Some time last year, we had a series of student suicide cases in Nigeria. It has also being happening in a lot of countries and the causes has been gleaned to depression resulting from academic stress and pressure and some other life challenges. Although many have not gone to that length, millions of students over the world experience severe academic stress and many fall into depression as a result.
During the occurrence last year, there were cases of students with good academic standing who were involved and some others due to failure of professional exams like MBBS. Some people were asking why someone with a first class would commit suicide, lol. Now, that’s one of the downsides of depression from academic stress or pressure. More so, there is no saying that it was the only issue in their lives, however, that’s what we will be discussing.
Academic pressure in this context refers to the mental burden most students are under to keep up with academic demands. This could be a result their own expectations from themselves, parental expectations, peers, or immediate environment. However, the most common sources the parental/familiar pressure.
This mental burden can result in negative stress. Stress is the physical and mental response of the body to demands made upon it. It is a very important factor in our everyday life when it is positive (adaptive stress) as it supplies the buzz of energy required to stay alert, focused and creative. However, when it becomes negative, the initial buzz becomes worry and irritation, largely because the body is unable to break down the stress chemicals. Thus ones ability to cope with life’s demands reduces drastically.
The Lancet Report has it that India has the world’s highest suicide rate among the youth and parental pressure for better academic performance is found to be mostly responsible for academic stress. As a result of constant pushing of students by their parents to perform better in both academics and extra-curricular activities, some children deep rooted disorders.
What many fail to understand is that the coping capacities of children vary. Not just children, humans generally, that is why we are not to be compared in that lightknow the difference between encouragement and pressure
Parental pressure is one thing, it extends to pressure from other family members (they don’t know how irritating that is), academic workload, assessments and examinations, fear of failure, poor time management and so on.
parents, please understand that being a student is not easy.
These excessive levels of academic stress can result in susceptibility to psychological and physical problems like anxiety, depression, nervousness even among people with good grades. I experienced this after my first year in the University because I was burdened by the weight of expectations.
In evidence of this, studies assert that depression is becoming the most common mental health problem college students suffer these days. Have you seen someone who failed a professional exams?, Some even break down after passing it. Honestly, I feel the examiners should show some mercy with the penalties, MBBS students look like destitutes during their exams, lol, plus the back breaking workload.
What’s worse is when one doesn’t meet expectations after trying hard, frustration sets in.
Aside the strictly psychological effects, academic stress could also result in poor academic performance and apathy (many want to resume, but they are not ready for the stress). It also reflects physically; that’s why you hear sayings like gather freshness for school.
I know we’ve all (students) experienced this before so here are some tips to cope with academic stress;
Tips to cope with academic stress
- Exercise. Psychologists agree that exercise helps to reduce symptoms of stress and depression
- Take some time off if you can
- Understand your academic capacities to prevent unreasonable expectations
- Always have something to look forward to daily, so you don’t give up
- Create a proper schedule to help manage your academic activities
- Be positive
- Stop the negative comparism and try not to get intimidated by the success of others
- Talk about it. Cry. Just express yourself
- Pray. Pray again.
As for the pressure, parents particularly, be considerate when putting pressure on your child, some already have self-induced pressure and don’t need more. The same goes for every person pressuring another one way or the other. Know the difference between encouraging and pressuring a person.
As always, the conversation continues in the comment section, share your stories of academic pressure, I know you have one. Don’t forget to like, share and sign-ups for more. Ciao!