CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF STRESS IN EDUCATION
“59-year-old mother from Malacca urged youngsters not to be like her son, who chose to commit suicide when under pressure” (Isabellel, Ng & Raman, 2013, para. 1). Recently, there have been some news report about college students committed suicide all over the world. These issues had aroused much public attention. The factors of these incidents is stress faced by students in education. Most of the students will go through three stages of education which are primary, secondary and tertiary education. Many students still willing to pursue higher education even though the learning process takes a long time. This is because the education brings benefits to students such as gaining knowledge and experiences. Besides gaining knowledge from education, a person can master his or her social skills during the process of learning. Despite all the advantages in education, the learning process still cause some issues. The major issue in education is stress confronted by students which they cannot cope with it. Firstly, the definition of stress should be clarified in order to understand how it affects a student physically or emotionally. Stress is the physical and mental response to a stressor whereas stressor is a stressful event or situation (Zimbardo, Johnson & McCann, 2012). Not all stress has negative effects. Stress can be either adaptive or negative. Adaptive stress motivates people and drives people to accept life challenges. However, it is generally appreciated that negative stress is more often to occur in life. Negative stress occur when one is unable to deal with the stress confronted. Negative stress in education are mainly caused by workload and high expectations which have effects on an individual’s physical and emotion.
The major cause of stress in education is workload that students received. The excessive school work that are given by teacher or lecturer make students feel overwhelmed with the learning material. Conner, Pope, Galloway stated that on average, the students reported spending 3.07 hours each night on homework (as cited in Burkes, 2011, p. 5). For some students who are unable to manage time well, they have to bear the consequences such as sacrifice their time for entertainment in order to finish their works. Besides, many students still have their job or daily responsibilities. These responsibilities will cause more stress on students as they have to handle the workload, at the same time, they have to accomplish their daily responsibilities such as cook for family, take care of younger siblings or help their parents in business. To those who are having part time job while studying, it is more challenging for them to manage their time and the stress level. Gordon found that “In a (U.S.) study of 21,000 senior high school students, 75% were working part-time for an average of 16.4 hours a week. The study found that working was related to a need for immediate income and to a lack of interest in school” (as cited in Naylor, 1999, para. 1). It can be clearly seen that many students are working for part time but they still have to balance their time in order to perform well in academic aspect. Furthermore, most of the students have to sacrifice their time spending with family members to complete the works given. Students will feel even more stressed out when they are not able to spend time with their families as families often act as a support to students. The excessive workload do not only affect students’ academic but also their personal life. It is not easy for a student to maintain high performances on academic and job responsibilities. Hence, it is advisable that the workload that students received should be reduced as it causes stress on students.
Another factor of stress in education is high expectations. At times, the high expectations on students can motivate them but when the expectations are too high which they could not...
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