Burning out at school

A letter writer seeks confirmation that it’s not worth burning out over their grades.

But, asks our elder, can you find someone to help you see a way through?

Dear EWC

I’ve been doing really awful at school recently. I’ve missed weeks worth of class and countless outputs. I’ve been ignoring messages and emails because of the amount of anxiety I get from it. College is hard but it’s even harder now that it’s all online. I failed a class and I don’t think it’s redeemable, I don’t feel too comfortable with reaching out about it to my professor either because they’ve been so considerate to me countless times and it feels unfair. I keep on thinking ‘Oh it’s OK to fail classes every now and then, put your mental health first,’ and I really want to but I can’t even do that. I feel pressured to do well because all my friends are, even when they’re at their lowest they still manage to do great and it makes me upset how I’m not. And it’s not like I’m not trying. I really am trying. I’m trying so hard but my brain fails me every time, I forget so many times it feels like the only way I’ll be able to remember is if I wrote them on my arms. I feel frustrated and tired, every time I open a document nothing comes out, my mind won’t cooperate at all. I don’t need much advice for now, all I really want is an affirmation, because I am genuinely trying to sort everything out, but I just need a confirmation that my grades aren’t worth burning out over.

Amma replies

I am sorry that you’re struggling with anxiety and with school. I can affirm that grades are not worth burning out over. But I have to ask if you have to do all the sorting “everything out” by yourself? Without help from someone who might be able to shine a light on something you haven’t seen nor considered before, are you locking yourself into a corner without a way out? Only you can answer that question. Let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that you should continue school; I am suggesting that you explore your options with the mind of a researcher. Ask yourself questions about what is important to you (not to your friends); ask yourself where your interests lie. Is there something you’ve set aside because you’re trying to fit in with your friends who are in school? You could also request a sit-down with your advisor and speak truthfully about your concerns. You never know when something will leap out at you with a solution you’d never considered before. I wish you all the best, and invite you to write again if this has been of help to you. 

Article #: 476354

Category: School

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