The many causes of stress and anxiety among students
Quizzes! Assignments! Exams ! Deadlines! All these factors add up to the stress caused to students during the tenure of their university life.
Rather than making it a time that is worth reliving and full of memories, it becomes a time of utter torture.
They try to find an escape, a shortcut or a way out to somehow shorten the span of this tenure.
This stress, which is caused by the institution can become a reason for various health disorders and mental disorders.
The stress caused to a student can be broken down into two broad categories; rational stress and emotional stress.
Rational stress, is caused by all the deadlines, all the quizzes, assignments, presentations and exams.
When there is another activity which has our interest, but at the back of our mind we know we have to submit an assignment, accentuate the stress.
We are unable to enjoy the experiences that we gain during our studies.
The knowledge that we gain becomes of no use, because we don’t try to make it useful for us, we only try to complete our tasks on time, so that we can have a better grade. Life starts revolving around grades and scores.
Sometimes the stress caused by teachers can easily be categorized as harassment.
Asking a student to bring him a new pair of shoes, if he want a better grades. Asking a student the student to keep paying visits to the office if they want to be remembered while the grades are being allotted.
I have even witnessed teachers bringing their kids to university and asking the students to “look after” the kids, if they want to get good grades.
All these factors add up to the reasons of stress being caused to the students.
What if he can’t afford a new pair of shoe but now he has to get it just so the teacher does not build up a revengeful relationship with him, or because he does not want to disappoint the parents with a bad grade.
If my family has a plan of going out and I know I have to prepare for a quiz in the morning, I will be stressed even if I go out, because I would constantly be thinking about the unprepared quiz due in the morning.
If I stay back and prepare for the exam, that would become an added reason for me to dislike that subject, and for the rest of the course I will never be able to enjoy that course.
The emotional stress caused by universities have a lifelong effect on us, the stress that is caused in the classroom due to the fear of asking a question that somebody might laugh on you, impacts your confidence.
The stress of competition due to the difference in financial status, makes you have an inferiority complex for the rest of you life.
When you know you can’t afford to dine out but you class plans for a class party at a restaurant where you have to contribute a certain amount that makes you feel inferior.
Stress can impact a person’s life in various ways. Lack of sleep, lack of appetite, lack of confidence.
It can cause various complexities. Peers don’t feel love for each other due to the competition that they face. When they are degraded in the classroom because someone else got better grades, they would feel that person is their enemy and never share a good relationship with him.
We as human beings, have not been taught to be empathetic due to which we are unable to connect to someone’s emotions.
If we try to notice, a child as young as five years old, is not stressed because he/she done not have to think about “How people would react?” “What will they think of me?” “What will be the impressions that I leave on them?” These are the societal pressures, that cause us stress.
“Children must be taught how-to-think, not what to think” – Margaret Mead
Universities should be student centered, they should focus on how a student can learn, they need to find ways to make it accommodating for the students, rather that instructor centered.
Our universities are instructor centered. Students, who should be the top priority of educational institutes become the least important.
We need to educate ourselves to be more thoughtful towards the other person, we need to teach that “a good grade” does not necessarily define you to be a “good human being”.
A grade does not define our personality. Universities should practise teaching under friendly circumstances, where people come to learn what they love rather than where students come because that’s how the society will accept them.
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one” – Hans Selye