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We are often given the “life mantras” or “life manual” by people who have led lives in a particular pattern and are asked to live our lives exactly like them.

Have you ever found yourself wondering how you ended up becoming who you are today? If you think about the events from your past that played a huge role in shaping up your present or are still molding you into a better self for the future, you might most likely end up thinking about your childhood or adolescence ie. the years you’ve spent in school during teenage that supposedly prepares you for the reality of life- Does it though?

Let’s do a quick exercise to understand and analyze this:

What we do

Right from our childhood, we are always told what to do, how to do it, sometimes do things we don’t like, and sometimes we’re not allowed to do things that we do like because our parents or anyone that counsels us, tells us what is right or wrong for us.

Every once in a while we may come across a movie like Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots, or Tamasha wherein the lead character, after failing multiple times at subjects that aren’t of their interest, choose to chase their dreams, realizing that’s where their true potential lies. We get motivated and decide to do the same until we are driven back into our real lives, wherein we are told that the path to success is the tried and tested linear path chosen by a majority.

We blindly follow the saying “Where there is a will, there is a way.” But isn’t it time we realize that “If you can’t find the way, then it’s time to create one?”

What we want to do

A large part of our growing-up years is associated with the formation of some core habits that may end up lasting for our lifetime. Our senses, perceptions, beliefs, and principles play a huge role in the development of our personality. There would be several instances, when we may have wanted to express our views, give opinions, make decisions or choices, but we simply couldn’t do it.

We listen to others but want to be heard too.

We listen to opinions but want the freedom to express ourselves too.

We respect our elders but want to be respected too.

We learn to accept others for who they are but want to be accepted too.

What happens

We often feel anxious, or lonely, or depressed due to the fear of judgment, fear of alienation from our friends or family because we didn’t agree with them, fear of not being accepted for who we are. We begin to live like battery-operated, remote-controlled machines that work on the commands of others around us, without having any sense of self-worth or identity.

Listening to elders, following instructions, giving others control over our lives and our minds becomes a habit that we form early on in our lives, without even realizing it.

We are often given the “life mantras” or “life manual” by people who have led lives in a particular pattern and are asked to live our lives exactly like them.

The Result?

Students are treated less like humans and more like machines who have to memorize everything and are judged for not being able to cope up with the curriculum like their peers.

Misunderstanding failure for a subject they don’t like as laziness to study, or leading them to believe that they aren’t working hard enough to survive in a competitive environment, not guiding them to work towards enhancing their skills to realize their true potential, easily overwhelms them and affects their mental health.

Instead of treating each student as an individual with different interests, skills, or capabilities, everyone is seen through the same lens of perception by teachers whose main role, or so they believe, is to make sure that the curriculum is followed, assignments are checked and exams are given on time. They often neglect the fact that they play a huge role in the child’s personal growth as well.

That’s where the counselors come into the picture.

Role of Counselors or psychologists in school

For starters, one should perceive them as normal people, who are better listeners than most of us and can provide guidance when we feel scared or are filled with overwhelm due to the unpredictability of life, especially in the years growing up.

A school is a place where we spend the majority of our time- from childhood to teenage. We invest 12-13 years of our lives in an environment that is supposed to help us grow together with friends, learn various subjects, discover new talents, explore our interests and develop our personality.

While the role of a teacher is to educate the students and that of a principal is to discipline them, the role of a counselor is to give the students the space to understand what they need to do, rather than doing everything they are expected to do.

What they could do

1. Remove the stigma

Making students aware of mental health and telling them it’s as normal for someone to have a mental health problem as it is for someone to be physically injured.

2. Building trust

Providing a comfortable environment for the child to talk about the problems they are facing and assuring them that they will be given proper guidance for the same. This will help to release stress and refrain them from taking extreme actions like committing suicide, substance abuse, and so on.

3. Making the right choice

Introduce various subjects of interest to the curriculum and create the possibility for students to explore their true potential. Students must be allowed to choose what they like to do to excel at their skills and achieve success in their field of interest.

4. Learning with fun

Make students aware of mental health through lectures, documentaries, discussions on real-life stories, or watching movies through a critical approach.

5. Creating opportunities

By giving space to the students to express what they feel, accept who they are, and give them a space to grow by themselves.

6. Run your own Race

Everyone has their own peculiar strengths or weaknesses. It is imperative to make students realize that the most important thing to do is to learn to be better today than they were yesterday. They are their own competitors and have to run their own race.

7. Life is a game, not a competition

The sooner they understand it the better, that life is not a competition to win, but rather a game that they have to play, take risks, and remove any fear of failure or loss. They can always begin playing it over again.

8. Free from the Fear of judgment

Counselors can help students understand how important it is to remain unaffected by what people think of them. They can give them real-life examples by being non-judgmental and non-biased in their approach towards them and show them how each of them is unique in their own way.

If counselors or psychologists were given the responsibility to be in charge of students right from their childhood they would grow up to be stronger individuals who are capable of taking actions and decisions, without the fear of society’s expectations because:

Instead of being told what to do, they would be told what they could do.

Instead of preparing them to be followers, they would work on ways to make them leaders.

Instead of constantly being afraid to fail, they would aspire to succeed.

Counselor can help to restore courage and make the students believe in themselves again. If a simple conversation can change the life of students, shouldn’t we simply focus on this need of the hour?

Written By - Shaymi Shah

Your mental health matters as much as your physical health. Don't hesitate to take a step towards your mental well-being. If you’re looking at talking to a professional, book your Initial Consultation with us on or write to us at Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!

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