The term academic validation, the need to feel acknowledged as an individual by academics, shapes the mindset behind the findings of self-worth and reassurance of students’ capabilities in school. This is somewhat encouraged by the education system pushing students to reach a higher standard, causing many to compare themselves to someone doing better. This can ultimately take away from the initial model of education, valuing self-improvement and growth, and change it to the idea of peers validating your intelligence and academic capabilities. Once students are placed in this endless cycle of academic excellence and rigor, it seems to become their foundation of self-worth.
Newport Institute states in their article Mental Health Toll of Academic Pressure,“When young adults feel they must prioritize academic achievement over everything else—including physical health, positive relationships with peers and family, creative self-expression, and downtime to recharge—they pay a high mental health toll. Academic pressure can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, or high-functioning anxiety.” The adverse effects of this mindset reliant on academic validation have threatened things more serious than grades, such as adverse mental health which can make it difficult to have a healthy balance in life and make time for other highly valued aspects of life. This mindset can be the center of a student’s web of life, connecting to almost every aspect of their life. elf-worth, self-confidence, and happiness are all dependent on mental health. Personal relationships can be ruined as well, as many feel disconnected from others.
In terms of self-worth, the words “I’m not good enough” and “I’m dumb” can pierce into the mind, self-defining who you are, solely upon a single assignment or test. The Center for Communication states, “Many studies point to the fact that self-esteem is deeply correlated with external validation. A 2002 study by Jennifer Crocker at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research found that eighty percent of college students base their self-worth on their academic success.” External validation is academic validation of the outer aspects of the highest GPA, and praise from peers defining scholarly excellence as a person. A common misperception can be that academic validation refers to just wanting to get good grades. Still, people eventually connect getting good grades to having worth and a purpose in life. As you can see within a simple structure of school the thought process of a student within this system can have a heavy impact on their life and future. Academic validation is the never-ending cycle many students seem to be caught in, but academic growth is what many schools should encourage their students to follow. By bringing more awareness to mental health within the education system, we can help encourage a change of mindset among many students.
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