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Some age gloriously, some simply grow old!

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By: Mohmod Irfan Shah

It is not wrong to say that aging is a different experience for different people and that the process is seen as a treacherous one in some scenarios while it becomes a splendid occurrence for some. Apart from the natural causes of this phenomenon, stress and other mental pressures sometimes induce premature aging and the level of stress largely depends on various factors such as physical health, the quality of our relationships, promises, responsibilities and the degree to which we depend and expect from others. In some cases, however, people seem to never age- they maintain a certain physical standard and refuse to shoe any visible signs of this process. But in both cases, ageing definitely makes an impact and gradually sets its marks loud and clear.

Right from the choice of educational institutions to ones dress codes, we join a race, a blind race, early on and without knowing the reason for nearly anything that we do or are supposed to do, we take everything so personally and end up accumulating a lot of stress and undue hassles. These gradually become self inflicted competitions and keep adding to our anxiety levels at every stage of our growth. The result is that we start ageing quite early and our mental pressures start becoming visible on our faces and our bodies and our thinking too.

Crossing the teenage, the same child enters the competitive world, where all the children from different classes want to get admission in top courses in well-ranked colleges. At this stage, if children from High-class society fail to get admission in top Government colleges, their parents are ready to spend millions to ensure their admission in leading private colleges. For children from marginalized societies either get a seat in Government colleges with the help of a reserved quota or manage a scholarship for their admission in any undergraduate course. In contrast, children from middle income group get into a do or die situation; either they have to work hard to gain admission to Government College, or their parents have to pressurize them to choose any college which is just a compromise arrived at mutually. In the end, this child either ends up in a degree college for graduation in any stream even if capable of being a sound doctor, engineer, professor.

Students are stressed as they have to make sure that they get a degree with a high percentage, but what stresses them more is finding a job so that they are well settled and independent.  While those belonging to a well off family are not tense because either their ancestors already own a business or they are always in a position to ménage so at any point in time, those who don’t have such comfort often succumb to circumstantial choices. On the other hand, people from subsistence class have either worked very hard and gotten placed hence found a way out to earn their livelihood or they fail to get a job after which they are forced to opt for other jobsthat might not have anything to do with their specializations etc. Again, students from middle-income group are left with no option if they fail to get a good government job or in any private sector. Most of the time, they do not own a family business or cannot set up a new one; they get offended working as laborers, farmers, or sales assistants. They stress themselves with their situation and blame themselves, their family and their existence resulting in them getting depressed.

There are other socio-economic pressures that follow and most of the young and promising students are simply buried under the weight of such obligations and responsibilities. This happens for the lack of job opportunities and also because of the absence of a structural capacity of the system to incorporate and integrate these young professions. This often leads to a life full of great stress and anxiety and owing to this reason most of the middle and lower class people often age prematurely and fade away!

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