How Does Academic Pressure Affect Students?
Academic pressure is defined as “an experience in which a student is burdened by the demands of time and energy to achieve specific academic goals. The stress can come from a variety of potential sources and have a myriad of impacts on students both emotionally and academically.” During adolescence, young people are tasked with learning healthy living habits. The commitment to one’s academics should only be one component of many facets needed to lay a proper foundation for his or her future. There are teenagers who experience mild academic pressure and are positively motivated by it, but the reverse is also true. Through the maturation process, teens must learn to balance the demands of life, and academic pressure can be hindering to one’s physiological growth and development. If a teenager’s primary and sole focus is on his or her schoolwork, to the point where he or she is unable to enjoy life, helping the teenager learn to ease up on the pressure will be beneficial to his or her quality of life.
Academic pressure can cause an adolescent to experience emotional and/ or physical symptoms of stress. Stress is explained as the “feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.” Immense academic pressure can cause a young person to struggle with any of the following examples, provided by Stanford University:
- Obsession with grades
- Extreme competitiveness
- Changes in appetite
- Working constantly
- Stimulant abuse (e.g., caffeine, prescription medications, etc.)
- Sleep difficulties
- Inability to relax
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed pastimes
Academic pressure does not always result in better grades and improved test scores. Research has found that excessive levels of academic stress can result in an “increased prevalence of psychological and physical problems like depression, anxiety, nervousness, and stress-related disorders,” which in turn can adversely affect academic results. As is noted above, there are a variety of unwanted effects that a young person can develop from academic pressure.
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