mistika idris

EVER felt like the whole world was against you? No matter how much you study, someone is always better. No matter how hard you try, you always seem to fail.

What you are feeling is nothing new. It is merely pressure.

Let’s face it – at our age, our academic achievements define who we are. Those who are talented or skilful outside of the usual school stuff don’t get the same amount of appreciation because, well, that’s just how our society works.

The amount of A’s you get is the first thing that determines whether you are going to be labelled under the “smart” category. It’s just one of the many forms of pressure young people today have to deal with, especially around now when many of us are sitting for exams.

Growing up in general is a lot of pressure as we are expected to somehow fit into the picture that society has painted for us, to become the best version of ourselves – or at least society’s version of it.

Feeling under pressure is something that we cannot avoid in life, but there are ways to cope with it.

One thing you can do is take time off when you start to feel overwhelmed.

This doesn’t mean that you should just disappear every time you feel a little pressure. Learning to set aside time in your busy schedule to de-stress could help you be more productive, even if you are just making time to catch up with old friends, or watching your favourite television show.

However, it’s important to set a time limit whenever you give yourself a break, or you might end up spending the whole day being unproductive and even more stressed out because your work has started to pile up.

Many of us fall into a pattern of “eat, sleep, study and continue cycle” during exam season, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial. And it’s not just to help you cope physically, but mentally as well. A poor diet can also lead to stress.

So when you feel the exam jitters coming, don’t de-stress by eating unhealthy food. Instead, grab an apple or go for a jog because if you keep your body happy, the rest will follow.

We’ve all thought about it – how nice it would be to live in a stress-free world. How amazing it would be to have a snooze button on life. But the reality is if we were all to just cruise through life, nothing would ever be achieved.

If we didn’t have to work hard for something, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much. If everything were served to us on a silver platter, we would just take it for granted.

Personally, I would rather be tired after working hard for something, than feeling stress-free without achieving anything.

So, the next time you feel your work piling up and the pressure of your life weighing you down, don’t push it away. Instead, use it. Know that you are good enough and always remember that pressure is your friend, not your enemy.

The writer is a member of the BRATs, a young journalist programme organised by R.AGE. To find out more about the BRATs, and to read all their stories, log on to

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