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Ibthaj Khilji

Medical Student,

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What is the best way a student can make his/her education less stressful?

Hello Everyone,
I am preparing a presentation regarding the challenges faced by students in institutions providing higher education (Universities/Colleges). This talk is aimed at High School students looking to successfully complete their final year and apply to their preferred programs.

Each year, students attend presentations by recruiters from various Universities/Colleges to help them make an informed choice about their future. Students receive all sorts of information about academics, social life and other services provided by each respective institution. Yet, not much is ever said of the negative experiences. I want to bring topics such as; stress, "freshman 15", test anxiety and failure to the table. Tackling these issues early is the best way to prevent them. I am looking for any suggestions the TED community has to offer!

The biggest challenge Students face in Universities today is Stress and stress related conditions. What are your thoughts on tackling this issue?


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    Dec 31 2013: Stress is a reaction to an uncomfortable situation. If I could re-do college, I'd make sure I pick majors revolved around topics I'm most passionate about. 'Stress' would then no longer be painful. Instead, deadlines, exams, oral presentations would be exciting! Stress would then simply be a misnomer for 'anticipation', that exciting feeling for creating a beautiful outcome. One of my favorite poets, Kahlil Gibran, nailed it for me in 'The Prophet' on the topic 'Work': "Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." Students are more likely to get things done extraordinarily well and rather stress-free if they're assigned or having to do something that quenches their thirst for knowledge on a topic they're most passionate about. If a student has a good work ethic and excellent attitude, they'll most likely succeed in life irrespective of what major their parents require of them. So, why not let a student choose studies along the lines of their passion and run with it? Don't get me wrong, all students need mentorship and guidance on pretty much everything! But this way time management, structure, priorities (to party, or not to party) will all fall into place more naturally if the student is following his or her passion!
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      Dec 31 2013: I don't think studying something you love necessarily makes examinations and deadlines stress free. I have known many people who pursued subjects about which they were passionate and felt stress in the course of their studies. Further, one can feel stress in relation to many things and people about whom one is passionate.
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        Dec 31 2013: I think following one's passion makes one feel much less stress due to time management and prioritization falling into place more easily and naturally compared to having to do something one feel's distaste towards, which often leads to procrastination and, in turn, more stress.
        Time management and prioritizing tasks is essential to any given situation. Giving yourself time to tackle the task at hand as early as possible can increase confidence and decrease stress. And practicing doing that over and over can eventually create a good habit, which then can decrease your level of stress overall. I know, it's much easier said than done, but biting the bullet, accepting the responsibility AND reality of the task at hand, and just practicing at repeating that cycle over and over again will help a great deal!
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          Dec 31 2013: I agree with your second paragraph. One reason I know following ones passion does not eliminate or even necessarily mitigate stress at school is that perfectionists, for example, experience more stress about things that matter to them more.

          It still makes sense to study what one is passionate about, despite the stresses that may be involved. I did this, as did both my daughters. I am sorry you did not have that experience in your schooling, but it is never to late to study what interests you, perhaps outside of an institutional setting.

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