Grades, or the End of the World?
Pressure to excel in studies leads to depressive and other medical problems
Every student hears the words “good grades”at least once in the span of their school life, which is approximately a quarter of their individual lifespan. Whether it be Primary level, Secondary or even High School, parents are most concerned about their kids getting exceptional or at least good enough grades.
Although, they are rightfully concerned when it comes to their kids academics, the pressure they impose, as well as the administration consciously or unconsciously put on the students, to get good grades leaves deeper marks then a few hours of stress.
Let us remember that grades have very little worth when it comes to practical and professional experiences in life. While, they help you get ahead and avail better opportunities, once you enter the adult world, how you merge your academics with practicality and what you gain from that mix is the key to success.
Books and academics can only take you to a certain point before you are left on your own to relearn everything you spent say, 20 to 25 years of your life on. Therefore, we need to inculcate in our communal mindset that getting average grades also is not the end of the world. Especially if you have understood the basic lessons you need to employ in your professional avatars.
Moreover, since a constant pressure to excel at studies by the school, college or university is already a lot, many students in the subsequent event of failure, consequently do not even know how to cope with the pressure coming from their families, peers and the institute itself.
Comparison between one’s own children or even children of relatives is extremely unfair. Instead of motivating the students, these comparisons lead to a myriad of negative emotions and self-doubt. In fact, such analogies drawn by teachers and loved ones, leads them to feel largely insignificant.
Furthermore, while the schooling of children especially in private schools costs a lot of financial pressure on the parents they should still try and realize the individual capabilities of every child.
Therefore, comparison between one’s own children or even children of relatives is extremely unfair. Instead of motivating the students, these comparisons lead to a myriad of negative emotions and self-doubt. In fact, such analogies drawn by teachers and loved ones, leads them to feel largely insignificant. The pressure to do better than the other child even if their choice of subjects, capabilities and interests are worlds apart.
To top it off, once school is over, or rather even before that, the responsibility of getting into a reputed and good university is thrust upon students. Since, grades obviously matter the pressure to get exceptional reports are also doubled to the already existent burden on their shoulders.
Parents need to realize that not all children are or can be A* students.If that were the case then there would never have been a single average student getting B grades.
Apart from that, children need to be properly guided and supported by their parents who understand their child’s choices and their interests as well.
Also, LUMS [Lahore University of Management Sciences] which is one of the leading institutes of higher education in Pakistan,sets high standards for students to achieve. Students get there only by merit of excellent grades. This also adds to the already building pressure on the youth. Thus, when the external pressures [academics, institutes and parents] and internal [oneself] merge, it often leads to a failure to cope with the stress and students consequently feel they have no choice left than to commit suicide.
The extent of pressure throughout the education period is a lot for the students after all they are human too and deserve some time to unwind.
Elders and other experienced adults tend to panic or suffer from anxiety because of work pressure or other pressures in their daily lives yet, no one tries to understand how a student in grade 10 feels giving his Pakistan Studies and Islamiat exams for instance, if those are not his/her strengths.
In some cases parents even tell their children to take up science courses or subjects just because they want their child to pursue medicine, while the children cannot and/or do not want to understand the sciences because they do not want to aspire to become a doctor, an engineer, a scientist or any other profession one may choose in the sciences.
Students can easily do much better if they are not under constant pressure. There is nothing wrong with pushing themselves to do good but at the risk of their health, no effort is worth it.
The world is getting increasingly more competitive and challenging with each passing day yet, we have long leaps to take to understand that to be successful in life is not dependent on the number of A’s or A*’s one is able to collect. Good grades alone do not matter, many other factors such as confidence, extra curricular activities, communication skills, experiences exposure and self-grooming for both boys and girls, also matters.
Studies even suggest that if children are put under too much “pressure” to do good, they might become cheaters, always trying to find ways to cheat on tests or exams. This way the child may get good grades but the learning would be zero.