Sophomore year for many is recalled with affection and remembered as the last year of carefree fun before the seriousness of college applications starts to set in. It's supposed to be the year where you can enjoy yourself and act like a kid before the responsibilities of junior year come. But for me, it's been absolute hell.

As more and more has been demanded out of me in each of my classes, I've had to push myself both mentally and physically beyond what is normal or healthy to finish the once-simple task of homework. I think it's safe to say that I've never felt so low in my life. I've never woken up repeating "I don't want to go to school" in my head over and over again until this year. Unfortunately, it's become so common to wake up in a mixture of hatred for school and myself it's almost like a daily routine now.

As I increasingly become more disorganized and distraught, I'm beginning to think I've lost the will to succeed in my classes or even worse: not care at all in a time when dedication and discipline in my studies are crucial.

Though burning out wasn't always a phenomenon exclusive to 10th grade, never in a million years did I expect to give up so early in this school year. Toward the beginning of ninth grade, I was fueled by a mixture of fear and motivation to succeed in my classes. I managed to stay up until 3 a.m. and complete my homework because I never considered not turning it in an option. It was only until May in the second semester of freshman year that I started to burn out, and at that point, school was so close to ending that my classes began to turn into a waiting game.

When summer vacation rolled around, I calmed my rising doubts about 10th grade by saying I'd be renewed and restored by the time the school year came. That over the break, I'd magically manage to possess the same drive, spirit and ambition as I did last year.

The fact that I stayed up until 3:45 a.m. finishing my summer homework before the first day of school was already a bad omen in itself. In the one year that has passed between my freshman and sophomore year, I can barely even remain awake at 1 a.m. On some nights, I've reassured myself with hollow phrases such as, "It's okay if you don't do your work; we all have to make sacrifices." I feel the same way I did the second semester of freshman year.

Only this time, school is in full swing, and I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Though I don't necessarily care about turning in the homework itself, it's become concerning that I've lost the high standards and vigor I used to tackle my studies with.

In addition to my loss of motivation, the increasing demands of 10th grade have helped me create confining expectations that make me feel horrible when I can't meet them. When I'm supposed to understand what I'm taught, manage my time, do work efficiently and have my life together, I end up falling apart even more when I can't rise up to the challenge. As more people surrounding me have begun to get more serious about school in preparation for college, it kills me that I'm doing the exact polar opposite.

Everyone seems to be improving and changing in response to their experiences in ninth grade while I remain stagnant. Regardless of whether they really are happier or not, I feel like I've fallen so behind I can't even maintain the illusion of being okay. It's so frustrating to see others doing so well and not be able to do the same.

All this has culminated into a giant sense of failure along with the feeling of powerlessness. I feel so out of control of all aspects in my life from my grades to my sleep schedule to my procrastination habits to my emotions. School now seems like a place I go every Monday for the sole purpose of being worn down and broken by Friday in an endless cycle. I've never hated school more for giving me all this work, and I've never been more disappointed in myself for not being able to finish it on time.

This all sets such a dangerous precedent for next year. I don't know how I'll survive in junior year when schoolwork starts to rise even higher. However, pinpointing exactly where I'm unhappy with myself can hopefully give me a starting point on the road to improvement. If I've hit rock bottom this year, there's nowhere to go but up. As songwriter K.Flay once sang, "The darkest nights mean you see the stars the most." Despite all of these setbacks, I still have hope.