“Mahmood sahib ke betay ka A+ aya hai, tou tum kyun sirf A le kar aye?”
And BOOM! Here it all starts…this never-ending competition has made life a living hell for students today.
Why don’t they compare us to Siddique sahib ka beta, who scored a B, I wonder?
This, actually, is the most common cause of anxiety among students. After all, when one doesn’t get the desired result despite burning the midnight oil and feels pressurized to achieve ridiculous goals, he/she is doomed to suffer from anxiety and stress.
Some things we all hear often which can act like a fire in the forest are:
- If you don’t do well in your exams, that’s the end of your career.
- A reputed company will never hire someone who scored less in even a single subject.
- Your exam success defines who you are as a person.
And mind you, that’s not all. During exams taking small breaks while studying is considered a sin; using one’s phone is a crime of the highest order; and seeking entertainment even for a moment is a moral misconduct.
There is no doubt that the parents of the modern era have become very education-oriented. They scrutinize their child’s school progress like a hawk eyeing its prey – which is not a bad thing, to be honest; but this disposition has given rise to a lot of competition. Consequently, in this time of unemployment, recruitments have become an uphill battle, which has given rise to a vicious cycle.
These along with the following reasons result in anxiety and stress among students:
- Financial Support
Every child in his/her life faces the looming burden of taking financial responsibilities when parents grow old. They desire to give their parents a bountiful life after all their hard work and sacrifices in raising them. But there is always a frightening prospect of not being able to land a good, self-sufficient job if he/she fails to score well or fails to get in a good institution. This leads to anxiety.
- Imposed study programs and career choices
Parents in Pakistan often impose their wishes on their children. According to them, Business Management, Engineering and Medical are the only respectable fields and if the child opts for anything other than the aforementioned fields, he/she is a disgrace to the family. And ultimately when the child gives in and goes against his/her own wishes, the work performance suffers or he/she finds it difficult to fit in. And that’s where anxiety creeps in.
- Examination system
Unfortunately, students in Pakistan are evaluated based on their rote memory rather than their cognitive abilities. This is a major cause of exam stress and since this can also cause cognitive abilities to be less developed, ultimately their career performance may suffer in the long-run.
Competition, comparison and expecting too much are one of the key reasons of anxiety. Having superficial expectations leads to anxiety and complex.
- Extreme competition
In this era, competition is not just limited to fashion and sports; it has become a part of our everyday life.
“Salma nay IELTS ka test dia hai, tum bhi do!”
“Ali nay drawing competition mein 2nd prize lia, tum first lay kar aao.”
Irrespective of whether the child possesses such abilities or not, parents tend to drive them mercilessly and the poor child is left with nothing but anxiety to deal with.
A number of good schools provide career counseling and support nowadays, but the fact of the matter is that students need a lot of psychological support to deal with the increasing levels of stress and pressure.