Let’s just first understand what academic stress is. When a student is burdened by the demand of time and energy to achieve academic goals, that is what academic stress generally means. This has a greater impact on the students both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes the students themselves overwork to satisfy their unrealistic goals and to fulfill the high expectations of people around them. The society we live in has high regard for academic excellence. Those who fail to meet up to the expectations often face harsh criticism which creates self-doubts about their abilities and intelligence.
This is more common in the upcoming younger generations. They have been taught that education is important more than anything else, which sometimes leads them to compromise their health and well-being. But they also have to understand that health is more important, as our well-being is necessary for us to perceive our studies properly. Of course, education is important and at the same time health matters a lot too, rightfully put in the famous proverb“Health is wealth”. Having tons of money and knowledge and getting admitted to a hospital doesn’t mean that you are wealthy. So all the aspects of our lives should be given equal importance.
Solely acquiring textbook knowledge will definitely not help you with your future. There is something beyond words that none of the books in the world can teach you. That is life lessons. Each and every problem you go through and mistakes you make teach you something very important which helps you to manage your life and definitely help in your future. Social skills also play a vital role in the development of our future.
This pandemic has also paved a path for greater academic stress. There used to be a time when children could go home and be generally disconnected from school. Sure, they had homework to complete but they usually had time to relax and recharge. But now children have online portals to log in and can easily send or receive messages from instructors or teachers. While accessibility is good it flips the other side in which students can be logged on to excess. This situation makes it hard for the students to get adequately disconnected from school and schoolwork.
While technology might be able to bridge the gap to make learning happen, it isn’t the same as direct contact. Technology can enhance learning, but it can sometimes limit or lack the support systems in place at school. For children, digital classes mean lessons they can hear and see. They can read instructions multiple times, and have access to more materials and resources. However, this also means that there are more distractions. Technology is a gift, but considering the other academic stress factors, it can be a double-edged sword. It is necessary for them to have a boundary from these digital classes which is vital for their good mental as well as physical health.
The situation is further aggravated by the educational system where instead of facilitating a child’s growth and development, the entire focus remains on the performance of exams. Growing expectations of parents coupled with academic pressure have led to increased stress levels in today’s students leaving them vulnerable to depression and suicidal tendencies.
Students should never be compared with other children. All the fingers are not the same and the same goes here. All the children are not the same. Each and every child has their own talents which are sometimes compromised and crushed due to academic stress. This is also a reason for academic stress. Children should also be given some time to excel in their talents.
The long hours of study, rote memorization, and elaborate study routines give them very little time for recreation and socialization and cut off their ability to gain practical knowledge. On top of these, there is high competition for students which is the main factor of academic stress. This stress can only be managed with the help of teachers and other students.
As students spend most of their time in the classroom, teachers can play an important role in how they deal with pressure. Educators can teach their children about proper time management. They can also conduct activities to relax them. Teachers should acknowledge and appreciate the effort done by each and every student instead of discouraging them. They should also be given flexible due dates for the submission of their assignments. Sometimes teachers can also speak to children about their relatable childhood experiences which also helps children to gain their attention back and their curiosity in class. Lessons should be about a deeper level of understanding, instead of memorization of information.
Parents also play an important role in managing academic stress with their children. Parents should cultivate positive thinking and insist they live and practice a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes good eating habits, a sleeping routine managed by good exercises and also nurturing them with open communications which helps them in reducing stress. Children need their parent’s support to excel in sports and other extracurricular activities. When a student experiences fear or stress, parents can talk to children and address their concerns for them. They should always embrace their children’s mistakes and their imperfections. They should always give them a positive and open space, where they feel like they could talk about their feelings without repercussions.
School boards, administrations, educators, and parents can work together to make academic stress more manageable for all students. So, to start helping your loved ones master their mental health, particularly in relation to school, start by opening the conversation. Showing you care and want to help is a huge step in helping your child grow into the person they want to be.
In this era where a decimal point can be a deciding factor in one’s life, there is a serious need to address the issues of parenting expectations and suffocating pressure put on the students.
We must work, conduct deeper and wider studies to understand the obstacles and specific plans to reduce the burden on youngsters. So let’s work together on managing pressure, to make all these things a bit more tolerable.
Swetha is an amateur writer from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and a student of Narayana e techno school. She is greatly interested in writing stories and articles as it helps share her views and thoughts with other people. She loves to draw in her free time.