Thank you to News Editor, Aarushi Bute, of the Marquette High School paper, the Marquette Messenger, for contacting me about a quote for this article about student burnout during Covid.
By the end of first quarter Kate Bobrusev, junior, was exhausted. By the end of first semester, she was completely burnt out.
Bobrusev had math, language arts and a science course in the first quarter.
“I enjoyed it, but I was so burnt out by the end of it that I just wanted to come back to in-person,” Bobrusev said.
Being at home staring at a screen with little to no breaks drained her. On top of that, she had to worry about connectivity issues and being home with her siblings.
Bobrusev said so many students are suffering from post-semester burnout probably because everyone is out of routine.
“We all forgot how to balance life and school,” Bobrusev said. “How to balance having seven classes compared to having four or three in a quarter. I personally am still getting into a routine especially at home.”
As Bobrusev is now in person for the second semester, she said it has been harder than she thought it would be.
“I have forgotten all of my old study habits and it is so hard for me to get back to those,” Bobrusev said. “I used to be able to sit and get all my homework done but now I get distracted by everything. But honestly seeing my flaws in study habits has motivated me to find new ones.”
Regardless, Bobrusev said she enjoyed school at the same time because she got to experience online classes and building relationships with teachers over Zoom.
In order to minimize burnout, Bobrusev tries to get all her homework done and then relax by watching YouTube, going on a drive, or listening to music.
“This year was super challenging but it really showed me what is important,” Bobrusev said. “That yes school is important and very necessary, but spending time with the people you love is also important.”
Fran Kremer, counselor, said that even with more students struggling this year than past years, fewer students have contacted the counselors.
Kremer said there may be two reasons why fewer students have contacted MHS counselors: fewer classes during each quarter for the first semester and a virtual barrier.
Many students tend to think counseling isn’t available in this virtual hybrid setting, Kremer said.
“Students think it’s [counseling] locked down and that it isn’t an option,” Kremer said. “But if they are struggling, they can just reach out to us either by Zoom or book an appointment and come to our office.”
Kremer also recommends students reevaluate their next year’s course load and pay attention to their mental health.
“If you were burnt out from the courses this year, it’s ok to take a step back and level down for your mental health,” Kremer said.
If students are suffering from post-semester burnout, Kremer suggests they take advantage of the resources they have whether that be watching Netflix, hanging out with family or doing exercise.
“You aren’t alone, there are many people who care about you,” Kremer said. “We also have lots of resources and want to see you do your best.”
Adam Avin, founder of Wuf Shanti Children’s Wellness Foundation, said some teens may feel more stressed due to COVID and isolation while others may feel appreciation from being able to work from home and less stressed.
The causes of stress can be practically everywhere — from social media to college applications – but the key is to find methods to stop it, Avin said.
“The object is not to be happy every second, but to be able to accept our emotions and regulate them in healthy ways, without judgment, and with kindness to ourselves and others,” Avin said.
Avin said practicing some form of mindfulness every day for at least five minutes is super important. Trying a variety of different forms to see what works best is also advisable. This could be positive affirmations, listening to music, playing a sport, art, deep breathing or another form of mindfulness.
“It’s totally okay to ask for help because you [students] are not alone,” Avin said.“You are cared for and you are worthy.”