Does the education system put too much pressure on young people?
- The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s. Could this be the result of the ever increasing pressure of the education system?
- Brian Lightman of the Association of School and College Leaders argues recent changes in education have happened too quickly and too soon for parents and students to really understand what’s going on. In addition, there is increasing pressure on young people to go to university and exams are getting harder. It is all too much.
- The Government seems to fail to recognise that everyone is different and the workforce has many different needs. In the UK 54% of young people are graduates compared to Germany with 31%. Yet, Germany has a better educated and more highly skilled workforce than we do. This proves the pressure is unnecessary. Furthermore, every young person in this country deserves to be offered every opportunity. But if university is open to everyone, no matter what a student has or can achieve, then degrees become meaningless and being a graduate is worthless. Nearly 300,000 young people in Britain have an anxiety disorder, 1 in 10 suicides in the UK are by those aged 15-24 and the numbers of young people calling Childline for help about Eating Disorders has increased by 110% since 2011. All these scary statistics could be improved if the pressure upon this age group is reduced and it can be.
Ways to Cope with School Stress:
- Take time for yourself – getting the best grades doesn’t mean working until you burn out, make sure you get the recommended 9 hours and 20 minutes of sleep and balance your workload by spending time doing other activities such as sport, going out with friends and joining clubs. Taking time to pause from the relentless pace of everyday life and enjoying other activities can keep you from dwelling on or stressing over school pressures.ØLearn to change your thinking – when you start stressing out about school work and deadlines you can immediately over stress and work yourself up. Instead, you should combat your negative thinking patterns by thinking about how you can resolve the issue.
- Take assignments one step at a time – it’s important to break down a big load of work into manageable chunks instead of trying to cram all a week’s work on the weekend. Try a bit a day. If you have an essay to write that’s making you feel anxious, list the individual steps that lead to the essay being finished (finding sources, creating an outline, writing an intro), and the task will begin to feel less daunting. List what you have going on, and list how much time each thing is going to take, chunking things down makes them feel more manageable and less anxiety-inducing.
- Lower your goals – this is not about being a slacker, lowering your goals, can help to relieve stress and boost academic success. Instead of setting your goal to be getting the highest grade in the class, set a goal to feel satisfied with your performance. Stay balanced during exam periods - the importance of taking breaks and working in time to relax during your busiest and most stressful periods can’t be overestimated. No matter how hard you push yourself, nobody can maintain constant focus, and you will burn yourself out if you try. Take frequent, short breaks for fun activities so that you’ll be able to go back to your writing or studying refreshed.