How Jeremy Lin Grappled with Academic Pressure and What We Can Learn from Him

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Academic pressure can be a burden for even the brightest and most talented students out there. Sometimes this pressure can push you to reach your true potential, while other times it can limit your desire to give it your full effort and cause a lot of stress. Students at any point of their academic journey can experience this pressure and it’s good to know how to deal with it when it comes your way.

Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player who has played at the highest levels of the sport, but he was also a high school student who dove into some serious academic pursuits alongside his athletic endeavors. Let’s take a look at how Jeremy Lin grappled with academic pressure and what we can learn from him here.

Background on Jeremy Lin

Before Jeremy Lin became a famous and successful basketball player, he went through the education system just like every other kid. He attended Palo Alto High School in northern California where he encountered tremendous pressure to succeed both as a student and an athlete. This continued into his college career when he attended Harvard to play basketball and live up to the demands of an Ivy League Education.

Lin has been very forward with his struggles with academic pressure and the effect it can have on students of all kinds, not just student-athletes. His willingness to share some of these struggles publicly has provided a means by which other students can learn from their own struggles to move forward and reach out for help when needed.

How Jeremy Lin Struggle with Academic Pressure

A few years back, Lin posted an emotional FaceBook message that highlighted the struggles he went through in high school. He stated that the pressure to succeed and perform well was so intense, that it could often lead to thoughts of depression and even worse. An excerpt from this post shows some feelings that surely many other students can relate to:

“My daily thought process was that every homework assignment, every project, every test could be the difference. The difference between a great college and a mediocre college. The difference between success and failure. The difference between happiness and misery.”

That sentiment reflects the struggle that so many students face today. If they aren’t perfect, they are failures. If they don’t succeed early on in school, there’s no way that they will succeed further on down the road. Lin also stated that he would have nightmares about failing tests and that his GPA and SAT seemed so important that barely anything else mattered.

These feelings are present with many students, regardless of their goals and hopes for their futures. Academic pressure is very real and can weigh heavy on the hearts and heads of anyone struggling through adolescence and trying to become themselves.

What We Can Learn From Jeremy Lin

Even though Jeremy Lin dealt with some moments of depression, anger, and sadness through large amounts of academic pressure, he was able to push through this and keep the focus on a life where those things weren’t the only thing that mattered. He says that he realized early on that you can’t let success and accomplishments define you.

This is important advice for any student currently struggling with the pressure of school and academics. While it’s important to work hard and do your best, one test result or assignment doesn’t define you are as a person. There are more important things in life than simply academics, even though it can feel like the only thing that matters sometimes.

Lin also faced the reality of not being able to pursue his basketball dreams when he didn’t receive any college scholarship offers after high school. He ended up going to Harvard where he had a tremendous athletic and academic career, only to be faced with a similar situation when he graduated - no professional teams were interested in him.

But he finally got his shot in the NBA and the rest is history. While only a few high school students will ever reach the same status as Lin, his commitment to pursue his dreams and never give up is something else we can learn from him. If you truly believe in your abilities and give something your all, good things can happen even if they seem impossible.

Whether it’s getting into the college of your dreams, finding a profession that you really love, or becoming an NBA player, with enough hard work, dedication, and commitment, you can really achieve anything you set your mind to. There will be plenty of ups and downs along the way, but if Jeremy Lin is any sort of example, it’s more than possible to persevere and reach levels of success that are defined by you and not the academic system.

Final Thoughts

Academic pressure is very real and can affect students in profound ways. If you know of anyone dealing with these struggles, be sure to offer them some words of encouragement and let them know that it’s ok to feel the pressure, you just need to try to not let it overwhelm you.

Jeremy Lin has a unique story, but the same pressure he felt as a kid in high school is present today. Learning from his example and realizing that achievements and successes do not define you is an important lesson for any student going through a difficult time.

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