Under pressure

24 March 2019 | Columns

Karl Philander



Humans have proven over the years that we are capable of anything and everything we put our minds to.

Humans are told that the sky is the limit, but Neil Armstrong left his footprints on the moon.

The youth are constantly put under immense pressure be it in school, on the sports field, at part-time jobs, home or in our friendship circle. We are tempted to give up when things become too challenging.

I recently came across scholars who were pressured into going back into a sport game right after getting injured. They were forced to uphold and put the image of their school before their own physical well-being.

Learners from various schools became victims of fighting for their education and future. They were forced to drop from Higher Level subjects to Ordinary Level by the principals of their schools. They however stood up and did Higher Level subjects.

I was also exposed to immense pressure at an early stage and had to sit up until the early morning hours and then go to school. I had so many extra mural activities that 24 hours were not enough for me to squeeze them all in.

People do not realise how much pressure teenagers experience on a daily basis and whether this is healthy or unhealthy.

The youth are expected to attend school, get above average grades, be the best in everything they do, make important life decisions on what they want to become, graduate, get into a university and graduate again before you eventually start working.

Only then you are considered to be successful and supposedly have made it in life. There are however so many millionaires on this planet today who were neither A+ students or do not have a Master's degree.

Sometimes this can become quite overwhelming.

Many learners did not obtain above-average grades and that is ok. What's important is that no matter how many times life knocks you down, you have to get up and keep going.

For a diamond to be formed, a piece of coal first needs to undergo immense pressure and heat for a sustained period of time. Some coals do not withstand the pressure and end up being shattered into little pieces.

Coals can actually be the ones reading this passage right now.

We all were put on this planet with a purpose. You could become something stronger, bolder and much brighter than a diamond. There is however just one way to find out and this process starts with changing your state of mind.

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