As workloads return to pre-Covid levels, Chagrin Falls high school is engulfed in burnout


With the passing of the holiday season, many at Chagrin Falls are wrapped in the all too familiar worry of burnout.

 Many individuals work so hard and so long that they just hit a block that makes even simple tasks feel daunting. 

“The burnout is just being overwhelmed by obligations, and some of those obligations aren’t meaningful to that person. they’re just doing it because everyone else is doing it,” said CFHS health teacher Mrs. Pamela Malone.

A heavy workload leading to this is supported by friends wanting to be in the same sports or classes, along with the general competitive attitude of Chagrin.

Parents are also an impactful influence on these decisions.

“Parents’ nagging may also have a negative effect on students and increase burnout,” said CFHS sophomore Elliot Rodgers.

 Chagrin parents largely choose this region partially for it’s academic rigor, so many are interested in their children taking full advantage of this opportunity.

All these coinciding causes lead to various contradicting solutions being proposed.

“If parents pressured us to do extracurriculars less, burnout would happen less,” said Rodgers.

It should be noted that many extracurriculars and classes need a high workload in order to be completed, so simply making activities less rigorous can make them less useful.

Given this issue, many students just try to work through the burnout.

“With enough energy drinks, you can do anything,” said CFHS sophomore Nicholas Rohde.

Working through burnout may work for some, but can be unhealthy,  and negative effects on sleep can sometimes do more damage to students than missing difficult assignments. 

An alternative proposed solution various teachers seem to support is students simply design schedules to work with their strengths, rather than trying to do everything.

“When students start a school year, they are very gon-ho, and they keep putting more and more on their plate to the point where they don’t have time to be themselves or work on themselves, and then they just want to give up. You don’t have to do everything; Do only what you want to do. ” said Mrs.Palmer

While settling on a few specialized focuses can be nice, the choice becomes more difficult as high school students may not know what they want to do in the future, making figuring out what to focus on difficult.

Another solution may be to just use the small amount of time left  more effectively

“Try to find the time throughout the day for yourself. Throughout college, in my health class, we had a ‘mindful Monday’ where at the end of class we would meditate for 10 to 20 minutes just to focus on ourselves and to forget about school and just be relaxed for the rest of the day… it actually helped us a lot,” said Mr.Josh Petruccelli, a former student teacher who helped to teach health in Chagrin.

When there is so much to do, time to just slow down is truly crucial.

Despite so much effort being put into mitigating the effects, burnout is still a powerful force in many Chagrin students.

“I think burnout here, if I wanted to define it, is finally hitting the wall with having to do too much. Something’s gotta give, and a lot of times it’s your health,” said Mrs. Malone.