The Broadview

Avoiding the burnout

Fourth quarter can bring stress, heavy workload.

Gabriella Vulakh, Senior Reporter

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With finals, AP testing and IB exams marking the fourth quarter, some students may begin feeling unmotivated in classes and experience “burnout.”

“I think one thing that is helpful if you are finding yourself with a bit less motivation is to find a new source of motivation,” school counselor Annie Egan said. “It’s all about personal awareness and making the right shifts for your own motivation.”

Students can focus on maintaining their grades, coming prepared to class and focusing on the positives of school such as the classes they enjoy.

“I am currently thinking about my semester grades and focusing on maintaining and improving them during the fourth quarter,” sophomore Avani Mankani said. “I am also trying to focus on getting the best education I can at Convent and excelling in my classes.”

Organizational management and planning ahead can also be an effective tool, according to Egan. Making lists, calendars and schedules allows students to clearly structure their work while also helping with time management.

“It can often be beneficial to organize your homework into smaller projects and set goals that are small enough that they feel doable and accessible,” Egan said. “Getting your work done in chunks generally feels good and motivates you to complete your other assignments and feel accomplished. It rewires your brain and helps boost that circuit of productivity.”

Betsy Pfeiffer, Director of Academic Advising and Support, recommends taking breaks in order to re-energize, re-focus and increase blood flow in the brain when feeling burned out.

“It’s more about just recognizing that it’s burnout,” Pfeiffer said. “Sometimes when you are burned out it’s better to take a break and come back later rather than pushing through. When you try to push through you are not being productive or learning anything.”

For seniors it can be particularly difficult to find motivation and excel in classes, especially when many have already been accepted into colleges, according to Egan.

“Seniors just need to come to school, even if it is simply to enjoy conversations and discussions in the classroom,” Pfeiffer said. “They need to realize that this is their last semester at Convent and that they will miss it.”

Egan recommends that seniors experiencing burnout use the fourth quarter to prepare for college. This can include meeting with teachers, mastering organizational skills and finding internal motivations to get themselves through the school year.

“I found that in terms of burnout it’s more of a mental thing that I have to push aside,” senior Mary Crawford said. “I’m trying to tell myself that it is only a little while longer. Once I’m into the exam period, having that IB diploma will be a bonus.”

For some seniors such as Crawford who are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program, the IB diploma is motivating them to finish off the year. Other grade levels will have different motivations because they are at different stages of their high school careers, according to Egan.

“A first semester freshman has very different motivators from a second semester senior,” Egan said. “By being aware of themselves and taking time to reflect, each student can find their own intrinsic motivators and goals to pull themselves through the fourth quarter.”

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Avoiding the burnout