Anxious About Your Campus Placement? Follow These Steps to be PreparedRead Article
In the competitive world that we live in, there are several obstacles such as examination pressure, extremely high cutoffs at the desired educational institutes or the unrealistic expectations from parents & society that affect the mental well-being of a student.
We at CollegeDekho, are running a week-long campaign with an objective to help students who are stressed, anxious or even depressed because of performance pressure in their academic journey.
For us, a student’s mental well-being is of utmost importance. We strongly believe that every individual has a set of strengths and weaknesses that should be determined by YOUR CAPABILITIES and NOT YOUR MARKS!
Is there too much academic or parental pressure on you with respect to your higher education goals? Do you think your growth and learning curve is hindered? Do you find yourself in a situation where you want to pursue something else, while being pressured by your peers and family to pursue something of their choice? Are you dealing with increased levels of stress or anxiety? Are you unhappy with the direction your life is taking?
The Mental Health Hygiene Toolkit is a guide filled with actionable items a student between the ages of 17-25 can make use of to uplift or maintain their mental wellbeing. The Guide is divided into 3 sections; Self-Care, Peer Support Care, and Specialist care. These sections are important to show that mental wellbeing can be maintained in many ways. It is for information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.Download Toolkit
A fun-loving, honest small town boy, Navin had always dreamt of becoming an IAS officer. After his graduation, he migrated to a bigger city for coaching, inching closer towards his dream. He rented a room close to his coaching centre and immersed himself in his studies. He rehearsed, and re-rehearsed his syllabus, gave mock tests and was confident about cracking the UPSC. The first blow came when he did not qualify the Prelims. Besides being shocked, it blew his confidence as he saw his life crumbling in front of him. Cooped up in his pigeon hole, he spent days crying, obsessing over what went wrong. Eventually, he stopped talking to his family back home. Some of his teachers at the coaching got worried about him and introduced him to a self-help group. After a few interactions with them, Navin was finally able to see life through a different perspective and started rebuilding his life again. He is now happily married with a solid job and in his free time, he coaches students so that they don’t fall into the same trap as he did.
Naintara belonged to an ambitious family. Her parents were both doctors and her brother was living in Silicon Valley. She loved arts and music and wanted to pursue a career in it. But her parents wanted her to follow in their footsteps just because “log kya kahenge”. She tried to reason with them, but to no avail. She did clear her NEET exam, but her score was not good enough to join the category A institutes like AIIMS. Instead, she took admission to a private college. She was overworked, failed her academics and stopped singing and music altogether! Worried, her friends advised her professional help, which she eventually took in her 3rd year. During counselling, she realised that she was clinically depressed and that’s when she decided to quit studying medicine and pursue music. Fast forward 10 years, and she is living happily as a musician and even has her own band!
Naveen had always been a top performer in his class since childhood. Maths was his forte and he foresaw himself sitting in one of the premier IIT’s in India and later on, in MIT. This was his dream, his parents’ dream and they had put in everything they had, just so that he could realise his dream. Class 12 Board exam results did turn out as he had expected it to be and getting into the IIT’s seemed a remote possibility. His parents were angry at him for failing them and often made remarks on how they spent all their savings to give him the best coaching possible. And also, how their neighbour’s son, who was an average student (as compared to him) made the cut. Naveen was under severe stress, but neither he nor his parents could see that. Eventually, Naveen enrolled himself in a regular college and dropped out sometime in his 2nd year.
Aastha has always been very assertive and open about her opinions. She had dreams to pursue law from the top law school in the US. Her parents were more than willing to sponsor her, but their only criteria was that she pursued STEM abroad. Aastha did her research about studying law abroad, as her parents did their research about STEM. When the time for applications came, Aastha’s parents refused to support her to pursue law. She was torn between pursuing her dream career and fulfilling her parents wishes. She became quiet and disinterested in everything she did. To the point that the application deadline was coming to a close and she had still not applied anywhere. Aastha’s parents then sought professional advice to solve the situation they faced. Not only did they reach out, but Aastha was also an equal participant in the conversations with the counsellor/ professional help. Eventually, the counsellor helped her parents see her true potential and they resolved all their differences. Aastha today is working with a top law firm in New York.
Leila was an all rounder throughout her life. She topped her class, was in the school basketball team, debate team and was in top form. As she grew up, she started seeing a fellow classmate. Things didn't work out between them and Leila was deeply disturbed and her academic life started deteriorating steadily. Her relation with her family & friends also suffered. Her parents, extremely dejected, sought professional help for their daughter and for themselves as a family to deal with the whole situation. It was a long process, but Leila was finally able to come out of her situation and today she is a strong successful career driven woman, happily in love with her perfect match.
While it is natural for you to feel the academic pressure, there are ways you can optimise your stress and anxiety levels at the different stages of your higher education journey.
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We are sorry that your parents are not giving you enough attention. Before you talk to them take a moment to acknowledge your feelings about scoring well in your exams. There may have been valid reasons for not scoring well. Document them and see what can be improved next time around. Accept that the marks cannot be changed. Now think about why your parents may be not giving you attention. Maybe they need some time to process their own expectations. Give them time and then speak freely, ask them how they are feeling about your performance, and what they are thinking. Then express your feelings and how you feel about them not giving you attention. Discuss what went wrong and outline steps you are taking to improve your performance. Ask for their support saying their lack of attention might hinder your ability to focus and study. Set realistic goals this time and also have a plan B if you fail to meet those expectations.
Please take a few minutes to acknowledge your own feelings and thoughts. How do you feel about your own son’s performance? Is what you are saying or doing consciously or unconsciously adding to his distress? This is perfectly fine and normal. Just acknowledge this and think about what to say and how to behave.
Start by telling your son that you are here for him, while marks matter, he is more important. Tell him that you love him and support him no matter what his marks are and his marks won’t change your feelings for him. Also, let him know that his value and self-worth are not solely dependent on his marks. Now ask him about his feelings and thoughts. Let him speak freely. Listen. Respond back with kindness, care, and concern. Don’t offer any solutions or advice now -- you can do that later, and with his permission -- for now, just listen. After he has spoken freely and let it all out give him some form of verbal and non-verbal love and affection. Let him know he’s loved and supported.
Now you can sit down and figure out a plan on how to improve his performance next time.
We are sorry to hear that you are feeling depressed because you scored low in your entrance exam. Given the circumstances, feeling this way is normal, and happens to a lot of students who score low marks. Your feelings are valid and you don’t need to fight them. If you are feeling fatigued, unable to concentrate, have difficulty sleeping, have a low appetite, abusing drugs or alcohol, socially isolating yourself, feel like self-harming, or feeling emotionally agitated it is important that you reach out to a mental health professional so that you get the right help. Addressing your emotional state is important because once that is stabilized you will have the energy to come up with solutions to your low mark situation. Do talk to your parents and peers who can help you during this time.
Consult with a career counselor to figure out the various options that you have and the kind of marks that you will need to score to make those options a reality. Also, figure out all the courses and certifications that you can take while you wait to do your entrance exams again. You can also explore all the courses, colleges, and careers that are available based on the current marks.
We are sorry to hear that you are feeling depressed and are unable to do anything. This is understandable considering you have taken the year off to prepare for exams. The pressure you feel is normal. It must be difficult to feel depressed and have a sense that you are unable to do anything.
From your end, please take a break, it is possible that you are burnt out. Sometimes just taking time off and doing nothing or something you enjoy can be helpful. Please do seek professional help as this can help you to stabilize your emotional distress and quell your anxiety. Reach out to a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist who can do a formal diagnosis and suggest the next steps. The first thing you should focus on is your own mental health, once that is stable you will be able to have better focus and clarity to deal with your entrance exam or explore alternatives in case you do not fare well in the exams.
We are sorry that you are unable to sleep well and that you don’t feel right. The rigorous routine does sound taxing. Can you consider taking a break to recuperate and also incorporate mini-breaks into your routine? There are many options. Please refer to our free digital mental health toolkit for what you can do. Establishing a routine with the same sleep-wake cycles may also help. Switching off digital devices and stopping studying an hour before bedtime may also be helpful.
It is also important to seek professional help when needed. This could include your general physician, a psychiatrist, therapist, or even an expert in sleep (somnologist).
We are sorry about the fact that your friends have stopped inviting you to gatherings that must make you feel excluded and ignored. A breakup is always painful and can severely disrupt your day-to-day life. It does look like you are dealing with a lot. It is understandable that in these situations you don’t feel like eating and you are losing sleep.
You may want to take some time to reflect on why this is happening? Has there been anything that has triggered this? Maybe write your thoughts down and retrace your steps? Talk to your friends and family. Lastly, the things you describe might be related to something deeper, and one way to get to the bottom is to seek professional help. We have a list of mental health professionals in the directory compiled by Suicide Prevention India Foundation. This can be accessed here. Do note that this is your call. Seeking help, does help.
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