Reflection, Research

When Life is More Important than School

Everyone is dealing with stress. Stressed to be in time. Work stress. Family pressure. Even peer pressure can increase your stress level. Whenever I suffer from stress, I just drive myself to push further, focus deeper and achieve my goals no matter what. But what if matters suddenly matter more than my goals?

Hattie and Donoghue argue that when students suffer from stress (or anxiety), they perform worse in tasks (2016). Stress can be caused by different factors. During this week, my stress was caused due to personal reasons and for me that was a first.

My personal reasons became the focus of my life during this week. I found myself crying on the phone, on the bus, and while I was attempting to finish a particular assignment. No matter how hard I tried to focus, it literally seemed there was no space left in my brain for anything else. So for the first time in my life, I had to admit that no matter how hard I tried, I was not capable of doing the things I promised to do.

Luckily, the University of Western Australia understands that sometimes circumstances are more important that assignments and allow students in certain cases to submit assignments at a later time. Normally, I would be too proud to admit that I needed extra time. I still feel that I just lacked good planning. It’s not like I could not have started earlier, but that’s the funny thing of life. Life tends to throw these curveballs, which can throw you off and you will catch yourself in a situation in which you do not see a normal way out.

So this week, I learned how influential stress can be. How mind-consuming it is and how it (unwillingly) prioritises things in your brain. I feel that going through an experience in which I simply could not toughen up quick enough, will help me to judge others a little less harshly and be more lenient towards students whose personal circumstances suddenly become too mind-consuming.

 

Hattie, J. & Donoghue, G. (2016). Learning strategies: A synthesis and conceptual model. NPJ Science of Learning. 1(13). doi:10.1038/npjscilearn.2016.13
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