Aishhwariya Subramanian

Adolescents on the brink of completing high school are put under tremendous pressure

CHENNAI: Payal, a class XII of Lady Andal School, wishes to go to a prestigious culinary college after school. However, she is afraid she might not get into the college of her choice if she does not score high.

“I don’t think I can get into the college if I do not get above 90 per cent and I am really scared,” says the student, sounding stressed. She is just not worried about the marks alone. She realises that when she completes the studies, she has to deal with the parting of her friends. . “Everyone here knows me. The very thought of it keeps me worrying all the time.”

Not all school students have a seamless school-to-college transition. For some, it is stress related purely to examination and for others, it could be about coping with this transition. Archana Achuthan, director, Sampurn Counselling Centre, says that adolescents on the brink of completing high school are put under tremendous pressure. “Parents tend to project their own aspirations and dreams on their children thereby, making the children suffer,” she says. “I meet so many adolescents in the counselling centre, who, despite having prepared really well for the exams, fail to perform well.” Ms. Achuthan chalks this failure to fear of not being able to match up to the expectations of their parents. “It is important for parents to let their children be children,” she adds.

M. Kailasam, senior principal, Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, feels that stress is an inevitable part of the preparations and tends to motivate students to perform better. However, he adds that negative pressure should not be forced upon students, and parents should refrain from it. “One must remember that even parents are under tremendous pressure to ensure that their family gets the best of everything,” he adds.

Madhurya Sri Krishnan, alumnus of Sivaswamy Kalalaya School, says in retrospect that such sessions really helped. “We had people coming to us and talking about examination stress and time management. One-on-one counselling sessions with psychologists have also helped a lot.”

Some students like Payal say that without pressure they might just get too lazy. “I would never study if my parents and my teachers do not push me”.

But there are a few, who do not really worry. Uthra Ramprasad, a student of an international school in the city, says “I study for four hours everyday and during study holidays, I work on revision papers. I feel like I am ready and prepared to face the exams,” she says confidently.

However, Uthra admits to being a little apprehensive about the change in environment that college will inevitably bring. Parents may also play a role here.

Uthra’s father, P C Ramprasad, says: “I think there is no need to put pressure [on the child] as the school does all the coaching. A parent must simply provide moral support.”