Placement Stress is real!

They say life is easy once you finish school properly. Is it though? This change from a teenager to an “adult” in their 20s brings a lot of unexpected dilemmas with it while coping with placement stress.

5 min readOct 6, 2021

College years for a person are like a whole different world. Anyone in their early 20s can easily relate to that feeling. We make plans, study what we want; to live a life that we chose for ourselves. There is so much excitement to enjoy this newfound freedom. However, that’s the college life we see through our rose-tinted glasses. They say life is easy once you finish school properly. Is it though? This change from a teenager to an “adult” in their 20s brings a lot of unexpected dilemmas with it while coping with placement stress. Moreover, it is observed that the impact of uncertainty stress on mental disorders is very disturbing.

Getting through college, one gets so busy trying to stay on top of everything that mental stress experienced by students and the negative impacts on mental health are easily overlooked. It is assumed that once you get a good college all your troubles are over, especially with professional courses. These degrees are seen as a clean system - 3 to 4 years of college, at the end of which placement in a good company with maybe an internship of a short period. And then hakuna matata! Only if it were that easy.

  • Multi-tasking: A student pursuing a professional degree like MBA or B.Tech. will have to act like a superhuman in their final years. The final years of their college decide the direction of their career. They have to prepare for interviews for campus selection, have to take up extra-curricular projects to build their CVs, make sure to submit their assignments on time; all the while leaving themselves enough time for their regular studies. Phew! At the same time, students going for academic degrees have their two feet in two boats. On one hand, they need to have a decent enough outcome in their college studies, on the other hand, they need to be vigilant with the preparation of any competitive exams they want to sit in.
  • Responsibilities: The pressure of not being the black sheep of the family drastically affects the mental health of a student. At the end of college, everyone is expected to immediately settle down with a stable career. That seems like the ideal case for everyone. To achieve this, students work under tremendous pressure to give the desired results in the least amount of time. Neglect of mental health is a given in those circumstances.
  • Covid-19: As if things were not confusing enough, the covid-19 pandemic was just like fuel to the fire. The entire education system- schools, colleges, regulating bodies and examination authorities, chaos broke out everywhere. With the new norms of social distancing and quarantine, the world as we knew it didn’t exist anymore. Everyone’s daily life was turned upside down and students were no exception. With the conventional way of classes and exams modifying into online classes, the stress and uncertainty of one’s future just increased multifold. The whole academic calendar with several exams and events was being postponed indefinitely. Students were losing precious time with no end in sight. The restriction on physical classes just added to their problems. With the evaluation system becoming more and more dependent on the internal assessments, students reported increased pressure as they had to work almost thrice as hard on the internals that fairly disturbed their schedule. The uncertainty of yes or no existed in almost every aspect of a student’s life.

All these variables have resulted in a steep spike in mental health issues in college students who are looking for ways to cope with placement stress While the pandemic goes through its roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, it is important to identify these problems that we often tend to deduce to be the “general reaction to the current situation”. College students are at the most important stage of their lives and to remember this time as a happy one they need a happy mind.

Research has shown that 75% of mental health issues develop by the age of 24. Problems like stress and anxiety, clinical depression, eating disorders as well as harmful addictions start taking root in young adults and strongly affect the mental well-being of an individual. Studies have revealed that in India, 53% of college students suffer from moderate to severe depression whereas 74% face high to severe stress. There are several contributing factors to these figures such as:

  • Separation anxiety: Even though it seems exciting to have time away from all the restrictions of one’s family, it is observed that a vast section of students that take up colleges away from their homes suffer from separation anxiety. Students leaving the comfortable set-up of their school and home have a hard time adjusting to an unfamiliar place. While some students adapt pretty quickly, others take a longer time to feel comfortable.
  • The need to fit in: These days the demographics in colleges know no boundaries. Students come from every background. This leads to a large diversity in the student population. While this might be a great personal development opportunity for the students, some may feel out of place. They put in a lot of effort to fit in and this can lead to stress and loneliness. In India, this is especially relevant where students from the north attend colleges in the south and vice versa.
  • The hustle culture: As the geographical boundaries blur further, colleges are accepting students pan India. This means that an individual, regardless of their performances, is now a part of an institution where everyone is talented and wants to be the best. This can easily be a cause for low self-esteem in students affecting their productivity and creativity.

In case this placement season has been taking a toll on your mental health as well, don’t shy away from seeking help.

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