Mid School Year Burnout: How to Prevent It

Student Life

The second semester of the school year is just starting, but you're already tired, already longing for summer. Coming from a nice, relaxing winter break, school will seem more exhausting than usual. If you are beginning to feel this way, you are going through the same experience as a countless number of other teenagers. But, with these tips, you will gain the motivation to push through the second semester of the school year.

Don't Come In Too Strong

Coming into the second semester of the school year with overwhelming goals and expectations for yourself will inevitably lead to failure. For example, let's say you have a goal this second semester to improve your B+ in English to an A. Having this goal of raising a grade significantly is not the best mindset to start the semester off with. Urge yourself to think deeper about your goals. Why is it that you have a B+ in English instead of a day? Is it procrastination? Are you having difficulty with a certain concept? Then, tackle the specific problem at hand, rather than having a broad goal. Though having goals as a student is beneficial and important, too many goals or unrealistic goals can begin to act as a burden in your already hectic life.

Especially since you will be coming back from winter break with New Year's resolutions, reminding yourself to ease into the second semester is key.

Recently, I have reflected on my first semester of school. With reflecting comes the desire to improve. Over break, I have taken note of all of the aspects of school I want to work on. While I want to keep these goals and ambitions in mind, I also want to continue taking care of myself and prioritizing my well-being. Keeping a balance is more important than any goal or expectation.

Have A Source Of Motivation

We all have different sources of motivation. For some, motivation for the second semester of the school year comes from summer, which is only a few months away. For others, motivation comes from thinking of spring break. No matter what your motivation is, embrace it. When school gets difficult and everything feels too overwhelming, remind yourself of this motivation. When juggling school and your extracurriculars seems impossible, remind yourself of this motivation. When you are overwhelmed with annoyance and frustration, remind yourself of this motivation.

But, finding motivation can sometimes feel impossible. Ask yourself the question, "What makes me want to keep going?" Your motivation may seem minor at first. For example, let's say you, along with your family, go out to dinner every weekend. Looking forward to this family dinner during a difficult week will serve as motivation when you feel as if you have no reason to keep trying.

Push Yourself To Plan Ahead

Most teenagers can agree that planning ahead is essential to succeeding in school. But, when it comes time to actually plan ahead for the week, teens lose motivation. Teens sometimes forget just how important it is to stay on top of assignments, homework, and tests. Doing so can make the difficult school weeks much easier.

We all procrastinate. But, the second semester is the time to manage your time well. When you are aware of all your assignments, homework, and tests for the week, you feel prepared and in control. Feeling confident about your studies will make the second-semester fly by. On the other hand, if you constantly put off assignments to the very last minute and feel unprepared, school will feel unnecessarily burdensome.

All students have the power to make their daily lives earlier. We should make it our goal to prioritize planning ahead.

Know That There Will Be Challenging Weeks

It is unrealistic to say that there will not be difficult school weeks where teachers pile up homework and you feel as if you have an endless supply of tasks on your to-do list. But, when you face these challenging weeks, you must remind yourself that there will be good weeks, weeks where you are able to easily manage your workload. This, unquestionably, is the hardest part of being a student: dealing with the challenging days and weeks.

Remember, you're not alone. Other teens are in the very same position as you. This is the time to remind yourself of your motivation. Remind yourself that you will get through the week in one piece. More importantly, prioritize certain assignments over others. Which assignments have a larger impact on your grades? Which tests are more important? Thinking strategically about the plethora of homework on your hands will put everything into perspective.

Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is vital in the second semester. After a long, draining school day, you deserve to have a bit of time to relax and unwind. If your entire day is filled with work, you will burn out. And unavoidably, you will lose all motivation. Taking a bath, reading, watching television, or spending time with family and friends, among other acts of self-care, is necessary to a healthy balance between school and your well-being.

Every night, about an hour before I go to bed, I watch an episode of my favorite T.V. show. During my hectic day, I have this time for myself to look forward to. We all need time away from school and homework. Prioritizing your mental well-being is more essential than ever.

As we dive into the second semester of school, taking school one day at a time is important. Remember to treat yourself with kindness and to take care of yourself through it all. These tips are here for you on your good and bad days.

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a sophomore in high school. She writes for her school newspaper, Spyglass, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider, and the Youth Civics Initiative. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.