The Back to School Pressure and How to Handle It
Whether you are starting high school, college or university this September, we can all feel the pressure to succeed. Sometimes we feel like society expects specific achievements from us, or maybe our parents demand the high grades that we’ve always been achieving and they expect us to continue at this standard. Either way, the back to school pressure can be very scary and it can have a significant impact on our mental health and happiness.
Read on to learn more about how the pressure to succeed influences us, as well as my top tips on how to speak to people if you need help in understanding how you feel and for support on overcoming this.
The Pressure to Succeed
When we start school again or enter a new level of education like University, we can feel the pressure to retain the grades we have previously achieved, or even start seeking higher marks. Often this can be hard, as starting new schools or a different curriculum can be tough to adjust to. As a result, sometimes we aren’t as good as people expect us to be; there’s nothing wrong with not excelling in some subjects as everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be parents who put pressure on you, but sometimes they can be overbearing and make us feel like we aren’t meeting their expectations. It can also be our subconscious which makes us feel like we need to ‘fit in’ by gaining what society would deem as excellent or good grades. Both of these reasons can put pressure on us and cause us to feel negative or anxious which impact can impact us mentally and physically.
Talk to Your Parents
If it’s your parents who are pushing you to do better and attain specific grades in classes, you need to talk to them about the impact of their pressuring. Maybe they expect you to come out with a first at University (a tough achievement for many) or get consistent 2:1s on every assignment. Each course at University is different, meaning one course may seem harder than another, making it difficult for you to gain these certain marks. Even one assignment can feel vastly harder than another; especially if you cover subjects that you aren’t knowledgeable in compared to something you’ve loved and learnt about beforehand.
Sit your parents down and make them aware of this, and how them pressuring you to get higher marks can make them feel like they aren’t trying their best, even when you are. If they understand your schooling more and how the way they address your education and talk about your grades affects you, they can start to make a change.
Ask Your Teachers for Support
Teachers are the best people to turn to when you are struggling at school and need some extra support or someone to tell you that you are doing your best. If the pressure to succeed at school is getting you down and you feel like it’s harming your work and mind, then talk to a teacher. They can help you understand that you don’t need to pressure yourself, that you need to just try your best and be accepting of any marks you get. They can also provide you with any support that you need in order to improve on your grade and get back to focusing on your education.
Don’t be afraid to approach a teacher (it doesn’t have to be your subject teacher, it can just be one that you trust and like) and ask to have a chat with them about what has been bothering you. Teachers aren’t just there to educate you, but they are there to support you through any pressure that you feel that’ll impact your work, no matter if you are in high school, college or University.
Seek Out Counselling
If you feel too nervous about approaching your parents or teachers then talking to a counsellor may be the best option for you. Therapy isn’t as scary as it sounds, so don’t let your fear keep you from seeking the help that you deserve and need to get back to focusing on your education. A counsellor can help you understand why you or your parents are making you feel under pressure while at school, as well as advise you on how to overcome this. By seeking out a counsellor, you can start building a healthy relationship with education, rather than hating it because of misconceptions over high grades and pressure from society, yourself or your family.
Don’t let the pressure at school get you down and pull your focus away from enjoying your time in education, and instead start getting the most out of it. Check out my website today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can help you.