Category: Nupur P.

Stress and Social Pressures due to Inter-School Relationships

When attending a rigorous curriculum based school like BASIS, traits that may be common in a typical high school tend to play a different role. Stereotypically depicted by media, high school has cliques with the jocks and the popular girls, then the nerds, and the drama and music kids, and often the so called “outcasts” are bullied by the so called “popular kids.” This takes a completely different role at BASIS and often for the better, grades and peers treat everyone as equals and you are not defined by what you are passionate in or good at, allowing for a healthy student body that can act as one. While social pressures from typical high school often come from your position on the popularity scale, what parties you are going to, or who you are in a relationship with, social pressures look differently here as well. When attending a school that is heavily reliant on its education and how well students are doing in the classroom, many students feel pressured to be the best and get the highest grades because that’s what makes them cool, being “smart.” While having the motivation to succeed is never something to frown upon, many students feel pressured to be smart or to do well on exams specifically because their friends are smart or they feel that their peers will look down upon them if it becomes known that they did bad on a test or are struggling in a class. While to a certain extent this becomes human nature to feel pressure to live up to others but it can take a different role in the behavior of some students. It has been seen as students who are struggling in a class or had a difficult time on their exam will present themselves to their peers as if nothing is wrong and that they are succeeding just as the rest of them. This can be detrimental often because if students feel as if they can’t be honest with their peers or close friends it often feels as if there is no on there for them, when in fact it is the contrary. With a resource to talk to, students will hopefully feel more comfortable talking to a trust adult regarding their difficulties in the classroom and maybe even more that is going on in their lives.

 

-Nupur

Social Anxiety in the School Setting due to Curriculum-Based Stress

 

One of the sections of Social Anxiety that I am addressing in my study/experiment is Social Anxiety in the School Setting due to Curriculum-Based Stress. When attending BASIS, it is a known fact that our curriculum is rigorous yet allows us to achieve a high level of learning compared to other schools. Due to the study as well as our school beginning in the fifth grade, we can see how students’ progress in dealing with the increasing rigor of the BASIS Education. The fifth-grade curriculum at BASIS is more rigorous than a typical fifth-grade curriculum, containing more science classes as well as not accounting for the typical session of recess given in most elementary schools. To still account for physical activities younger students take KENPO classes as well as Physical Education classes. This continues as the grades increase until high school where the stress levels are expected but are still higher compared to most schools. For being the second best high school in the nation, this is expected and what is known to students and parents before entering the BASIS School system. This, however, does not mean that students often find it difficult to manage their time and stress during these formative years of their childhood, which leads to a further difficulty in the older years. It is important to provide resources for our students as early as possible to guide them through time management, as well as stress and anxiety management. I truly believe that if we provide a resource for the students that this will help their overall mental and emotional well-being and transfer into further success in the classroom. It is also important that we start providing these resources to all students but especially the younger ones, as the younger, they are the more it will become ingrained in their behavior and habits and further help them as they grow older. The desire to implement these programs is easier said than done especially for a charter school, but slow steps can provide further improvement for our entire student body in the future.

-Nupur

Stress and Social Anxiety at Home PART 2

…Continued on from the previous post: “Stress and Social Anxiety at Home Part 1

Life at home has its ups and downs as well as life itself does, and it is important to know that children often feel pressure from their parents, the need and desire to live up to their expectations, to help out in the family by babysitting younger siblings, and the possibilities are endless. It is important to keep constant communication with your child or children to make sure you are aware of what is going in their lives, how school is going, how are the handling their workload, try to make sure that they have a balance and that their home pressures aren’t taking them over. This may not sound like my study relating to stress and social anxiety, but the little things such as a parent asking how your day is and how school is going and taking an interest in your life without being overbearing is therapeutic to a child, which can decrease their stress levels and improve their future communication with you.

While this is a lot easier said than done, the age of the “young adult” and “adolescent” is known for the child drifting apart from their parents hoping to gain some independence, but this is also the time that school and social pressures increase in a child’s life and they need you or need someone to talk to, but have a difficulty in admitting it. This describes how stress can affect a relationship between a parent and student throughout different ages, but in regards to social anxiety, home life can be the first indicator of a child suffering from something more than just being “shy” or “nervous.” The early someone with social anxiety gets diagnosed and begins treatment, the more beneficial effects it can have. That’s why I’m here discussing parenting as an eighteen-year-old young adult, because parents and guardians are the ones who know us best, so it’s important for me to discuss the effects that home and family life pressures and communication can have on a child’s life.

-Nupur

Stress and Social Anxiety at Home PART 1

In this post, I wanted to discuss stress and social anxiety at home. As BASIS Students, we have the unique opportunity of beginning our lives at BASIS as early as first grade, but in my scenario, fifth grade. And if this study and future studies place a large importance on the growth of an individual in a high-stress environment we can see the different effects it has on the students versus students who attend BASIS until the eighth grade and transfer to public school or a student who joins BASIS in the eighth grade. For my specific project, I am looking mainly into how life at home truly shapes the behavior and mental health of a student. Please take caution when reading this that I am just giving examples based off of a text-book scenario this is not based on my life or anyone that I know off.

We have all read about the so-called “helicopter parent” or the “tiger mom” the parent or guardian of a child that lays down the law and makes sure they have heavily involved in every little thing that their child completes or participates in. Or there are the parents that are completely “hands-off” believing in the fact that the best way for their children to learn are by working hard on their own and learning from their mistakes. There are also parents in the middle, I’m not here to say what is the best way to parent a child, just that in each scenario no matter what place on the spectrum you are on, there is an effect on the child and it is not always negative.

Continued in next post….

 

-Nupur

Weeks 10 and on…

The time has come where I have finally obtained data! I am so excited to be able to see the responses that I have received from my survey. In the next few weeks up until the big presentation, my work is now to begin analyzing the data and start formatting it to show the results in a clear and concise way.

The data are currently being taken from the website in which the survey was administered and are being formatted so my advisor and I can see percentages and have a clearer way of seeing the students’ responses.

These will take up to one week to a week and a half to perfect and create tables and visuals to use in my final presentation.

I’m so excited to be able to see the results I obtained even though they may not have come in as heavy of a volume as I had hoped for, but these are the things that happen in research!

-Nupur

Weeks 6-9 Update

As I can now describe more regarding my project and the process that I have been through I will provide an update as to what I have been up to for the past few weeks!

During Weeks 6-9, I completed my survey which I based off of previous studies that have been completed. During these weeks I worked hard to obtain responses from the BASIS Students which was more difficult than imagined, but a great feeling when accomplished! I also read through more articles and studies to truly gain a better understanding for myself about Social Anxiety.

In all my research these past few months I have learned more than I initially thought possible regarding what one can go through and deal with when suffering from Social Anxiety. This has helped me to better realize that when we are talking in our daily lives to our peers, colleagues, friends, and family, we often do not know everything that they are going through and the obstacles that they face daily, this makes it ever more important for us to be kind to one another and be respectful of everyone’s feelings.

As I am working on my paper and presentation now, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to share everything that I have learned as well as have the ability to share all the statistics I have not been able to share so far.

-Nupur

The Truth About Social Anxiety Part 2

When looking back on how students, children, and friends act in public situations, a person with social anxiety can come across as being shy, quiet, withdrawn, unfriendly, nervous, and even disinterested. During these situations, the intent of this person is actually to try their hardest to make friends, be included, and be involved in social interactions. This is where the paradox is presented and it is all due to the fear and anxiety that is holding them back from achieving this. It may sound simple to just try to force yourself to speak up in a social situation and make the first step in talking to someone no matter how hard it may be, but when you have a debilitating fear of this it can seem like the end of the world. They believe that if they stay in the shadows away from the eyes of others it would just be easier for them, but this only sets them further back in making progress.

There are many feelings that accompany social anxiety they include but are not limited to: nervousness, high levels of fear, racing heart, sweating, blushing, dry throat, and twitches. The most common and consistent symptom is having intense fear and anxiety. When exposed to certain situations where the person feels uncomfortable or under immense pressure, these trigger symptoms will induce some of these feelings listed above. A wide majority of these trigger symptoms or situations involve having that person being noticed by someone else or a group of people. Such as being called on in class and having to answer in front of everyone, having to present something in front of people, and being the center of attention. While this list can continue, it is also important to acknowledge that with all symptoms and emotions being listed is not specific to an individual. Each person who suffers from social anxiety has unique feelings, fears, and reactions. This attests to the claim that direct cognitive-behavioral therapy is the best solution for this, talking all those fears out with someone they trust and work on ways to slowly overcome them are proven to be the most beneficial for a patient.

Social anxiety is one of the five main major anxiety disorders and is often confused with panic disorder. Those who suffer from social anxiety do not experience panic attacks, they may experience anxiety attacks of which they are aware that it is fear and anxiety they are experiencing and not a medical problem. Substance abuse, family difficulties, lack of personal relationships, and difficulty in maintaining employment are some of the everyday problems that people with social anxiety disorder are experiencing.

Many of you may also be wondering how this topic of ‘social anxiety’ is being used to apply to the students of BASIS for my project, but when a student is attending school, pressures come from three main sources and can affect a student often without them realizing. Each of the three sources is unique and can affect a child uniquely whether or not they have social anxiety disorder, I will go through them each individually in my next few posts.

-Nupur

The Truth About Social Anxiety Part 1

Since I have dealt with a great difficulty of describing the details of my experiment due to confidentiality and standard error problems, I have decided to provide and in-depth description of social anxiety and why I find it prevalent to research. This will depict misconceptions and give everyone a closer look at what people who suffer from this really go through and what we can do to help them.

-Nupur

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interactions with other people. It can also be stated as a fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. It can cause fear, stress, and anxiety in all aspects of a person’s life. It is categorized as a chronic disorder as there is no simple solution to it, direct cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only known solution to change the brain and help people overcome social anxiety.

Social anxiety is widely misconceived in today’s society with many claiming that people may be using it as an excuse for being shy and having a lack of confidence, as well as people claiming that the emotional symptoms and trigger factors are being used as an excuse for people to bring attention to themselves. The phrase ‘social anxiety’ is so lightly tossed around in today’s society and mainstream media that it diminishes the powerful effect that the phrase truly has. A person who has ‘social anxiety’ wants to be like any other person; have the ability to be friendly and sociable, have the confidence to speak to others and speak up for themselves, as well as having the ability to take themselves out of their comfort zone and experience new things. Many of us while reading this may be thinking, “How hard can that be, I do it on a daily basis?!” and as a society, we need to take the time to put ourselves in their shoes and see what goes on in their minds before any action can be taken.

As I proceed with this explanation and description of what people who suffer from social anxiety truly go through, I truly hope that we all take a moment to think of anyone we may know who may be suffering from this and think of what small things we can do to help them. The best way to help someone who is dealing with this in their daily life is to provide as much support as we possibly can as well as guide them towards attaining the help that can make a world of a difference for them.

Week 4: Beginning the Writing Process

This past week was a busy week for me, it was also quite exciting! I had a great meeting with my advisor, Dr. Andrews, where we discussed how to begin writing my survey and how questions can be formatted to receive more information from a student. I was in touch with the BASIS Admin regarding their participation in helping me complete my survey to get the best possible results, and I truly appreciate all their support and encouragement!

I am eager to see the results that I receive once my survey is complete, but I am also enjoying the creating process working with experienced individuals to craft the best survey possible. This process has turned out to be more difficult than I initially imagined, but taking the time to decide what questions would give me the best insight into the minds of BASIS students has been an exciting challenge.

I hope to update this blog next week with more information regarding the survey, as this was all I have been able to say for this week.

Have a great week!

-Nupur

Weeks 2 and 3: Creating a Case Study and Confidentiality Issues

These past two weeks have been very busy in regards to my work, but also difficult to write about. After I completed all my readings regarding the science behind Social Anxiety, I began to work with my off-site advisor, Dr. Andrews, on what it takes to make a survey and what defines a Case Study.

The problem that I face in updating this blog while completing my project is that as my project progresses, the amount of information I have the liberty to share becomes further constricted. This is because when working hard to construct questions that will allow me to analyze social anxiety triggers from a wide range of students, questions and the thought process are not allowed to be told prior to the surveys being released. Also once the surveys are completed, the analyzing process can not be described in too much detail prior to my presentation to protect the results of my experiment and the confidentiality of the test subjects.

I will be sure to keep this blog updated with the various processes that I am using to go about my project with. I hope to keep this blog as detailed as possible all while protecting those helping me and reducing the possibility of error in my experiment.

Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

-Nupur