Academic Burnout

Within high school, there are numerous factors to be academically challenged, pressured, and overwhelmed. If these feelings of stress are not properly managed or dealt with in a healthy way,  oftentimes they can lead to academic burnout. 

Originally academic burnout was called three dimensional syndrome, it was called this because people would face three main symptoms. The symptoms are emotional exhaustion, lack of desire or aspiration to succeed in academics, and also depersonalization. The symptoms can be more or less problematic depending on the individual and their specific situation, all individuals experience over extraction of the brain and unhealthy stress levels. According to an experiment conducted by Yang H Farn in 2005 on academic burnout, students don’t only deal with three symptoms leading to burnout. Yang says some other symptoms are, lost interest of academics because of stress, not feeling emotionally able to attend class, and also feelings of worthlessness. Often times students mistake being stressed out from being burnt out. Academic burnout is caused by stress, people dealing with burnout experience exhaustion, lack of motivation, and possess little hope that their situation will get better. While people who are stressed have minor moments of frustration, while still believing that their situations will have positive outcomes.

Adams high school is known for its International Baccalaureate program. The IB program is our most intense and challenging program that is taken on my juniors and seniors. The goal is to help students to become principled, caring, open-minded, and balanced risk-takers. The IB program contains interdisciplinary courses created to challenge them, but it also makes students feel stressed, overwhelmed. and pressured to be the very best. 

Roy Bualuan is a full IB student who participants in many extracurricular activities at Adams. Roy is an active member in Adams Science Olympiad, quiz bowl, and mock trial. In all of his academic career he has never experienced the symptoms of three dimensional syndrome, but have had points in his life where his stress was extreme and he was very overwhelmed. Roy likes the international perspective of the program but his workload has been a lot to handle. Roy does not like how a lot of his IB classes aren’t compatible with his schedule, often times he struggles to find a balance with his classes and social life. He recommends the program to truly committed students who do well with multitasking. To manage his stress Roy uses coping mechanisms such as listening to music, playing the piano, and taking long walks. 

If individuals are experiencing pressure or stress because of school, here are some great ways to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed, meditation, deep breathing, positive self talk, and talking to someone about it. Our teachers and faculty here at Adams must start meeting with our IB students to create plans to navigate their workload, and find ways to manage stress. 

Academic burnout is a serious problem which can be prevented by getting help from family members, friends,  or a trained professional.