Stress affects students worldwide. Approximately eight out of ten go through a period of stress and anxiety part of their life as students.
What is stress?
Stress is simply the absence of inner peace. It is usually perceived differently by different individuals. We may find ourselves in situations that we feel threatening our well-being emotionally, physically, imaginary, mentally or even spiritually; that’s stress!
Survey has shown that the percentage of students who are stressed continues to increase every single day. A very alarming issue. It got to my attention when a young girl committed suicide after a video of her getting bullied by other students went viral.
I remember watching the viral video on Twitter on one of the evenings. It wasn’t very pleasant. In her weak state, she was publicly humiliated by her fellow students as the rest of the girls burst out laughing. It wasn’t until later that the following evening I heard the news of her demise. The matter broke my heart. Shuttered, I sat down on my coach the following evening, unable to hold back my tears. I couldn’t imagine the pain this girl went through.
The humiliation! The suicide! And the loss of life to the family at such young age is breaking. I lack words to describe the kind of feeling the family could be going through. What a young life wasted just before our eyes.
6 Causes of stress in students.
Stress in students is very common and can be very unrewarding if not dealt with. It ends up affecting things like grades, relationships, extracurricular activities such as sports and music and one’s social life.
This said stress should be one of the things a student should strive to eliminate.
Here is a list of the things that might be stressing out a student.
- Transition to the next level
Transition is the movement of a student from one level to another. A process that might seem easy but is not a bowl of soup, as most would say, for everyone.
Normally, humans resist change. One is always afraid of what the next level holds for them. This change can cause a myriad of questions and uncertainties that may generate stress for any student.
Nowadays, students have found platforms in which they can work and study at the same time. As the new opportunities arise, it calls for more effort, discipline and time management which can be hard to juggle around with for a student. Balancing work and study time is a potential cause of stress.
We all go through this stage of life. To most, a load of homework isn’t something we want to engage in during the weekends or holidays. The deadlines will make you think of even skipping school at some point. We all fall victim to late deadlines. It doesn’t always find you smiling, especially when the deadlines are so near.
- Family issues
For so long, families have been a significant cause of degrading scores in school. The pandemonium at home leaves a child in a distressing situation that may be or not evident in a student’s life. It forces teachers to call upon parents to address the problem or environment at home when they notice and find the environment toxic for the student. Majorly, it’s displayed in the students degrading performance which goes hand in hand with stress from issues such as divorce and fights.
- Extra-curriculum activities
Ironically, these are activities such as football and music, which should be helping one fight stress. The truth of the matter is that they require time for practice. When engaging in these activities as you battle academics, one may find it challenging to juggle between the activities and studies.
Again, time management becomes a plank in the eye, which requires a lot of discipline to manage effectively. A lot is expected from the concerned student, and one ends up feeling time isn’t enough for their activities. Eventually, you feel like you are being stretched from both ends. You’ll end up losing one or both of your hands.
As a student, juggling school and relationships aren’t a walk in the park. In relationships, a lot is expected. A good option would be first to focus on studies. Looking at it from another perspective, some students are actually of age to be in relationships. Some even have families and are required to maintain a balance between their family responsibilities and books.
Now, having learned the potential causes of stress among students, let’s explore some of the symptoms of stressed students.
6 Signs of stress.
Here is a breakdown of the STRESS acronym I thought you should know.
· S => Struggles.
· T => Tiredness.
· R => Rebellion.
· E => Excuses.
· S => Distancing from others.
· S => Sulkiness.
If you’re undergoing the 6 listed situations, you need to be extra-vigilant.
Tips of managing stress
Here, we need some re-evaluation. Take the bull by its horns. In the process, one is required to self-analyse to ensure that the techniques implemented are just right for the cause of stress. Here is a guide on how to do self-evaluation.
· Identify the source of stress.
Identifying your potential source of stress is the first step. Here, you should note down the sources of stress, be it school fees, violence, past trauma or even academics. Afterwards, take your time to arrange them in the manner from the most stressful to the least.
That way, you will tell the major source of stress, which is helpful in this journey. You’ll be able to deal away with the sources one by one, starting from the least to the major.
· Identify you stress signs
Signals are distinct among different individuals. Some of the signals may include stomach pains, headaches or even loss of appetite and others. These signs vary from individual to individual and thus require keen attention. You may have heard your friends mentioning numerous signs of stress. It is not always right to assume the same situation is happening to you.
Having done the re-evaluation above, it’s time to get the management techniques and put them into use.
15 Techniques of managing stress for students
- Do exercises.
- Listen to or play music.
- Organise or time plan your activities well.
- Thinking positively.
- Imagination- imagine yourself better.
- Ask for help or counselling from trusted individuals such as from the student’s welfare department.
- Share your situation. Remember, a problem shared is half solved.
- Accept things that are beyond your control.
- Change of attitude.
- Talk. Keeping mute boils up your situation. Talking helps you deal with the situation.
- Note down your progress.
- Spend time with things or people you love.
- Play with a pet.
- Take a break from your usual activities.
- Reading keeps your mind busy.
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I hope this article was resourceful to you. Keep learning. Keep healthy. Adios.