The “Westmount” Syndrome

By: Griffin Naugler
Regardless of your age, at some point in your life, I’m sure that you have wondered what you wanted to be when you are older. It is commonly said to be a very Westmount thing to worry about your future. Whether it be from external pressures from parents or peers, or if it sparks from an overwhelming internal desire to plan out every part, regardless of its size, of your life. From my own power of observation, I’ve concluded that this is a rather quotidien occurrence. If you do, in fact, experience this pressure, chances are that you also experience the same pressure towards your grades as well as other equally beneficial activities like volunteering and school teams. You may feel trapped by this pressure thus causing anxiety and stress as well as the always omnipresent desire to not let the pressure enforcer down. (Even if it is yourself that you may let down).


Truth be told this pressure can reach an extent to which students are losing valuable sleep or being forced to quit something that they feel passionate about; in an attempt to dedicate more time to academia. This highly dogmatic approach is not only illogical but it too deteriorates the quality of life of an individual. This sleep deprivation can also be extremely counterproductive, the correlation between sleep deprivation and the reduced cognitive functioning sheds a negative light on trying to pull an all nighter to finish that one essay that you needed to finish. Other effects of pulling an all nighter is the decreased ability to retain memories from the day before. That is just one of the many reasons that pulling an all nighter to study for a test or exam is highly illogical and actually detrimental to your ability to recall information.

Yet another common symptom of this pressure is anxiety and stress. Coincidently the solution to reducing the level of anxiety and stress related to social pressure is the same. I personally suggest one of two tactics to reducing those levels; tactic one involves the decrease of extracurricular activities that have the aim of academic advancement. Then there is my preferred method of tactic two; tactic two revolves around the setting the side of a quotidien time to “Do you compress” or “let loose”. This frequent occurrence could be anywhere from a quiet time from yourself to do pleasure reading, to a peaceful walk or run. Anything really suffice as long as it does not revolve around academia.

If you don’t find any of these fragments of advice useful or enlightening, you may find it easier to just let someone know how you are feeling. It may be difficult to believe but if you talk about it things easier to comprehend. On top of that, others will know how you’re feeling and they might be able to assist you in whatever your task or goal might be. If you only leave knowing one thing it should be to not stress out about little things like missing 5% on a test because let’s face it 30 years from now you are most likely not going to be in tears about that 5%. Well actually I don’t know we are Westmountians after all.


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