Pressure To Be Perfect

         The weekly homework is starting to pile up, but you need to start studying now for the midterm on Friday since you work both Wednesday and Thursday this week. Don’t forget to study for that quiz on Thursday and finish the essay that is due on tomorrow. And make sure that you get enough homework done this weekend so you can spend a lot of time on your project next week.

Does this sound familiar? I know I have a similar monologue constantly running through my head and causing endless stress. Stress is very common in students (a study by the American Psychological Association concluded with 45 percent of teens admitting they were “stressed by school pressures “), but the severity of its effects are usually overlooked since stress is regarded as normal, and therefore okay to have. Its effects, however, are anything but okay. Many people are not aware that stress has been found to negatively affect people mentally, physically, and emotionally. Just some of the side effects include depression, diabetes, and drug abuse.(“Fifteen Consequences of Stress”, “Stress Symptoms”) Even more importantly, many people are also not aware of what I believe to be the underlying cause of stress in students: perfectionism. Many people, and especially students, live in a world where average is not good enough. In order to succeed, they must reach perfection. This mentality is known as perfectionism, or “a set of self-defeating thoughts a behaviors aimed at reaching excessively high unrealistic goals.” (“Perfectionism”) But, in such a competitive and demanding society, how can you not feel pressured to be perfect?

Fortunately, there are many ways to help deal with stress and perfectionism, which can greatly improve your health, happiness, and life. To learn more about the negative effects stress can cause, visit the Effects of Stress  page. To learn more about ways to deal with stress and perfectionism, visit the Coping With Stress & Perfectionism page. To read and join the argument about the relationship between perfectionism, stress, and students, visit the Truth About Perfectionism page.

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