Being Overwhelmed and Burnt-out: How it Affects Students’ Mental Health


Mackenzie Vera, Contributor

Students who continue to push themselves to keep good grades and a good reputation continue to damage their mental health.

When covid first hit, students didn’t feel as overwhelmed, anxious, or burnt-out as they may feel now. Even when students were all online for school, they never felt struggling. Yet this year, with everyone being in person, students started caring more and more about their grades, which led them to push themselves to get grades above a B- or above a B+. After the first quarter, students would say, “Wow, this is great! I’m doing this for myself, and I feel great accomplishing this goal!” This is how some students continued to push themselves to maintain good grades.

With the 3rd quarter having just ended and the 4th quarter starting, most students are done with everything and don’t care, so they either fail or try their best. Other students are done as well, yet they’re afraid of getting grades below C+, thinking that they’re a failure if they don’t have good grades. Many continue to push themselves, which damages their mental health. The burden of trying to keep these grades up continues, leading to students mental health getting worse. 

While students know that pushing themselves to maintain all As is exhausting (especially when you’re already overwhelmed and burnt out), they continue regardless. Students used to try to get all As for themselves, yet now it feels like they have to. This is a burden now and they can’t stop until school is out.

An anonymous student stated that “In the beginning, I wanted to get all As so I could feel accomplished again and so I could be noticed by people. But now that I’ve been doing this for so long, I’m so done with everything. I’m so overwhelmed and burnt out because of trying to maintain good grades. I feel like failing all my classes, and I want to go back to not caring what grades I have as long as they’re above a C+. But for some reason, I just can’t and it’s so frustrating. I’m pushing through for the last quarter and I’m hoping that next year I won’t push myself. My anxiety has gotten so bad to the point where I have to step outside of class in the morning. It’s so exhausting.”

Some students have mental breakdowns over getting everything done on time. Not only that, but they have mental breakdowns from how much work they have and all the stress that continues to pile up. Even if students don’t have much work to do, just the stress of trying to keep their grades up is stressful enough.

Another student states that “Sometimes I just ignore the stress or put it to the back of my mind. But I know the stress is still there. I can see it on my face every day I wake up. I’ve had many mental breakdowns or at least some sort of breakdown whenever I realize how much work I have piling up. Either way, there isn’t any way to get rid of the stress that school gives me.”

These feelings or emotions that these students go through are valid.

They aren’t any different if they feel this way. A lot of people do. School is exhausting; no one is going to deny that. Students shouldn’t feel like they have to deal with anxiety or being overwhelmed or burnt out by themselves. People that care about you are here for you. If you feel like you can’t talk to an adult, talk to your friends or someone you trust. Remember that people are here for you.