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The impacts of Academic stress

By Okechukwu Onuegbu
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Stress is a familiar word with different meanings to different people at separate occasions, places, time and situation. As the saying goes 'he who pays the piper dictacts the the tunes', stress enforce its victim to dance according to its tune.

According to A.S Hornby (1948), stresss is a "pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody's life or pressure put on something that can damage or make it lose its shape".

Relatively,Neal A etal (1985) defined the phenomenon as any situation that evokes negative thoughts and feelings in a person. But the situation is not evocative or stressful for all people and all people do not experience the same negative thoughts and feelings when stressed.

These entail why most Nigerian Students in Colleges of Education, Monotechnics, Polytechnics and Universities often use the word while performing their academic functions such as registration, admission processes, quest to meet-up with their practical and assignments deadlines among others. To them, the hitches encounters at the processes ranging from lack or low cyber networks, queue, runing to and fro, craming to pass impromptu test or examination, and so on are stressful.

However, stressful events could be appraised by an individual as challenging or threatening and when students appraise their education as challenging, it give them a sense of competence and increased capacity to learn because when education is seen as a threat, stress elicits feelings of helplessness and a foreboding sense of loss.

In other words, stress influence students learning. Yerkes-Dodson Law (1908) postulates that individuals under low and high stress learn the least while those under moderate stress learn the most. Litttle wonder some students perform better than their counterparts in the same level during their academic works like assignments, test, examination, practical and others.

The mechanism that explains why students under stress perform better than others is "hypervigilance" excessive alertness to a stressful situation resulting in panic. That is why medical experts also noted that stress can lead to loss of blood,memory, weight as well as lead to personal growth as the amount of stress can overwhelm and influence the students ability to assimiliate.

The possible solutions to reduce stress to a bearest minimum is "stress inoculation". These includes informing students in advance of the difficulties they might face at course of their study, hence encouraging them to develop self strategies so as to achieve personal goals and upgrading of our various institutions to the standard.

Additionally, examination bodies such as WAEC,NECO,JAMB among others including institutions should refurbish their cyber to ensure quick access to their websites so as ease the sufferings of students while registering and performing their activities online.

By Comrade Onuegbu Okechukwu C. (08061506936), Freelance journalist from Awka.