Senioritis, Burnout, and Trash Can Fires: The Perfect Storm


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This year is a perfect storm of hellish events. We can only survive if we help each other.

I have this terrible habit of unplugging my charger at 20% and letting my phone drain to almost 2% before plugging it back in. Then, only letting it get to 20% before unplugging it again, and thus repeating this dastardly cycle again.  

That feels like an apt analogy for what the last 2 years have been like. It feels like we have all been working from a limited amount of emotional, physical, and productive energy, and the small breaks only give us enough energy to get to the next break. 

We’ve been operating at this minimum charge for a long time; two Sundays ago, on March 13th, was the 2nd anniversary of schools initially shutting down due to the COVID-19 quarantine. 

The COVID-19 pandemic left students and teachers stuck in their homes for a year before being able to come out into the open of school and work, and even then it was at most 5 people to a room with masks and social distancing. Yet, 2 years later we are still dealing with the fallout of a pandemic that promised to be 2 weeks long. 

While coming back to in-person has been fantastic, it’s unfair to expect us to be productive at full capacity just because we’ve returned to the classroom. The collective trauma of the pandemic and the various global events don’t just go away because we’re no longer behind computer screens.

According to the National Library of Medicine,  our mental health since COVID-19 hit has deteriorated; students  reporting feeling more more anxious, depressed, fatigued, and distressed than before. Not only that, but Pew Research Center found that schools may be unprepared to deal with this because of lack of mental health professionals, causing teachers and staff to have to take on some of that burden. 

As a senior, I find it hard to figure out whether the inherent tiredness I feel everyday is senioritis, burnout, a fear of bathroom trash can fires, or a hellish combination of all three. After the ordeal of college applications and being back in the school after a year, we are so close to the “finish line” of high school that a moment to rest feels deserved, but is not anywhere in sight.

And while senioritis is usually a joke about seniors becoming lazy after committing to college, and this IS true for some people, with the context of the past year it may be downplaying the very real exhaustion we face on a daily basis. Not only that, but I see the same weariness in all my peers and teachers. While it helps to have a community that feels the same way, this shows that this is not unique to select individuals who “can’t cope”. 

So, it’s worth remembering to have grace for yourself and others because we’re all in the same leaky boat. 

All we can do is hang in there and support each other! Spring break is only about 2 weeks away. 🙂