Burnout and Gifted Kids in High School

School can be stressful for all of us, and we can lose our motivation as the school year progresses. Some kids are more committed than others, we know them as “gifted kids”. We all know at least one, maybe you’re that kid. These students tend to be harder on themselves, as they obsess over that “4.0”.

Burnout is very common among students. It can lead to a decline in the students mental health. It comes from a multitude of reasons such as: a heavy workload, no time to do your work, fatigue and lack of support.

Perfectionism is often believed to be a positive trait, however, it can be a double edged sword. When you are too afraid to make a mistake you shut down. 

Mr. Mildon, an English teacher at Fremont, relates to a student’s obsession with their grades from both a parent and educator standpoint. He tells a story about one of his close friends’ sons. He had perfect grades all throughout high school, up until senior year where he got his very first “A-”. The student was heartbroken, Mildon recalls the son saying “What’s the point in even trying now? I can’t get the ”4.0” so who cares anymore.”
Grades are not everything. Depending on what career you’re going into it might not matter as much as you think. For example, the average GPA for college acceptance is a “3.5”, and for Weber State it’s even lower with a “3.0” average.

As a student it’s important to assess your situation. What school are you planning on going to? If it’s an Ivy league school, you better try your best. It’s good to be academically focused. You need to get high test scores, excellent grades or a really good essay. However if you’re being hard on yourself and all you’re planning to do is go to the University of Utah, all you need is a “3.66”. It’s ok to get that “A-”

Most of the time we tie our work ethic to who we are as a person, Americans are especially guilty of this. It’s not just high school, it’s our culture. 

ADP Research Institute found in 2021  Americans work an average of 9.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week. 49% of people in the study reported high stress levels from working overtime.

It’s important to remember we are not going to stay young forever. Highschool is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we shouldn’t rush to mature faster then you need to. 

Maci Smith, a senior at Fremont suggests, “That’s not all you are (referring to academics) you have to take accountability. You have a job maybe, you have friends, you have a social life, you have all these other responsibilities and its ok if you’re not perfect.”

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