Supporting A Teen Struggling With Academic Pressure

Understanding Academic Pressure
Throughout the duration of a teen’s high school/middle school career, they are bound to come head to head with the pressures that come along with academic and social expectations, extracurricular commitments, and their struggles through self-identity. These pressures are all grouped under the category of academic stress/pressure, which appertains to the stress and anxieties derived from the mentioned factors. They can have a significant impact on a teenager’s mental health and can trigger immense amounts of stress on them, which is why it is crucial to understand the various ways to support and empathize with a teen struggling through them. One of the major misconceptions regarding academic pressure is that it is only formed through external components such as family expectations, learning pressures, and more. When in reality, there can be more ‘internal’ components such as a desire for perfection, a fear of failure, and peer pressure. 

The Impact of Academic Pressure on The Mental Well-being of A Teenager
As mentioned earlier, academic pressure can have significant effects on students including,

  • Stress: persisting amounts of stress can often have an effect on both their physical and mental health (sleeplessness, cognitive issues such as with concentration, decision-making, and memory), 
  • Anxiety: Studies show that students under pressure often struggle with large amounts of anxiety.
  • A lack of motivation: several studies have displayed that a lack of academic-related motivation is often associated with academic pressure
  • A lack of self-esteem and Self-Confidence

Finding healthy Coping Mechanisms 
Alleviating academic pressures involves providing teens with beneficial coping strategies to help them manage their stress. These coping strategies largely differ from person to person, but some common strategies include learning proper time-management skills, having or establishing a growth mindset, and setting time aside for personal hobbies, self-care, and physical activities.

The Effect Of The Involvement of A Guardian/Educator
Guardians and educators play a critical role in reducing the effects of academic pressure, one of the valuable things they can do is provide an environment in which their teen does not feel obligated to get a certain grade; valuing their efforts over their results. Though as stated earlier, academic pressure can be internal; doing this can aid them in feeling less pressured, even if it is by a small amount. Having this thought process as an educator or guardian can aid the student in also gaining a similar perspective on their accomplishments.

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