Education Institutes & Mental Health.

Remember the time when you were in high school or when you were new to your university? How competitive it was and how it was always a race to be the topper of the class? Remember the sword brandishing you a failure hanged above your head if you didn’t get into a reputable Science or Law college? That is how it was for most of us. We spent so much time worrying about our future that we didn’t pay attention the destruction we had caused in our present mental health.

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Mental illnesses are rising among adolescents across the world. Among students in college, one in four students is said to have a diagnosable mental illness. Anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies are the most common illnesses reported by students. Instead of rambling on about how education institutes need counseling cells, I would likely to focus on why, despite so many checks in place to assist students, we still hear about the rising frequency of suicides. In India, there are four major branches of colleges. These are Medical, Engineering, Law and Arts. I will go through the problems faced by students in each of these fields to try and explain to you what challenges we still face.

Mental Health In Medical Colleges.

Medical colleges are seen as a luxury and privilege in our society. It is the dream of almost every parent to see their child become a doctor. Every year the number of students appearing for the Undergraduate MBBS program touches about 1.3 million. From personal experience, medical colleges are curious and often highly hostile environments for some.

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Despite having many counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists within the premises, I have seldom heard of them being helpful. The thing that worries some is that the person you approach in the Psych department is likely to be a senior under whom you will work in a few months time. It would be almost like sharing every personal detail of your life with your boss. It is something you would be apprehensive about. This is a problem I have heard about on various occasions. Students are afraid of reaching out to their seniors for fear of being judged.

Mental Health in Engineering and Law Colleges.

Engineering colleges have a sorry tale to tell when it comes to mental health. Every other week there is a report of a suicide. Sometimes it is the pressure of academics and sometimes it is the pressure of even getting into an engineering college. All of this, with no guarantee of a safe and secure future. Family pressure, academic pressure, peer pressure, personal issues and so much more is incorporated within the life of a student within 4 years. The pressure and disappointment of not getting into a top institute makes students over compensate in their efforts which eventually burns them out. Replace the word ‘engineering’ in this paragraph with “law” and you have the same situation. The expectations kept with a student are in no way proportionate or suitable for a stable mental health.

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Mental Health in Arts Colleges.

Arts colleges are generally more relaxed than other colleges academically. The pressure here mostly stems from social desirability, peer pressure and social status. These may seem small or non-serious issues in comparison with other colleges but they have a somewhat equally devastating effect on mental health. Counselors are often unavailable and this leads people to close in within themselves.

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Conclusion.

Apart from these issues, there are various other issues which plague a college student. Some don’t like the college they are in, some don’t like their course. Unfortunately, leaving the college or course to pursue something else is not often encouraged and people are advised to toughen it out. We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed that we forget that when we fail, it is not the end of the world. We can rise, we can get back up and we can achieve more. We can be the phoenix we think we are.

Rajeev was struggling to get better. His family was distressed. His physically handicapped mother felt helpless seeing her boy like this. Rumors had begun spreading in the community about his ills. An uncle of his told him to visit a temple and pray for his well being. Rajeev was skeptical about it but he was also desperate for help. Would it work? Could a divine intervention cure his ailment? Find out tomorrow on knightofsteel.com

68 Replies to “Education Institutes & Mental Health.”

  1. This is really something disturbing the young generation. I see many cases here in my country, especially the grade 12 students having this problem. Some go to the extreme end and end up in suicide. Informative post. Have your say on E for Exaggeration if you find my theme (women@40) interesting.

    1. Students are told that after 12th they won’t face a lot of pressure. When the truth comes out it invariably upsets and shocks most students

      1. here its a different cenario. the kids are put into peer pressure and parental pressure. CCA and competition add on. then comes the best school. best junior college and then the best univ. Universities have limited slots, again there is a pressure. On the whole study has become more commercialised rather than to enjoy and learn. we can talk on your post for long hours actually 🙂

      2. That’s true too ☺️. This reminds me of the 3 idiots dialogue, don’t be trained, be educated.

  2. this is crucial time of life when a person must be enjoying his life ,and here he is facing all the problems at once.A strong mental makeup is able to handle it,or sharing with the persons, who matter most, can ease out things.anyway,you very well highlighted the pressures.more awareness is needed in this field.

  3. Arjun, recently I came across a situation where in a brilliant, talented teenage girl threatened to commit suicide. The pain and agony that the parents and the child had to go through was magnanimous. Having witnessed it from close quarters, I feel that we as a society, parents need to introspect our behaviour, our expectations from the new generation. A lot needs to be changed.

    1. It’s true. A lot has to be changed to make the people more understanding. The more talent a person has, the more they are pressured to have some extraordinary achievments

  4. When people get stressed they go through an avalanche of negative thoughts. They are probably driven to suicide in that moment because most of them don’t know what they are facing. It is sad that most people even if they listen to someone’s story don’t realize the seriousness of it.

  5. You don’t mention commerce colleges! But your analysis is true anyway. Most of all the pressure to succeed is immense. The fact that someone made a wrong choice and wants to move is not welcome st all. We have a lot to do here but sadly doesn’t look like things are changing soon

    1. I don’t have alot of insight into commerce courses and colleges so I stayed off of them. I thought I shouldn’t share half baked knowledge or opinion. Mistakes aren’t given a lot of room for correction right now.

  6. We seldom pay attention to the plight of students. If a child is stressed over studies, mostly they will be rebuked as excuses. 🙁

    1. Exactly! Academics are over stressed and extra curricular activities are put down or taken lightly. So many talented people never manage to fulfill their potential.

  7. This is a pertinent topic Arjun and the one that needs our immediate attention ,going by how student suicide cases are plummeting by the day. Even, school going children end their lives owing to peer pressure. Glad, you wrote about it. Great initiative.

    1. Thank you Meha. Education institutes currently don’t take the human nature of students into account while teaching. It does not look like it will change anytime soon.

      PS I think you meant rocketing instead of plummeting 😛

  8. You have touched the cord Arjun, today’s education institutes are nothing but stressful nodes. I myself being an educator know how young minds get troubled with unrealistic expectations from peers and self.
    Wonderful post

  9. I was depressed when I didn’t qualify pre-med in my first attempt. I decided to go to Kota which is a hub for engineering and medical entrances. Everyone warned me that the platform is too high and competitive but in all, it only helped me. Staying at a place completely foreign, meeting people who are so friendly helped me to get out of my anxiety and depression. Being off social media and just going somewhere quite and foreign is one of the best solutions anyone can come up with. Everybody faces depression in some point of their lives. The question is, who gets out of it. There’s the fighter and winner! Awesome read though! Good luck!

    1. That’s a really inspiring story! Kota often ends up being hellish for many students but I’m glad the place helped you fight depression. I wouldn’t agree on the everyone is depressed at some point in their lives part though but that is a matter for another day. Good luck and best wishes to you too! 🙂

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  11. Exactly, Education institutes currently don’t take the human nature of students into account while teaching,Academics are over stressed and extra curricular activities are put down or taken lightly.

    1. Exactly! Arts or anything which isn’t STEM is discouraged in many families. Extra curricular activities are seen as additional activities instead of possible careers

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  15. Mental health is most important.
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  16. Thanks knight of steel for the blog. College students do exert pressure on themselves to be the best and perform their best with the competition. Hope this article can help one to be self aware and check themselves.

  17. Great post and yes the issue of anxiety and stress is major concern among adolescents these days. They are caught up in proving their worth to everyone that they failed to realize their worth and what greater heights they can achieve if they focus on what their heart desires. It feels great to see that you’re focusing on such a major issue. Nice keep up the good work.

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