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Is Stress the Way to Success?

    Academic stress and constant overworking are not new concepts to the world of students.

    Obogu (2017) stated that this certain kind of stress has an adverse effect on students in terms of physical and psychological health and academic performance.

    Academic workload is likely to cause symptoms of fatigue and loss of morale among the students. Other factors such as parental pressure and rigorous competition within the students’ choice of study are also contributing to their growing stress. And while it is agreed that mild stress is necessary for good quality work, overloading and unhealthy working cycles result in burning out and in worse cases, depression and signs of anxiety (Jain & Singhai, 2021).

    Furthermore, there are racial stereotypes that pressure people into pursuing academic excellence. Asians have been tagged as grade-conscious or academically inclined, especially among Western societies. Although the media has depicted this stereotype to be rather appeasing, its impact on the model minority can be damaging as it forces unsaid expectations in their lives and induces unnecessary pressure, which would consequently affect their perspectives on education and contribute to their academic stress
    (Fuchs, 2017).

    From a socio-economic point of view, if students get accustomed to unhealthy cycles of overworking and burning out, it is likely that these habits and mindsets may be brought into the actual workplace. When toxic working boundaries are formed, people tend to suffer from its long-term consequences. Toxic working boundaries are defined by the occupational standards we put on ourselves that are likely to damage an aspect of our lives.

    Boissiere (2021) explained how important healthy work boundaries are and how more often than not, people find themselves working in an “always-available” approach as well as having too much of their self-worth reliant on their job.

    by Luis Villasmil

    Pega et al. (2021) have discovered that people who work over 55 hours per week have been found to be more prone to ischemic heart disease and stroke. Asides from that, overworked employees would likely be subjected to decreased productivity and overall work quality (Ahmed, 2020). Moreover, students should be more acquainted with balancing school or work with their personal lives as it could also affect how they approach their future jobs.

    In order to combat this culture of overworking, students should be more self-aware of their study habits or how they work because if left unregulated and in shambles, it will surely affect other parts of their lives. We all recognize that academic brilliance and validation can be satisfying, but we must also consider things that will be beneficial in the long run, such as our overall health and work boundaries.

    Each person is different, and not all work-life systems are suitable for everyone. We need to figure out all possible factors that contribute to increased stress levels and burnout. By recognizing what exactly the problem is, only then will good solutions appear. Some people, for example, have a rigorous work schedule that prohibits them from working on weekends.

    Breathe by Tim Goedhart

    As for educational institutions, they must understand the value of a healthy work system and foster a growth mindset by fixing the quality of academic loads rather than the amount. Promoting programs that help students establish working boundaries so that they can understand how to separate and balance their academic/work lives from their personal lives has been done by other schools. Additionally, the education sector itself has the capability to ensure genuine learning and student welfare at the same time, through policies and regulations.

    Going the extra mile in the name of academic excellence or quality work is harmless and is even encouraged. However, like most things, anything that is too much is not good. The adversities of excessive stress and overworking weigh more than the grades or the incentives, especially in the long run. Above all, the well-being of a person should be prioritized because if that aspect collapses, everything else is bound to follow suit.

    Article by: Nicolei Racal


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