Hellgate Students Face Stress And Overworking


This school year, Hellgate High School is finally returning to a more normal schedule and an overall more normal school experience, but are students already feeling the effects of burnout?

     Students have always struggled with some type of stress or burn out, whether it starts early or comes with finals. This year, it has become increasingly clear that this may be becoming a serious issue. One of the reasons may be the changing of the school structure and workload students are now facing. 

     Kaitlyn Skinner, a junior at Hellgate, is taking a full schedule of seven classes including four IB courses. Along with these classes, she is a part of HOSA, Student Government, SAVE, MMUN, and a varsity cross country runner. It can be challenging to stay motivated and in a good mental state when teachers are piling up homework every night. “I usually have about two hours of pre-calc homework per night, and I would say a total of about four hours a night. But if I miss a day for cross country that can really pile up and it just gets overwhelming.” 

Not only is this busy schedule affecting the time Skinner has at home, but it puts heavy pressure on her social life as well. “I want to go out to eat or have lunch with my friends on the one day when I don’t have a club, but it’s more beneficial to just stay in and work on homework to just try and have less at night,” Skinner said.  “But it’s also hard to find that balance for my mental health because I do want to actually hang out with friends.”

    Some  of the other students facing serious stress and work loads are those who are taking the IB Diploma Programme. Beatrice Shimanek, a junior, is one of the four students enrolled in this program at Hellgate. Shimanek also balances many different clubs and extracurriculars along with this rigorous course load. The IB diploma requires students to take courses that are all IB throughout their junior and senior years. Shimanek is already having to choose between her extracurriculars and school work. “At this point if it comes down to it, it’s just better to miss a cross country meet so I can just keep up with my school work because if I’m gone it becomes too much,” she said.

   Many students are also feeling the need to prepare for future plans when picking their schedules. “The main reason I’m doing all of this is for college applications,” said Skinner “I don’t even know if it feels like a leg up but if I don’t do it I just feel like I’m behind everyone else.” Shimanek also had similar reasoning. “Although I don’t have a particular college in mind, the main reason I’m doing (the diploma) is to keep my options open and hopefully get college credit in the process.” 

     So, while students are trying to prepare for the future and get through school, are they taking on too much and making their  mental health suffer?  “I’m really having to choose between my mental health and getting my school work done.” Skinner said.