How the Pressures of College Admission
Harm Students’ Mental Health
There is a lot of pressure on students to prepare to join colleges. Our performance-based culture has created a great desire for successful children. This is why pressure is coming from all sides to perform better for college acceptance. Parents, teachers, and even friends require students to work harder to join colleges. So, students have to get good grades in every discipline.
The problem is that students have different abilities. So, a student who is unable to do well on all disciplines gets frustrated. This is considering that society expects them to perform well. Also, these students know it is important to perform well to join a dream college. It is expected that this would enable them secure a good job in future. But, good grades are a must regardless of the cost. If a student wants to join a top college, then they have to do extremely well in school.
The problem is that these students have a life outside the classroom. They have a social life to take care of. But, no one remembers this aspect. We continue putting more and more pressure on the students to perform well. Research shows that this pressure leads to stress which harms students’ mental health.
Increased stress among students
Immediately a student joins school, pressure starts coming in on the need to join college. So, they have to worry about their grades as soon as they join school. Jimmy who is now a college student says he started worrying about his grades while in the fifth grade. He says his parents and other relatives had emphasized the importance of good grades. At this grade, he knew the big role good grades play on future success. He says the worst thing that would happen to him then was failing in any subject. This subjected him to a lot of stress. All he wanted was to get good grades which would enable him secure a position in a good college. While this would make him happy, it would also fulfill the dream of his family and society in general.
Jimmy says in his eleventh grade, he performed poorly in several subjects that he felt he would fail his parents. This gave him a lot of pressure to work harder and harder. But, he continued performing poorly. The pressure increased causing him to suffer anxiety and engage in drug abuse. Jimmy is not alone. There are many other students who have suffered depression and others started abusing drugs because of the pressure to get good grades for college acceptance.
Jimmy was lucky to meet a therapist who helped him manage the stress that came with the pressure to perform. Whenever he felt stressed, he could share with the therapist which made it easy for him to overcome the stress as well as drug abuse before addiction. He eventually managed to join a top college.
Reducing mental harm on students
The pressure of college acceptance is causing real stress to students. It is harming their mental health. It is important that the students are assisted to overcome the stress. Otherwise, more and more students will end up suffering depression and anxiety. One good way is using an essay writing service company that handle student’s assignments. A student is just required to submit assignments instructions and relax.
Another good way is using therapists. The specialists will help students learn coping skills essential for dealing with stressful life.
With good therapy, students can identify unhealthy stress coping techniques and develop healthy ones. Relying on unhealthy mechanisms such as substance abuse, self-harm, and gambling exposes one to secondary mental health problems. With a therapist, such mechanisms can be identified and prevented to avoid worst-case scenarios. Joining top college is good. However, we all have different paths. Some people have unique talents that can help them succeed in life. So, we should not use the excuse of joining college to expose students to mental health problems. It is important to acknowledge that we all have different abilities.
Thirdly, parents and the community should stop giving students a lot of pressure to perform well in school. Excess pressure increases stress in students to a level that even adults can’t handle. Research from a reliable organization shows that pressure to perform better have increased the number of stressed children compared to stressed adults. Some students even reported skipping meals due to this pressure. So, parents, teachers, and society should know that this pressure is harming students’ mental health. It is thus important to reduce the pressure.
For students practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress. Through mindfulness, students can focus on the present moment and avoid repetitive thoughts on the pressure to perform that leads to stress. In other words, mindfulness reduces stress. Apart from lowering blood pressure and boosting immune system, reduced stress reduces harm to mental health.
So, what techniques can you use to practice mindfulness? You can practice mindful breathing. Here, you focus on how you are breathing in and out. Other techniques include paying close attention to body movement and eating practice.