Bohan Pan on freshman burnout

Rate your stress level on a scale of 1-10. Why?

My stress level is around 7 most of the time. Simply nearing the end of the school year and towards finals is increasing my stress level, as well as a few time-consuming extracurricular commitments.


What was the difference from middle school to high school? Like, homework, classes, jobs, etc etc?

In middle school, there really was very minimal homework and assignments we had to complete, the difference between high school and middle school was particularly emphasized because our 8th-grade year was virtual, which was relatively more relaxing in terms of academics. High school definitely comes with much more homework and many classes are more self-driven.


Classes you’re in, sports, extracurriculars, jobs, home responsibilities, etc.? What takes up your time in a day?

I personally take the standard classes, though I know there are some students in our grade that are already taking APs which I can’t even imagine how difficult that is. I also put a good amount of time into extracurricular clubs and activities.


How has Ladue’s stress culture affected your own stress levels?

On one hand, sometimes I do appreciate the competitive culture within Ladue since it really can push you to achieve more, but at the same time, it can be pretty stressful and tiring. There’s so many diligent people to compete with so it creates a lot of stress to do well.


Are your teachers burned out/different since the pandemic?

I haven’t seen much difference in my teachers, but then again I’ve only just met them. I’m not sure how teachers can really help with burnout, I feel like a lot of burnout stems not just from school but extracurriculars which can be particularly overwhelming.


Final question — how unique is your situation? How common is your experience across the student body —and what parts of it?

I don’t think my situation is unique at all, in comparison to some of my classmates who have way more things to do and worry about than me. I do think everyone experiences stress to some degree, whether it be from academics or sports or things going on at home.