Wednesday, 06 March 2019 14:45

Burn the Candle at Both Ends – Until It Melts Away by Alex Wortley

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With rapidly growing pressure on students we need to ask whether or not a qualification is worth the stress.

You wake up at 7:30 after falling asleep at 4 - you were up all night doing multiple essays. You walk into school, indifferent; watching the lessons pass you by. You get back home and have even more essays to write. How on earth are you going to do that when you’re tired, hungry and anxious?

These are dilemmas nearly all students in the UK have to ask themselves every day; trying to complete homework as well as revision, to balance school with their social life, to minimize stress while worrying about universities, grades, job prospects. The impact this academic anxiety is having on these students wellbeing is disastrous: a poll recently found that 45 % of American high school students ‘feel stressed all the time’.

If academia and anxiety are mutually inclusive one has to ask whether a qualification is worth the stress – is it worth sacrificing one’s mental health for three a’s, only to get into a harder university with even more pressure. A lot of students seem to think not; in 2017, 3 % less students said they wanted to progress to further education - as well as there being a 7% fall, from 2013 to 2017, in the amount of students who plan to go to university.

Therefore, if universities and sixth forms plan on having full classrooms, our higher education system needs drastic change to counteract the epidemic of academic anxiety plaguing our country’s schools.

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