Endless tears. Endless sleepless nights. Endless work to catch up on. When does it all end? Every day I find myself trying to catch up on every class but it is never-ending. I can’t keep up, I can’t do this anymore. No matter what I do, it feels like my best isn’t good enough. It feels like I’m “disappear[ing] in [my] own life” trying to keep up with school. It’s a struggle every day to stay on top of the workload we signed ourselves up for. I’m physically and mentally exhausted, how am I supposed to keep going? Is this even worth it?
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the average honors student’s academic experience in high school. We are seen as the ideal students that have no problem doing the extra work to achieve the grades we want when in reality we are often burnt out and mentally drained. Not only that but just being in an honors class, surrounded by other honors students can make one feel like they “do not belong” in advanced classes and that they’re not good enough. Because certain honors students appear to be smarter than others, other honors students may compare themselves to them and begin to doubt themselves because their answers may not sound as good. Students and teachers may think that honors students never ask for help because they don’t need any, however, they really just don’t want to be viewed as dumb when they fail to understand the concept taught. For this reason, honors students start to fall behind and lose motivation.
This drawing of the beat-up Mojave Desert phone booth represents honors students in the way that it’s falling apart but still working to people’s expectations. The Mojave phone booth was more of a secret for the people who lived in that area and others to come visit. As more people visited the phone booth, it started to get more beat up. The windows were “busted out [i]t’s kind of a wreck” but it was still working even in those conditions. It’s tiring having to continuously do work at school and then going home and having to do even more work. This gets to the point where students start to become depressed and lose all motivation which affects the quality of one’s work. Some honors students believe that grades define who they are and seek validation from teachers and their academics. This validation can negatively impact the way they view themselves because when a teacher gives them negative feedback on something they can feel as if they’re unintelligent and a disappointment. They feel “the pressure to succeed” and the need to be perfect and if they fail to achieve this they’ll feel ashamed and guilty. Many may think honors students have it easy because they’re gifted, but there are different psychological problems that they have to deal with and it’s not as easy as it looks. However, there are resources that may help. Whether it’s reaching out to a teacher when you need help even if it’s after class, or talking to a friend about your stress to just let it all out, it is always great to talk to others instead of bottling your emotions and feelings. School is definitely important, but so is mental health and it’s okay to need help, that doesn’t make you a failure.