Question : My Grade 11 finals are just around the corner and I’m not prepared. The whole year I’ve had trouble coping with academics, I blank out, hand in half-hearted assignments and now hate going to school. This has never happened before. People assume I’m just sleep-deprived and they are right. But it’s worse for me. I’ve been hurting myself (pinching and scratching) regularly. I’ve tried really hard but I don’t think I have the energy to go on and get out of this. I’m really considering just putting a full stop to my life. Teentalker , 15-year-old
Exam time can be a stressful time. Stress in small doses is healthy and helps us reach our potential but when this stress reaches the tipping point it could become distress and our performance gets affected.
Here are a few active steps you can take:
- Identifying triggers and warning signs will help you understand the source of your distress.
- Talking to your school counsellor. They can help you work through your emotions and help you focus on how to manage your time better to reduce your discomfort.
A drop in grades, fatigue and depression are all major factors to consider. When we experience stress due to academic concerns, it not only affects our physical health but also our emotional wellbeing. It can have a negative effect on our thinking, behavior and studies. I can feel your frustration and helplessness and why it’s making you want to take such a drastic step. Let’s first address when it all started. You mentioned you’ve had trouble coping with academics all year round, have there been any major changes or events that may have occurred in your life?
I gather you are having trouble focusing which may be making you feel edgy and restless. In turn, this prevents you from giving a 100% to your assignments, which then translates into you not feeling good about yourself and not wanting to attend school.
- Sleep – Take a break from studying and make sure you are getting enough rest. When you are well rested, it will boost your mood!
- Appetite – Ensure you are eating at regular intervals and having wholesome nutritional food. Keep yourself hydrated.
- Break the task- divide work into smaller tasks so you can handle one chunk at a time instead of handling it all at one go, which may seem overwhelming.
- Speak to your parents – If you feel your parents are putting pressure on you, talk to them about it. If you feel this won’t help and it may escalate into an argument, try writing a letter to them expressing your thoughts.This will help your parents understand how you feel.
- Talk to your school counsellor- They can guide you into healthier ways to cope and manage stress and anxiety.
Hurting yourself; pinching, scratching or cutting are all due to unprocessed emotions and deep psychological pain.It is however possible to stop through appropriate help. If you are thinking about suicide get in touch immediately with a trusted adult and share your feelings. Reach out and I’m sure you will be able to tap into your inner strength to get through this challenge.
You could also call a suicide crisis helpline mentioned in the yellow pages. These helplines are staffed by people who are trained and all calls are confidential and anonymous.
Academic strain can lead us into having depression, fatigue, anxiety and sometimes a sense of hopelessness and I understand the pressure to excel is high in school but you are not defined by the grades you get. Try not equating your worth with your scores or assignments. Always remember that you are precious and unique and most of all human and with a little help you can rise above any challenge that may come your way.
Hope this helps, if you have any other query do connect online for chat between 11am-8pm or drop us an offline message.
Expert Teentalk India