There are many factors that go into students performing well, whether it is scoring good grades or competing in extra-curricular activities. The emotional and mental state of a student plays a big role in determining their success. Emotional turmoil can affect not just the motivation to work hard, but also impede the student’s judgment and ability to concentrate and make decisions. It is next to impossible for a student to perform well if they are facing any kind of social or emotional disturbance.
Students are not impervious to the world around them. Everything from the media to family to peers and the school environment leaves its impact on young minds.
Bullying, social isolation or any other difficulties can lead to people becoming withdrawn, depressed and alienated. When left unaddressed, these problems can go on for years and damage the person’s self-esteem and school performance. It is important to remember that these problems at school are not just a regular part of growing up and will not go away on their own. They need to be addressed and dealt with at the earliest.
1 Don’t ignore the problem: If you are facing some difficulties at school, do not hesitate or be embarrassed to share it with anyone. Identify it at the earliest and take steps to handle the situation. Ignoring the problem might only make it bigger.
2 Speak to your family: Your family will never know what problems you are facing at school if you don’t talk to them about it. Whether it is a big incident or small, share your day-to-day experiences with your loved ones.
3 Keep yourself focused on the task: You will often be faced with situations that overwhelm you and that can affect your academic and later professional work. To the best of your abilities, try to compartmentalise your feelings and focus on the task at hand.
4 Friends are important: Sometimes when you have trouble at school or with peers, you might tend to keep away from your friends. Problems often become worse if you keep them to yourself. Remember that friends can be a great support system.
5 Be assertive: When you have issues with peers or maybe your seniors, it is important for you to be assertive in your behaviour. Being assertive means that you communicate in a manner wherein you respect the other’s rights, but not at the cost of your own.
6 Participate in activities outside school: Academics are important, but not without extra-curricular activities. Engage in extra-curricular activities which would help you develop a stronger sense of self and give you the confidence to deal with problems at school.
7 Ask your teacher or school counsellor for help: At times it is hard to handle a situation in school on your own. Do not be afraid to ask your teacher to intervene. It is also a good idea to approach your school counsellor for help and guidance.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare