It is an undeniable fact that the future of every nation lies in the hands of its youth; their intellect can yield an immeasurable amount of success and prosperity for both themselves as individuals and their country as a whole. That is why our upbringing includes the mindset that we are free to practice all fields in our life, as long as it provides longevity, peace and love for life.
Or is that not the case at all?
Maybe in the West, the idea of having the freedom to do what you love exists but in South Asia, that idea is nothing but a figment of our imagination. In countries such as China, India and especially Pakistan, parental pressure is endemic and unfortunately, everlasting.
Not only are youngsters forced to sacrifice their fondness of the arts and humanities for the pursuit of a medical or an engineering degree, but there is also the expectation, and often pressure, to do wonderfully well at this. This parental pressure often causes irreversible damage to teenagers’ personalities, resulting in a rise in the number of suicide cases in our younger generations.
Suicide, in general, is both a crime and religiously forbidden in Islamic Countries such as Pakistan; however, even though suicide is widespread in our nation, a large portion of these cases go unreported to the authorities due to fear of harassment and more. That’s why organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) have failed to outline the sudden growth of deaths in the past 20 years.
A study in early 2019 stated that nearly 68 suicide cases have been reported in the last 8 years: all due to academic pressure. Of the suicide victims, 76.5% were male and 23.5% were females. However, these figures may be an underestimate due the socio-cultural and religious stigmas that bar reporting suicide cases, or parental abuse.
However, permanent self-harm isn’t the only consequence of such enormous pressure. Kids who feel like they’re under constant pressure may experience severe anxiety, because of being ‘trapped’ for so long. It’s scenarios like these which feed on teenagers’ minds and implement fear in them, the fear of going out into the world and experiencing life’s ups and downs. No doubt that such experiences can have after-effects on someone’s mind too but at least they have an idea of what the outside world is like, rather than being prisoners inside their households.
Issues like these also significantly harm a child’s self-esteem. Such pressure on one’s shoulders at such an early age will undoubtedly affect the perspective that a kid keeps of themselves. If they topple under pressure, then teenagers immediately retreat to viewing themselves as failures, not capable of achieving success and worst of all, disappointing their parents and external family.
Truth be told, this issue will continue to grow widespread just because of how unnoticed it goes. If a student is reading this piece of writing then he/she/they can surely agree with the fact that such negative thoughts do appear, leading to potentially irreversible damage.
“Children are the Future” is a universal slogan but all this time, it’s the past – embroiled in parental pressure – which has – among other factors – failed to let our nation truly progress as a united front.