Three Ways to Reduce Your High-Achieving, Stressed-Out High Schooler’s Burnout Right Away
By Shirag Shemmassian, Ph.D.
For decades, our high-achieving high schoolers have been encouraged to fill their schedules with as much as possible, including tough classes, tons of extracurricular activities, and summer camps and internships.
I know, for example, a junior at a private Los Angeles high school who is currently taking 4 AP classes, 2 Honors classes, and PE, in addition to being on the varsity basketball team, participating in Model United Nations (UN) and Science Quiz Bowl, studying for the ACT exam, and volunteering at a local homeless shelter. A typical school day for this student begins with a 6:15AM alarm to get to school by 8AM, which lasts until 3PM. After school, this student meets with his Model UN and Quiz Bowl teams from 3:30-5:30PM and has basketball practice from 6-7:15PM. He gets home at 7:30PM, eats and showers, and sits down to begin his homework at 8:30PM. After 4.5 hours of homework, he falls asleep—sometimes at his desk—around 1AM. The only other sleep he gets during the week comes unintentionally, during class time. Continue reading