The scene repeats itself semester after semester: anxiety, tension, frustration and even tears become part of the daily life of many students. While some of the students at Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College are perfectionists and true over-achievers, many of them are getting pressured to do well from their parents.
College is supposed to be a time for students to grow and learn from their mistakes. This is when they discover which direction they’re going to head in life. Uncertainty is a factor, and it usually works against them. How are they supposed to discover how to overcome adversity if their parents are pushing them so hard to succeed and be perfect? Of course there is a large majority of students who want to have perfect GPAs and make their parents proud, but parents need to back off and let us step out into our own world and figure out how we are going to reach our own goals by ourselves. Ultimately, our biggest motivation should be trust in ourselves.
Pressure can lead to tragedy in many cases. Students want to make their parents proud, but how much is too much? Depression can stem from the pressure to be the perfect child and perfect student. This might be why the suicide rate is higher amongst college students. There are too many kids feeling like it is the end of the world if they get a B+ on a test, and it’s not right.
Community college students are even more exposed to parental pressure, because it seems like attending a junior college is their last chance to get admission into a preferred college or that much-awaited degree. If we also take in consideration that some view junior colleges as a failure to go straight from high school to a 4-year college and when we mix it with the pride and focus certain families place into academics, we have the perfect recipe for disaster.
To those students, we at the Lariat recommend to talk to your family and explain the situation. Some people just don’t function well under pressure and there’s cases where the parents don’t know about it. Communication, especially within the family structure, is essential for any student’s success.
At the same time, we ask parents for patience and support. Don’t expect your son or daughter to excel at every subject and every class. After all, is that really how you were at our age?