After being away on a holiday, students reported back to School with the results anxiety. By the end of September 2017 these results were pinned on all notices boards for easy access by the students. Very early in the morning on my way to office, I met a third year student who is meant to graduate in 2018 crying fervidly while surrounded by a group of students. Upon inquiry I discovered that she had failed a certain examination and will not be able to graduate come January 2018.
This heartbreaking scene has been etched in my memory for a while. During my school years, the most dreaded word I could imagine was the word ‘fail”. No matter how confident I was in my performance, there was this unconquerable fear of seeing the word ‘fail’ on the day of receiving results.
I have come to learn that, it is not failure itself that students fear most, but the negative consequences associated with it. This is caused by the pressure parents place on their children to perform exceptionally well and graduate with high grades.
I have had friends who were always worried about graduating with a first class degree. One of them told me that her parents declared that it must be a first class degree and nothing else. She had to maintain the family standard which was set by her older brothers and sisters who went through the same university.
She was under considerable amount of stress. Well, I appreciate the parents’ intentions are in good faith. However, there is more to life than the grades that create increased pressure on the students’ wellbeing. These grades are just a reflection of outcomes and they are not the outcomes themselves, so there no need to get stressed. To over come this stress, students must know what they want, how to get it, set SMART targets, fall in love with them, be focused and determined to achieve them no matter what.