The Pressure of Academics

The pressure of academics is the force from all the directions acting on a student right from the period in which he/she begins to think of choosing subjects for career till the time he/she gets absorbed in a job/business. One of the major sources of such a pressure is from the parents who are either too attracted by the achievements of their neighbors wards or are highly influenced by their relatives & friends or are keen to fulfill their hidden ambitions which they could not attain in their younger days. 

Young students in India make a poor picture these days when asked how their studies are going on. A strange kind of a perplexed expression comes instantly on their faces. One can see the lines of tension appear on their foreheads at the very mention of the examination. The more studious the student is the more is the strain visible on him/her. Incidentally if he/she is one of the toppers of the class then one can see an added expression of anxiety on the face as if all hell would break loose if he/she does not attain the topmost rank again. Such students always exhibit themselves as un-prepared for exams. If the student is mediocre at studies one can observe a dilemma on the face and his/her body language would be such confusing as if that student is seriously thinking whether to appear for the exam or not because they lack the confidence even if they had successfully crammed up the entire set of books. In the students who are consistently border-line cases, the nervousness would appear to be merged with a carefree sort of an attitude in quite a good proportion. The carefree attitude would appear painted on the students’ body but a closer look would reveal the shivering in the mind.
It seems that even with the growing avenues of information, huge banks of the books from the knowledgeable writers, increasing analytical explanations from the teachers, easy availability of a coaching center’s at every 200 meters and a sudden evolution of thousands of part-time ‘trained’ teachers the so called tension in the students is still on a steep rise instead of diffusing out. Strange, it may sound to everyone!
Have our subjects suddenly become tougher? Has the physics moved beyond Newton or the Quantum theory?  Has the Mathematics grown past the numbers?  Is it that the reactions of chemistry have turned complex with time? Has the Political science become as confusing as the Indian politics? Has the metamorphism changed the Geography or has History stopped repeating itself? None of these have fortunately happened.  The crux of the problem lies in the parents of today who dream to make their wards a kind of a special all-rounder that we often saw in the leading characters of yesteryear Hindi films. The pressure to continually succeed with top honors in the academics and simultaneously be good in every other aspect of life is killing the ‘youth’ in the new generation quite prematurely.   
It is high time to think, ponder, deliberate and bring such discussions out in the open to find solutions. Parents cannot keep burdening their wards to fulfill their unaccomplished dreams. We all need to deeply understand that it is our own ‘parental aspirations’ which is proving to be feed stock to produce depression to our children. But it is not only the parents who need to focus on such issues. It is also the domain of the students themselves to carve a path for their education and subsequent career such that there are no dilemmas, no ifs and buts, no confusions and no after-thoughts and no ill-feelings about the quantity of returns emerging from the chosen career later in life.
The whole exercise begins with making the studies as easy as feasible. None of us parents are same in all the aspects. It is pointless to compare because of different natural capabilities we have and the different environments that we live in. It is therefore absurd to expect children to be same?  No fruit can be compared with any other fruit but each of it still remains a fruit inspite of different ripening age and it giving dissimilar taste and contrasting nutrition. There cannot be any comparison between an apple and an orange. Similarly there cannot be a comparison between children of different families.

The children of today are already burdened by their parental aspirations to excel in the studies and be listed in the competition results. The talks of comparisons multiply this burden.  The need of the hour is to concentrate on finding methods to release the burden rather than to add to it. This can be initiated by parents themselves by realizing the personal liking / flair of their children atleast from the academics point of view. Not all can be brilliant in the field decided by their parents. The sparks can lie somewhere else not necessarily in academics. That specific area needs to be probed as early as possible in the life and the objectives of the career should then be decided. 
Converting the chosen objectives at a very young age into some sort of a related hobby can be one of the most successful methods for a bright career. This can be successfully applicable even in the field of academics, if one can dare to think out of the box. Hobbies are generally presumed to be exclusively for enjoyment. But surely it can be thought in relation to academics as well. How education can be a hobby? This might seem to be confusing statement at the first instance. But if we reason it out then perhaps we can get answers.
Cricketers love playing cricket and immerse themselves so deeply in the game that in the modern times they earn their livelihood through this game, not necessarily playing at the highest level. Dramatists enjoy and earn from the stage which once upon a time had been only school life enjoyment for them. People turn to journalism as a career when they suddenly realize that their oratory skills or writing hobbies were appreciated in the past. Singers & actors build careers for themselves on the foundation of their respective hobbies and/or inclination in this field. 
So why can’t a student learn Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Humanities, Economics, Accountancy, Literature etc. as a part of his/her hobby. Why such a subject cannot break the shackles of being called tough and ‘strictly educational only’ and enter the hearts of the younger generation as an article of hobby. It is greatly a matter of attitude. It is also a matter of developing a strong inclination towards a particular subject just like one develops a liking for an extra curricular activity.

Studying a subject of his/her liking as a hobby would certainly make education more enjoyable. With this bent of mind one can considerably release the pressure of academics on the mind and subsequently find positive changes taking place. It is after all a way of thinking. If people in non-academic line earn decently by working on their chosen option which was once upon a time their hobby then it should be equally possible for making this theory work in the academic line as well. It is a matter of application and dedication once the subjects are rightly chosen. Only Parents and Teachers can inculcate such an attitude in the students fraternity of today’s India. If executed properly, we can live to see the benefits in the coming decades.  


More by :  Nikhlesh Mathur

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