Dear Haadia

I am an above average O levels student (male) and work very hard to maintain my grades. However, sometimes I am not able to be the best. This puts a lot of pressure on me, especially from my parents. I am sick of being pushed around and now feel very depressed. What should I do?

Answer: You should keep up your hard work. In fact, you should feel proud of your efforts and understand that your parents only mean well, even if they don’t show it in the best of ways.

If things are getting too out of hand, perhaps you should try to convey to them that their forceful and persistent approach is actually hampering you from achieving success. Take both of them or one of them into your confidence. If this is difficult, then seek help from a relative who is mutually close to you and your parents. Your parents need to recognize that you are a self-motivated individual who needs to have some space in order to accomplish his studies. They also need to realize that any pitfalls here and there do not mean that you are no longer committed to your goal.

At the same time, you need to see that your parents’ concern is also quite understandable: this is a very crucial stage of your student life and will weigh in heavily into your future studies and career choices. So, don’t get unnerved so easily. Keep your calm and keep studying. They only want the best for you.

Feeling helpless and depressed is not the solution. Rather, it could have a serious impact on your studying, on your zeal, on your willingness to take on challenges. It is very important that you keep a clear head right now and deal with this situation in the best possible manner: through discussion, mutual understanding and, of course, continued hard work!