Academic Pressure And Mental Health – The Current Generation

Abirami Vivek

Founder Director, Magnet Minds Preschool, Anna nagar, Chennai

In the past few years, a lot of students we see facing issues due to extraordinary pressure from the parents, schools and from the system around them, leading to poor or unstable mental health. This leads to lots of complications for them. There has been a lot of attention devoted to mental health in various educational institutions and universities. Yet the issue seems to be handled in a better way.

A growing problem not only in India but all over the globe is that students are more stressed than ever. In fact, India has one of the highest rates of suicides among people aged between 15 and 29. Although the reasons are myriad but failure in examination, unemployment, and depression are some the reasons why people put their life at risk.

A common cause of concern is the pressure from parents to do well in the class XII board exams and even before that. There have been many incidents in the past where students have committed suicide during exams and on the result day. But what can be so extreme that students decide to end their life?

The Psychologists suggest that students suffer from anxiety and traumatic disorder relating to fear of examination. The fear factor is the reason why students suffer from anxiety, depression, and the following consequences. And the fear not only comes from the school but also from parents, who go to extreme levels to push their children into getting better grades.

The best time of the life that students are supposed to enjoy and cherish is the time they are pushed to extreme levels which can be overwhelming for many.

Stress becomes an integral part of human life. Anything that creates a challenge or a threat to our comfort is a stress. All kind of stress is not considered to be bad because it helps people to perform well. In academics, stress is unavoidable among students, and it influences students performance in all academic activities. Academic stress plays a major role in determining the mental health of students.

Poor mental health at early stage is a big problem, not only because it affects how students learn, but because it also impacts whether they actually finish their Schooling or Universities. Ultimately, symptoms of poor mental health affect the career potential and overall lives of students greatly.

KEY ISSUES

Education System: Time and time again many complaints have been made against the Indian education system which is more inclined towards memorization and takes long systematic study hours thus leaving less time for recreational activities, and socialization which is an essential part of the development of a child.

The performance of a student’s 12th grade determines the choice of college or university he/she will get admission in. Students from science stream goes into further stress by giving entrance exams for different universities and colleges. And the competition is fierce!!

Pressure from parents and school: Fear of failure to do well in studies is causing anxiety among students which has substantial negative effects on their academic and social success. The self-worth of a student is determined by the academic success and grades, and not on the basis of individual qualities they already do possess. Parents try to get rid of cable connection, internet, computer, only so that their children could concentrate and get better grades.

In a recent survey, two-third (66%) students reported that their parents pressurize them for better academic performance and the pressure from non-graduate parents was more compared to parents those were graduates and post graduates.

Helping students

  • Everyone learns differently and students could develop their own plans on how to study for long hours effectively, and parents and teachers could help them develop their own learning methods.
  • Inculcate the habit of conceptual understanding and learning from an early stage would be very helpful for the students to understand the concepts and deliver appropriately.
  • With starting of board examinations, what every parent should know is, it’s just exams, not the end of the world. The success of someone lies in what they chose to do with their resources, the actions they take, and not on the grades.
  • Always have something to look forward to everyday and it doesn’t always have to be something big. This helps to have a reason to anticipate the next day and thus cope with academic stress better.
  • Studies have shown that a regular exercise routine often decreases symptoms of depression and stress. Also proper diet and food is very important to maintain any form of physical or mental activity. So exercise and diet are a must. MORE IMPORTANTLY ‘SAY NO TO JUNK AND FAST FOOD”
  • Help the students create a proper schedule that will help them manage their academics and other activities in a more efficient manner.
  • Make them understand their academic capabilities, what is expected from them and try not to have unreasonable expectations.
  • Surround yourself with positive people, ALWAYS.
  • Never compare your child / student with anyone else
  • More important is – let the student have a good sleep. Never do any school work before going to bed specially with the gadget screen.
  • Talk to the child / student, make them feel comfortable. Ensure that your child can talk to you freely and express them. Try to understand and notice if there is a change in their behavior and help them out.
    If you find that academic stress has consumed life, talk to a teacher, guidance counselor, parent, or another trusted adult. While a certain amount of anxiety is normal, no one should worry alone.

Abirami Vivek

Founder Director, Magnet Minds Preschool, Anna nagar, Chennai