave their input into how school contributed to their personal burnout. Continuing our dive into burnout we will be examining what other factors are contributing to this exhaustion. Since many others are experiencing hardships that they may want to remain private, all quotes will be anonymous.

In my own burnout, I was forced to choose between my loved one’s mental health or my own well-being. I isolated myself as I mulled over the decision. I refused to tell anyone what was really going on outside of school. 

There’s always more to someone’s story. To ignore what’s going on at home is to ignore a huge piece of the picture. Often, parents and guardians have high expectations for their children, which encourages them to push themselves to reach new heights. 

This sets the bar for many Agua Fria students, but some people describe how high expectations have brought them down instead of raising them.

An anonymous sophomore described their situation perfectly. 

School is definitely a part of it, but I feel like my parents pressure me a lot too…” the sophomore said. “They’ve always wanted me to be a better version of myself, but no matter what I do I feel like they’ll never really be satisfied.” 

This student’s parents nudged them towards improvement but eventually, expectations couldn’t be met. The sophomore expressed they had initially felt guilty. “At first I did, but after a while, I started to realize that nothing would satisfy them, so I tried to stop focusing so much on their opinions,” they said.

While this is an admirable display of self-confidence, some aren’t able to get out from under the weight of their parent’s expectations. 

“It’s just this constant reminder and pressure that if I don’t do something amazing with my life I’d be disappointing my family,” explained another anonymous sophomore. “I have this constant pressure to do something amazing.” 

Other responsibilities are stacked on top of these pressures and trying to take care of everything is beyond exhausting. Every student I interviewed explained that they had at least one thing outside of their education that took up their time and energy. Of course, students who have jobs, clubs, and family members at home they need to take care of have that much more drive to be everywhere at once.

While most things adding stress to Agua Fria students’ lives are outside our immediate control, steps can be taken to lighten the weight of burnout. In the final part of this series, we’ll explore how students have overcome burnout personally as well as other techniques one may use to push through the fog.

Click Here to read Part 3.

Click Here to read Part 1.