Student psychology and stress level in the current generation (Pt. 1)
Let’s get one thing straight, folks. This isn’t 1990’s, the stress level and competition aren’t contained up to your street or class kids where you only have to compete with 20 or 30 kids anymore. It's more than that and the tension and need for being at the top are at high speed. But my question is, at what cost?
We are surrounded by kids who have average or more than average IQ every day at our classrooms, someone we always think we cannot compete with, who is not on our level. but that's just the beginning, our self-doubt. We don't start having these doubts without a base.
That comes from the fright that our schools, families and society give with dialogues that sound similar to "If you don't study hard enough, everyone else will go in front and you'll have to stay as a clerk or a sweeper. Is that what you want?" or "With marks like this everyone will make fun of you and your parents, are these marks worth telling anyone about?".
Or even better, "Look, (insert any friends name that got a higher score than you) got such good marks. Even he/she studied the same syllabus as you, you both got the same notes and at the same time, same time table, then why are your marks so low?"
One of the things parents or elders tend to say when we don’t stand up to their expectations is that “when we were your age…” or “when I was studying this or that...” is the fact that they forget that it’s not that level of hard anymore. We have come 20-30 years in the future and the level has increased (my statement here is not to offend the elders saying they didn’t have it tough, it's just tougher now).
Now let's get to the part where the title actually relates.
If you haven't noticed already, then let me bring it to your notice that our dreams, in our childhood complied of being doctors, astronauts, teachers, scientists, or a dentist, or anything that excited us. But somewhere between playing house or hospital and college life, reality hit us hard or should I say society did. They hit us with the millennial problem, the whole unemployment, taxes, no more space to live in, poverty and what not. Everything that told us that competition is too much and it's better to give up on our dreams, pick a safe job, and follow the flow.
Some of our teachers brag about how hard it is to pass in their subject. They should not feel proud about their inconvenient teaching, that fails to teach students what they need to know. That they are doing a bad job what the students pay thousands or lakhs for.
Students shouldn't have to say, "You know what, screw it. I don't care if I fail." Truth is, that they do care. We all do. But the pressure, the expectations that we have to live up to are so vast and heavy that it breaks our will to perform. We lose our motivation. We study for months for a test that makes us lose our interest and motivation anyway.
Any time a student falls asleep in the class, the teacher feels the child is lazy and bored, but why can they not understand that the child may be just exhausted, be it mentally or physically and that the school has overworked them to the point they cannot stay awake anymore. That their need for rest is completely valid, even when on the premises.
There are messages given to ‘follow our dreams’ in movies, literature or any kind of influential media, but then we are again yelled at or scorned at for not choosing a safe money making option like doctor, engineer, job, anything that falls under the category of ‘typical jobs that are used to invalidate your dreams because they pay higher’.
Fun fact: make them study for the first 18 years of their life and then don’t give them jobs.
A post that I read stated that ‘The high school students in 2014 have the same anxiety levels as the insane asylum patients as 1950s.’ In case that feels like a false or exaggerated statement don’t forget that kids kill themselves because of the school pressure.
And school doesn’t even have the perfect curriculum that helps in daily life. Now I'm not saying that I didn’t use maths while buying grocery, but I feel (my personal opinion) that there should be activities like being able to change a car tire, fixing your bicycle chain, sewing the button on your shirt back, how and why to pay taxes, etc, should be at least involved once in a blue moon from the start so that we don’t feel helpless when the bicycle chain has come out and we are late to a class that teaches us algorithms and chemical reactions that aren’t that helpful.
In all its glory, school, college, the education system in this generation is stressful and hard to handle for the majority of the student population that consists of having an average IQ.