The recent epidemic of student suicides is not only disheartening and unfortunate but also happens to represent the tip of the iceberg of a highly prevalent and often neglected phenomenon, namely 'student stress.
Everyone says stress is a part of one's life, and some stress levels can be good for us because the right kind of stress makes us move towards change and growth. But when stress takes place for an extended period of time, it becomes a burden and can even increase the risk of health. Here is a brief summary of the various factors that perpetuate student stress and what each one can do to alleviate it.
Stress is the bodily reaction to the challenges we face. Actually, stress is perceived as bad, but it can be good in some aspects. The right kind of stress sharpens our minds and reflects the actions of the body. The right kind of stress helps the body to perform better and helps to escape from dangerous situations.
Stress starts producing physiological reactions in the body by releasing hormones. They are,
Shaking of hands and legs.
Dilation of pupils.
All these are known as “fight or flight” responses; that is, our bodies fight against or run away from the stressor.
1. For Students:
Before or during any examination, quite a few students tend to think around these - "What all is at stake in these exams? What if I fare badly in them? What if my friends get more marks than me? How will my parents and teachers react to my poor performance?"
This is exactly the kind of negative thinking that creates stress and, in fact, hinders performance rather than enhancing it by adversely affecting concentration.
The trick to getting out of this trap is to realize that thinking about negative consequences beforehand is not going to do you any good. In fact, it is best not to think about any consequences at all, and rather concentrate all your energy on preparing for your performance.
Realize that poor performance is undesirable, but it is in no way a marker of your failure in life and certainly not the end of the world.
If you fare badly as compared to your friends, it means that your current study technique is not very effective, and you can either devise a better one yourself or with someone's help. It does not signify that you are in any way inferior to anyone. However, if you are harboring any such feelings of inferiority, you need to communicate it with elders before you develop any symptoms of the so-called 'inferiority complex.'
The following tips will help to cope up and manage stress.
Have a Good Sleep - When students do not get enough sleep, they will not be able to concentrate the whole day.
Be Positive - Being positive improves physical well-being, produces lower feelings of depression, and produces lower distress levels.
Outings - Going out and being social with others by participating in sports activities, sticking up with hobbies, or being a member of a social club.
Relaxation Techniques - Indulging in things that give you positive thoughts, meditation, counting the numbers, visualization, and playing with a stress ball helps overcome stress.
Sharing With Others - Sharing stressful events with others or knowing that you have someone to listen to your problems will reduce your stress levels.
Many students will experience staying far away from their home when they are studying in some other places.
The college environment may be unfamiliar and new to the students.
The food, new people, and hostel accommodations can create anxiety within them.
Most students will cope up within a few days, but the first few weeks of college may create stress for some students.
Also, when you are really excited about the new beginning, positive changes start to induce stress.
When you do not get the results you think, a pressured feeling can cause a lot of stress.
Rent, food, gas, and others increase the financial responsibility. Also, other requirements like phone calls, paperwork, question works, and deadlines have to be properly maintained to ensure that you complete everything within the time to not exceed the financial limits.
After college life thinking about post-graduation will create stress as it will decide the rest of your life.
Other stress-inducing factors are having post-graduation as it will fetch you the best job or working on a job for being forced to settle, or the struggle to get into post-graduation.
After completing the studies, paying back student loans is now a great hangover for most passed-out students.
2. For Parents:
Accept the child for what he or she is and not for what he is going to achieve.
When a child is not performing well, he is in greater need of support, words of encouragement, and some morale-boosting.
Instead, quite often, he becomes the receiving end of harsh criticism for his performance which could potentially cause a nervous breakdown and increase the distance between you and your child.
Do not relate your ward's academic performance to your personal success or failure. Tying your ego with it is highly irrational and will only bring you and your child misery in the long run. Try to maintain a detached but cooperative attitude in this matter.
Do not compare him with any of his classmates or your friend's children. This makes children feel insecure, vulnerable to stress and inculcates feelings of inferiority.
You know that you love your child a lot, but let him know that once in a while as well.
Keep the communication channel between you and your child wide open by means of which he or she can express their feelings to you.
A teacher is usually best placed to pick out a depressed child because he can compare the child's current behavior with others as well as with his past behavior under similar circumstances.
Instances like recent irregularities in attending or completing schoolwork, crying easily in school, inability to pay attention in class, fearing exams could be a marker of childhood depression and warrant their communication with the child's parents and evaluation if needed.
It is a sad fact that while a lot of schooling stresses academics, there are so many professions where it is not your academic excellence but qualities like creativity, social skills, technical expertise, or business acumen that matters. These, unfortunately, are not reflected in any examination results.
Last reviewed at:
07 Aug 2021 - 4 min read
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