Examination Results & Mental Health
It is that time of the year again. The results for class 10th and 12th and other competitive exams are out and students are stressed and their parents, hyper-stressed. This creates a highly stressed atmosphere within the home. It may lead to both short and long term consequences on the mental health of the children and their parents. One would think that this would be the case only in homes of students who didn’t do well but it is not so. There is a profound effect on the minds of the toppers if the appreciation they are given is not handled well. We will discuss it later on.
When students don’t perform well or up to their expectations, they are often chastised and scolded. Parents tell them that society won’t respect them, society tries to ignore them and their mind starts to actually believe all of this criticism. This makes them live a life believing they are failures and that it all could have been better if that one result had been better. It is not so, we all know it is not. One result doesn’t influence the whole life of an individual and if it does, it always has the option of improvement later on.
The thing about society’s expectations is that it always increases. First you need to get a good result to be respectable and then you need a good college. Once you get into an undergraduate program, you will be told that the UG degree doesn’t matter. You will be told it is all about post graduate degree. After the PG degree it is more important to get a job and then settling down in a family and all those shenanigans. If you keep trying to meet the expectations of the society, you will never find your true self.
The surprising thing about results is that it has a negative effect on the toppers as well. When the results come out, they are taken to the top of the world by the attention and appreciation they get. This soon starts to fade away and the topper is left in the lurch. It might make them think that whether success is permanent as they had been taught or transient as they just saw. It might lead to questioning the purpose of all the hard work and effort. The work which was forgotten in the space of less than a month. It might lead to lower efficiency and self belief. There are many instances of toppers failing to recreate their previous success in new places. Along with complacency, the factor of lack of purpose also plays a major role in that. Toppers are celebrated a lot and yet easily forgotten.
Examination results are major life events in the life of a student. They cause stress, anxiety, uncertainty, euphoria, despair and the whole range of human emotions at once. To both the toppers and under-achievers, it is important that you know that the result is transient. Next year, there will be another batch and another topper and another child who failed. It will go on and ultimately it will all be forgotten. If the exam meant a lot, you will always have the option to improve multiple times. If it didn’t, well the sooner it’s over and forgotten the better.
It is important to strive for success but not at the cost of your mental well being. You have a long life ahead of yourself. Don’t let one result deter you or make you over-confident about the road to success.
The road is long and there will be many obstacles, be not afraid of facing them.