Health Over Honors

Senior discusses experience over school burnout and coping strategies


Andrew Sharber, Staff Writer

As students enter high school, they immediately know of the opportunities they are gifted with by being able to enroll in AP and Honors classes as well as ones that allow themselves to find out what they are truly interested in leading into their future careers outside of school. 

While they recognize what classes they are most interested in, they also discover how much they can push themselves for their education. 

For senior Madison Urbanek, she’s had to go through the mental struggle of what is called “school-burnout.” With Urbanek taking four AP classes, including AP Literature, AP Calculus, AP Environmental Science and AP Government, burnout is just simply a side-effect for her and something she’s had to work through.

“I volunteer at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, which you would think would be counterintuitive, but Deanna Rose is a really fun place,” she said. “I can relax there while still feeling productive and accomplishing things.”

With Urbanek not only getting community service hours at the Farmstead but also de-stressing from her classes by being outside and enjoying the weather, she’s participated in things that have helped her mentally outside of school.

“Reading is good — I have a couple of books that I have when I need ‘me-time’ for half an hour just to be able to take my mind off everything that has gone on in my life and de-stress a little bit,” Urbanek said. 

While the amount of time required for the classes in total would be a lot for any student, with Urbanek being a senior, she’s had to think about what college she wants to apply for and what her future education plans are. 

“I think I’ll thank myself when I don’t have to take those classes in college and study art instead,” she said. “Those AP classes that I’m suffering through right now are canceling out those credits so I could focus more on what I want to be doing. I’m sure that it’s going to be worth it, but right now it is a little like ‘Why am I doing this?’” 

While the efforts in her classes may pay off in the end, it also varies for others depending on what classes they are interested in taking. 

“It’s a case-by-case basis,” she said. “If you are going to be busy and have a job that is going to require a lot of hours for you to work outside of school, then cut back on the AP classes.” 

While high school is certainly a learning experience for all, Urbanek recommends trying not to get so overwhelmed all the time.

“A lot of people look at everything they need to get done in a week or a month instead of what [they] can get done today,” she said.