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What Are The Effects Of Academic Pressure?

What Are The Effects Of Academic Pressure?

At a very early age, children are encouraged to continuously think ahead and academically prepare themselves for subsequent academic milestones. This cyclical pattern of continuously anticipating the next step in academia can be quite damaging. 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.” For example, it is highly common for young people to experience self-imposed academic pressure. A young person can feel academic pressure from outside sources (e.g., the increasingly competitive nature of being accepted into a university, parents, wanting to fit in with peers, etc.). There are teenagers who experience mild academic pressure and are positively motivated by it, but the reverse is also true. Part of a young person’s maturation process through adolescence is learning how to balance the demands of life, and academic pressure can be hindering to one’s growth and development.


There are a variety of unwanted effects that a young person can develop from academic pressure. Academic pressure can cause an adolescent to experience emotional and/ or physical symptoms of stress. Immense academic pressure can cause a young person to struggle with any of the following examples, provided by Stanford University

  • Obsession with grades
  • Anxiety 
  • 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 lead to 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. 

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Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life in, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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