The Battle Against a Busy Schedule

Jessica Anziano, Photojournalist

For a while, high schoolers have struggled with mental health. They follow a strict schedule: wake up, go to school to learn, come home to practice what they have learned, fall asleep only three to five hours before “wake up” comes around again. Within this schedule they try to fit in social interactions(because it’s important to have those too, right?). They also have to fit in some time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, spending time with the family and–for those of them brave enough to give up even more precious time–going to work. This crazy balance is tiring. They never feel satisfied or proud, because after every completion there’s something else to get done. They keep pushing and exerting, leading to negative mental states, weaker strives for excellence, and losses of interest in their passions or hobbies. This struggle has been around for years, but this past year has made it so much worse. All the pains of the pandemic– staring into computer screens all day, losing that important social interaction, being so independent– have hurt them even more. Teenagers are losing motivation and losing sight of their priorities, and these images portray it. This slowing stamina is communicated through an uncared for plant, an excessively dirty bedside table, and a teenager spending hours awake at night on apps like SnapChat, Instagram, and TikTok.  These photographs capture how difficult it can be for someone struggling with their mental health and losing control of their life.