by Rasheedah Na’Allah

Are you experiencing signs of burnout?
Here are some tips to feel less stressed.

As I prepare for college in Fall of 2022, I reflect
on my high school career as a whole. I can’t help
but feel pride and accomplishment for the hard
work and achievements my four-year academic
expedition has brought me. But there is one
feeling that seems to overshadow them all as
I think of the journey that lies ahead:
academic burnout.

Senioritis is a common term for this
amongst my peers, but in reality, senioritis and
academic burnout can differ drastically. As
Southern New Hampshire University defines
it, senioritis is “a common affliction describing
the lack of motivation felt by students who are
reaching the end of their courses.” Although
senioritis can lead to negative effects in
school, burnout is a more serious condition
with longer-lasting consequences. UoPeople
describes academic burnout as “a negative
emotional, physical and mental reaction to a
prolonged study that results in exhaustion,
frustration, lack of motivation and reduced
ability in school.” Symptoms include lack of
concentration, inspiration, fatigue, anxiety,
and more.

The constant shifts from in-person to
online education have also contributed to the
competitive environment. An Ohio State study
shows a 31% increase in burnout and a 9%
increase in anxiety surfacing among students
from August 2020 to April 2021. While some
say burnout is common and inevitable, the
proactive recognition and regulation of these
feelings should be highly encouraged. Here
are some tips for students who feel signs of
academic burnout:

Take a Well-Deserved Break

Your education and willingness to challenge yourself are super important when striving to do your best work, but if you aren’t careful, it can build resentment towards learning. Make sure
that you don’t exert yourself beyond what you are capable
of—and take regular breaks. Know that understanding your
limits is not a weakness, but rather, a strong suit. Give yourself
a chance to breathe and a sense of balance. This can, in turn,
refresh your mind for more learn

Embrace New Hobbies

Whether this is learning to cook hitting the gym, creating music, or joining a book club, engaging in activities that take your mind off of your stressors are great for your wellbeing. This is also how you separate school life from social life.

Set Goals You’d Like to Achieve

It can be easy to get lost in the tornado of work that surrounds you each day. Try to keep yourself grounded by setting practical goals. Having specific tasks in front of you will help you compartmentalize important assignments versus ones that can wait.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

This can sound cliché, but gaining support and assistance can
make a world of a difference to your stress load. This includes
building relationships with your teachers or professors, gaining
a mentor that has been on the same academic track as you, or
even asking friends for emotional support.

As we work to become better students
and individuals, we cannot forget to appreciate
who we are and the path that we are on. We
cannot forget that with strength, love, and
support–– anything is possible.

Illinois Call4Calm Text Line:
Text TALK to 552020
Free Teen Stress Management Course: https://
xqsuperschool.org/rethinktogether/courses/
teen-stress/

About Rasheedah Na’Allah

Rasheedah Na’Allah is a senior at Dunlap High School in Peoria, Illinois. She is the youngest of her 3 siblings and enjoys the benefits of being the “baby of the house.” Her Nigerian and Muslim upbringing has led her to be resilient and outspoken in her beliefs. Rasheedah is a dedicated student who is a part of the National Honors Society and loves to be active in her community. She planned a diversity assembly at her school in front of the entire student body, formed an extensive research project on racial disparities and inequities in the education system, and has been appointed into the Peoria County Board’s Racial Justice and Equity Commission. She has also served as Dunlap’s representative to engage and network with young state leaders attending the 2020 Illinois Senator Youth Leadership Council. Rasheedah is the founder of her school’s Muslim Student Association, leads in foreign language club, and is a strong member of the color guard team. Outside of school, she enjoys volunteering and regularly posts on her cooking page through social media. She started her own book club and enjoys reading and discussing books by BIPOC authors. She hopes to pursue Business, Health, and Wellness during her college years and is extremely honored to write for the Giving Voice Initiative.

About Faith Marie

Faith Marie is a homeschooled senior in high school who dreams of being an artist entrepreneur one day. She fell in love with creating at a young age and now experiments with all kinds of mediums. You can find her on Instagram at @faithmariedraws.

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