Just a Little Bit Longer

Seniors deal with pandemic burnout


The Class of 2021 is getting more burnt out by the day, and I think that we’re all counting down the minutes until graduation. But the thing is…that’s totally okay (photo credit G. Roberts).

I was sitting in Composition the other day, and Mr. Sherron was passing back the essays we had recently completed. Once he had, he directed our attention to something he had written on the board. It was a dictionary-style definition of the term “senioritis,” and his tongue-in-cheek way of telling us that the end of the year was not an excuse for lazy writing (which I’ll be honest, was definitely what happened with my paper).

I’m not going to lie, I felt bad at first. I felt bad that my burnt-out brain had negatively affected the first essay I wrote for Composition. But then I remembered that I am a high school student in the fourth quarter of my senior year who has been continuing to learn through the worst global pandemic that any of us have ever seen. Yes, generations of students before the Class of 2021 can talk about burnout (which is completely valid), but we are the first class that has juggled college research, applications, and the constant barrage of work that is ‘normal’ learning while experiencing the stress of living through a pandemic (and everything else the last year has had to offer). So for that, I’d like to give us a round of applause.

Some days, when I get done with my homework and try to go to bed, my brain just feels like static. I feel absolutely, 100% done with high school and everything accompanying it. When I realized that spring break was the last ‘time out’ I’ll get from school, and I won’t have another break until graduation, I almost cried. This year has been so unbelievably stressful, and the burnout is real.

Now is usually the part of the story when I offer some sort of advice. I like trying to help people with these kinds of stories. Kind of like “oh, you’re having this problem? Me too! Here’s what I do to make it better!” But this time, I’m stumped. Normally it’s my enjoyment of school that gets me through the day, but to be completely honest at this point I’m just counting down the minutes until graduation.

So I’ll leave it with this. To anyone who is struggling to finish out the year, who is finding it harder and harder to actually care about the work being assigned, to actually put effort into work instead of doing the bare minimum to get it over with: I get it. I completely understand, and those feelings are valid. Sometimes things just suck, and there’s no easy tip or trick that can make it better or more manageable. Sometimes we just have to say “man, this is not fun” and move on. 

But I will say this: we are almost there. There’s less than two months until graduation, and I am proud of each and every one of us for making it this far. Class of 2021, we’re almost there! 

Just a little bit longer.