Optimism in students
As per 2020 statistics, student population is 40 crore in India and this figure includes the students from schools, colleges and other educational institutions. All students have certain characteristics; they have to study, invest their time, put in a lot of hard work. They are expected to be dedicated and motivated, and more than anything else, they are expected to have a unique vision for their future and life goals. They are driven by their motives and efforts. Optimism in a student’s life also plays an important role. According to American Psychological Association, optimism is defined as the hopefulness, the attitude that good things will happen and the people’s wishes or aims will be ultimately fulfilled. Optimists are people who anticipate positive outcomes whether serendipitously or through perseverance and effort, and who are confident of attaining the desired goals.
Let us now look at the role optimism can play in a life of a student. Students have a lot of responsibilities and they are constantly presented with challenges one after the other. It could be very stressing and they have to put a lot of energy and time in it. It is not always possible that they will succeed in each and every task and assignments or other education related activities. That is the time when they need to be positive about things and moreover themselves. Often, when students undertake any tasks or give an exam, the hope and the perception with which they feed their brains, either makes or break their motivation. Optimism should also be one of the important driving aspects promoting positive behavior and growth for students. What makes a student optimistic or how optimism is induced in a life of a student and how does optimism helps them? There is no straight answer for this, as there are multiple factors by which choices and behaviors of students are influenced. We all do things with certain expectations and we do it with a motive to get something out of it.
As humans, we all have this tendency of comparing ourselves with other people and deriving a sense of competition and inferiority complex if someone is doing better than us. Conversely, if we look at someone who is not doing better than us, then we feel happy and satisfied with what we have and what we have received. It could happen naturally, but we consciously select models that are less or have less than what we are or what we have. There is high competition among the students and when they start comparing themselves to others, it really hampers their way of looking at the goals which they have created for them. Often, the students get too superficial that it gets difficult for the student to have a positive emotion and perception about the results and future outcomes. Probably the healthiest competition is the one that we have with ourselves instead of that with others. Compare you to yourself; It helps in having a positive perspective about the overall development when you look at the fact that you have actually improved. There is always a possibility of healthy growth.
Optimism is generated when the hope for probability of succeeding is the most. Students know what they have done; in terms of efforts, time, quality and engagement; so putting all these aspects would ultimately teach them something or the other. Success is important, but at the same time, failures are equally important. Failures provide the source and energy to do better and improve. Reflecting on the experiences that really taught you something should be enough to feel good about it and to keep up the hope. Could not complete an assignment on time? Could not get the marks which you were expecting? Did not do well in educational activities or competitions? It is okay. It is totally fine. But, if you really what to avoid these things then look at where you went wrong or what you did not do. It will help you in engaging with you own experiences and deriving a new understanding about yourself and your ways.
Students should know how to learn new behaviors that would help them in developing and growing. When they will achieve what they have planned, it would boost their motivation as well as dedication, which in return would also be making them optimistic. But how it will happen? How will they achieve what they wanted? First of all, it is important to have faith in yourself and you should trust yourself. “You can do this!!”. Secondly, by setting small and realistic goals and achieving them, will help you reach the higher goals. Third and lastly, to not have this thought that you have to be perfect and the best. It is good to have such hopes but at the same time, you should know that perfection is a myth. Thoughts about perfection will lead you in a direction where you can find yourself being stuck, confused, incompetent and frustrated. It is better to do things in such a manner that helps you find areas on which you need to improve; Things that would make you positive about the efforts that you have put in.
Knowing yourself could be the best source of having an optimistic vision. When you know what you want and how you will get it, you feel confident as well as learn to use that confidence to look at new possibilities that could fetch you more and more opportunities. When you expect to have positive results and have the belief in yourself, you develop a healthier outlook. Optimism promotes efficient and effective management. You learn to develop the behavior of looking more at the positive side of the things, be a success or a failure. You will be able to identify that even if the situation is tough and very difficult, it is temporary and will end after some time. At the end of it, you will be equipped to deal with such type of difficult situations and it will also give you hope that you can achieve this. From next time, just trust yourself and start with the hope that at the end, it will all be great.