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Published on March 29, 2023
As a society, we place great emphasis on academic success and the pressure to perform well in school, especially during the teenage years, as this is the time when academics start to make an impact on a student’s future. This pressure can stem from parents, teachers, peers, and even from the students themselves. The intense pressure to succeed academically can lead to various problems, including high levels of stress and anxiety, a decline in mental health, and a decrease in overall academic performance, achieving the opposite of what is required from them.
It is important to understand the causes and consequences of academic pressure on teenagers, to implement methods to alleviate the burden and promote healthy academic achievement.
One of the main causes of academic pressure on teenagers is the societal expectation that success in education is crucial to future success in life. This belief puts immense pressure on teenagers to perform well academically, as they believe their entire future is at stake, and to couple with this, students are praised for academic achievements and belittled for failure, creating a toxic environment where success is the only acceptable outcome. Barring a student from learning from failure and depending on their academic validation as a source of self-worth.
Another cause of academic pressure is the competitive nature of our education system. Most education systems have a rubric that is followed strictly and does not engage a student’s unique learning style and abilities, instead favoring rote memorization and test-taking ability. This leaves little room for individuality and creativity, in turn muffling a child’s ambitions and talents, ultimately leading to a loss of interest in learning and further contributing to the pressure on students. This can be incredibly stressful for students who do not excel in these areas, leading to a decline in academic performance which leads to a downward spiral of self-doubt and hatred, which could lead to unhealthy habits to cope like drug abuse, self-harm or even suicidal tendencies.
However, all hope is not lost, as there are effective ways of fixing this, The best way to alleviate academic pressure is by promoting a growth mindset approach, where students are encouraged to view failure as an opportunity for growth and development, rather than a source of shame and inadequacy. This approach emphasizes the idea that with effort and persistence, abilities can be developed over time, which instills a sense of agency and motivation in students. Teachers and parents can foster this mindset by providing feedback that emphasizes effort and progress, rather than solely focusing on grades and test scores, allowing the student to fully develop their potential and talents. After all, school is about learning and personal growth, not just achieving high grades.
A more viable method, that doesn’t require a system change would be to make smaller support groups, and increase awareness about this problem.
These support groups could be led by teachers, counselors or peer mentors, and would provide students with a safe space to express their concerns and fears, and help them deal with the pressure safely and healthily, and by creating awareness we are informing students, parents, and educators about the negative effects of academic pressure, hopefully preventing them from falling into the same trap.
In conclusion, academic pressure on teenagers is a significant issue that affects their mental health and overall well-being, and taking steps to address this problem is essential. Promoting a growth mindset approach and creating smaller support groups can help students overcome academic pressure, and create a healthier learning environment where individuality and personal growth are valued just as much as academic achievement, and it is crucial to our society, that younger generations can escape this vicious cycle of academic pressure and prioritize their mental health, so they can fully reach their potential in all areas of life.