Stress Among Students In India


Stress is increasingly becoming more of a problem among students, not just in India but in other parts of the world as well. However, among individuals who are aged between fifteen and twenty-nine years, one of the highest suicide rates in the world is in India. The reasons for the high suicide rate in India are many and varied. Depression and unemployment are among the reasons. Among students in India, failing in an examination is one of the reasons for committing suicide.

Students often receive pressure from their parents to perform well in the board exams. Even before the board exams, students are pressured to perform well in school. This is often a cause of concern. Many incidents have occurred in the past where, during the day of the exam or on the day the exam results are released, students would commit suicide. Well, “Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC explained.

Many have wondered what extreme factors would drive a student to commit suicide. Psychologists state that the fear of exams often results in students suffering from traumatic disorders and anxiety. It is this fear that is causing the students to suffer from depression, anxiety, and the consequences that follow. And this fear originates from the pressure exerted by the school and by their parents. Sometimes parents go to extreme lengths in their efforts to encourage the students to perform well in school.

School is supposed to be the best time in the life of a student. It is time they should cherish and enjoy. Unfortunately, it is a time when they are faced with extreme pressure. Many students may find this situation to be overwhelming.


Sources Of Stress

The educational system of India is blamed as one of the causes of stress for students. Many have complained against the Indian mode of education. It is often criticized for placing great emphasis on memorization. The students are usually required to endure long hours of studying systematically. This leaves very little time for socialization and recreational activities, which are essential to the proper development of the student.

The choices of colleges and universities that a student will be able to gain admission to are determined by the student’s performance in the twelfth grade. If the student chose the science stream, there is the additional stress of having to take exams from different colleges and universities. Competition for a place in these colleges and universities is very fierce.

Another source of stress for students in India is the pressure that they receive from the school and their parents. “We know many of the risk factors from poverty, trauma, maltreatment and social isolation through to bullying and the impact of excessive testing and unrealistic academic pressures,” Katie Hunt, Clinical Psychologist said. Anxiety is being felt among the students due to their fear of not performing well in their studies. This has a major negative effect on the social and academic success of the students. A student’s self-worth is often judged based on the student’s grades and academic achievement rather than on the student’s personal qualities.

To make students focus more on their studies and perform well in school, parents often prevent access to computers, mobile gadgets, the internet, and cable television. A recent survey shows that two-thirds of students report that they receive pressure from their parents to perform well in school.


Coping With Stress

Every student learns differently. Each student should develop their method of studying effectively. Teachers and parents should assist the student in developing their process of learning.

Parents should not exert any form of pressure on the student. They should not push hard for the student to get good grades during exams. They should realize that an individual’s success in life is not based solely on grades. An individual’s success depends on the actions that they choose to take and how they use the resources available to them. As Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. used to say, “Prior to an upcoming stressor, reflect on how much you value one of your character strengths.”


With the very fierce competition for a place in the top universities in India, students can also explore other options. If they are unable to get to a top university in India, they can consider studying in other countries such as Canada, the US, Ireland, or the UK.

Anxiety And Depression Among College Students

Being enrolled in a university is, in itself, a significant cause of anxiety and stress among college students. A student from a different country, state, or background may be overwhelmed by the immense diversity of experiences, culture, and people that they encounter in a university. It is more difficult for many students because they are cut off physically from their comfort zones and their support systems.

They are now in a new and different environment with new and different rules. Once you are in college, you are currently on your own, and you must take care of your daily needs, such as your food, laundry, bank transactions, health, and many more. Crippling depression and anxiety may result when you realize your limitations and inadequacies. “Depression and anxiety are feelings that we would want to rid ourselves of, not turn into and certainly not welcome,” explains Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC.


Academic Pressure

Students are often confronted with a rigid academic structure. They also face pressure to perform well in exams. This system often forces the students to put too much pressure on themselves. And they often get barely any emotional assistance. The students compete against each other to achieve better grades in the belief that getting better grades would result in a better livelihood after college. They also feel constant pressure because of their concern that they are not doing enough with their time. But honestly, “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. says.

These students would take too many classes. They would join clubs, each of which requires time and energy. They would also take part-time work because they either need the money or they want their resume to look better. And there is also the pressure of maintaining a healthy social life. This often means students have to keep in touch with their family, maintain relationships, go traveling, and attend parties.


Family Pressure

Being far from your family can put a strain on your relationship with them even though you have a stable family, and you are very close to them. Students often face pressure from their parents to do well in college. They also face pressure from their parents to maintain their ideological, spiritual, and cultural identity, which may be challenging to do in a university with its immensely diverse cultural environment. And sometimes, there is also the additional stress on the student due to some unforeseen tragedy such as a sudden illness or death of a family member.


Financial Pressure

Many college students face immense pressure due to financial considerations. Most college students come from middle-class families, especially in India. This means that the cost of a college education represents a significant portion of the parents’ savings. If a student fails in college or does not do well in college, it means that a huge bulk of their parents’ savings is wasted. The cost of a college education is rapidly increasing each year, and the income of most families are not keeping up with the cost. Besides, “We all have money issues and quirks of one kind or another. If we don’t know what those quirks are, they will emerge in a time of real stress or panic.” Eric Dammann, PhD said.

Each year, more families are having a harder time paying for a college education. Worrying about finances is making more students feel stress, anxiety, and depression. They worry about the strain the cost of a college education is making on their lives. They also worry about the tension it makes in their families. Many students often take courses that they are not interested in because they believe graduating from such a course will lead to a better paying job. Studying in a college course that they are not interested in adds stress to the student.

College should be an enjoyable time in an individual’s life. Unfortunately, it is often a very stressful time. Knowing that stress is a normal part of college life can provide comfort to the student. Understanding the sources of stress can assist the student in coping with stress, anxiety, and depression in college.