Academic Pressure

1394496_13224780Many of us have probably pulled all-nighters to finish the pile of school assignments or stayed up late to do last-minute cramming for exams. There is so much new information presented to us and we are expected to understand everything by the day of the test.  We do not always get enough sleep, and we worry about failing an exam or class.  These experiences are almost part of every student’s busy life. However, having so much to do but so little time may cause you to feel stressed out.


Where does Academic Pressure come from?

  • Schoolwork, Exams, and Grades – Some teachers may assign a lot of homework and projects and you may have a difficult time juggling between completing assignments, studying for exams, participating in extracurricular activities, and managing your own social life.
  • Parental Pressure – Academic pressure may come from parents and their high expectations for you. Many parents want their children to do well in school and succeed, especially in Asian families where great emphasis is placed on academic achievement.
  • Competition among Classmates and Peers – Pressure can also come from your fellow classmates and peers. We often compare ourselves to others and want to do better than them.
  • Yourself – Your own high expectations for yourself to be the best student in your class. Sometimes we may be too hard on ourselves.


What are the Effects of Academic Pressure?

While short-term stress can be beneficial, long-term stress from school usually have a negative impact.

Some positive effects are:

  • Improvement in memory, ability to learn and perform complex tasks
  • Increase in alertness and motivation level


Some negative effects are:

  • Poor grades or performance
  • Eating or sleeping disorders
  • Alcohol or drug abuse problems



How do I Cope with Stress and Anxiety from School?

Academic pressure can cause frustration, tension, or fear.  When they start to interfere with daily life, change is needed.


  • Talk to your friends, parents, teachers, or counselors
  • Avoid competition among your peers
  • Avoid setting goals that are too difficult or impossible to achieve
  • Identify what causes your stress and find ways to relieve it
  • Learn to manage your stress by letting your feelings out, doing something you enjoy, meditating, or exercising
  • Create a good balance between school life and social life
  • Develop good time management and organizational skills such as using a planner to keep track of homework assignments and exam dates
  • Start on assignments early and study in advance
  • Get enough sleep every night
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet


Remember that immediate success or failure does not determine your future.  We learn and grow through good and bad experiences throughout life.  Relax and enjoy the learning process, and be proud of your own hard work and achievements!