3 Steps to avoid depression owing to academic pressure

Yesterday at an international conference of scholars and researchers, a doctoral student asked me, “How can we reduce the cases of depression in students, where depression originates because of the pressure of academics?” It was a very valid question, after I presented on the topic of ‘How Studying Abroad Can Prepare Students for Global Citizenship?’ and I took the opportunity to share my thoughts on the importance of academics and learning with the audience which comprised of doctoral students, professors and researchers from all over the world. In my opinion, there is a three step formula, which if applied in life, can help students to avoid possibilities of mental depression owing to academic success, and the formula is as follows: 

1) In life, give first preference to your health: With health, I mean physical and mental health. If a student gives importance to being healthy, the brain functionality is at its best and your mind and body supports you in academic performance as well.

2) In life, give second preference to your relationships: WHO defines health in terms of physical, mental and social health. We are humans and are called social beings for a reason. So after mental and physical health, students should focus on their relationships with family and friends. Doctors around the world talk of family and friends’ support as key to heal any disease; and being around loved ones gives you the power to heal even if a negative situation arises. 

3) In life, give third preference to your education and work: When I say, education & work, I mean to say that education and learning now has to be a continual process and not a stage in your life as it used to be 2 decades back. Now, it is expected of every human to continually learn and advance oneself through any mode of education – traditional (classroom teaching or institutional teaching) or non traditional learning modes (online learning or mentor led learning outside formal education system). So the students should not be worried about learning everything just during the school or college, but rather develop a skill to be a lifelong learner. If you focus on learning skills, academics become easier and when you know that you have a life time to learn and improve your skills, the pressure becomes less and you can enjoy the process of learning, and hence avoid any causes of depression.