14 tips to help cope with academic stress
Don’t worry! Always remember – failures are a part of life. If you don’t fail, you will not learn. If you don’t learn, you won’t change. Anoushka...
Don’t worry! Always remember – failures are a part of life. If you don’t fail, you will not learn. If you don’t learn, you won’t change. Anoushka Thakkar & Pragya Lodha School education is an essential part of an individual’s life as academic performance plays a crucial role in shaping our future careers. However, excess academic stress during this stage can result in adverse effects that are far-reaching.
In today’s highly competitive world, students face various academic problems – including exam stress, disinterestedness in attending classes and the inability to understand the subject. Such stress can result in some kind of psychological or physical problems like depression, anxiety, nervousness and stress-related problems – which in turn can affect their academic results.
Anxiety and stress have a considerate negative effect on children’s social, emotional and academic success. Depression is becoming the most common mental health problem affecting students these days.
Students say that their greatest academic stressors are- tests, grades, homework, academic and achievement expectations and pressure from parents. School-related stresses include inadequate teaching methods, teacher-student relationships, heavy academic work, poor physical classroom environments balancing one’s leisure time with school, and disorganization surrounding academic assignments and schedules.
The mental health of students, especially regarding academic stress and its impact has become a serious issue among school and policymakers because of the increasing incidence of suicides among students across the globe. The Lancet Report states that India has the world’s highest suicide rates for youth. Parental pressure for better academic performance is found to be mostly responsible for academic stress. The constant pushing of students by parents to perform better in academics and extra-curricular activities, cause some children to develop anxiety related to exam and work.
It is important to remember that coping capacities vary from one child to another. Also that there are many factors that affect the coping mechanism- which class the student is in, what kind of home environment he / she has, what is the mental strength of the student (scientifically known as academic resilience). Therefore, children with poor coping capabilities become more prone to anxiety, depression and fear of academic failure. This shows us that one should not compare one student with another.
There is an urgent need to develop suitable interventions to reduce this level of stress and psychiatric morbidity.
Some of the simple tips that students can follow to study are:
1. Eating nutritious food and not skipping meals so that the body is supplied with enough energy to focus on studying.
2. Sleeping for at least 7 hours and waking up fresh to study.
3. Making a time-table and following it.
4. Make SMART goals for studying – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely, so that day-to-day tasks are met and no pending work remains.
5. Do it NOW! Start studying NOW. Don’t wait until the 11th hour to finish preparation. This will help you to not feel panicked.
6. Take a study break. The concentration span of individuals, on an average, is 25-30 minutes and taking breaks in between can help maintain focus.
7. Do what you love during the break. It’s a good refresher. Listen to music, take a short walk or just talk to people near you.
8. Exercising provides a good supply of oxygen to the brain and keeps it active. 20 minutes every day!
9. Yoga and meditation will help you feel calm and more focused.
10. Depending on if you can study well at night or during the day, choose a timetable that allows you rest and eat accordingly. Don’t do others things at your study table or don’t study where you sleep or eat food.
11. Don’t rote learn. Understand the concepts, and you’ll remember it forever.
12. Be optimistic about your study plan. Sometimes, you may not meet your goals, but don’t be too harsh on yourself.
13. Study and help your pals. Sometimes, helping others with studies can help you also revise better.
14. Little stress is good. It motivates you to study and do well.