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Most Asian countries have a high emphasis on school grades. However, South Korea takes it to a whole new level. The country very heavily focuses on academic excellence over anything else, and thus, parents have super high expectations toward their children’s results.
One Korean high school student decided to speak out about the stress and mental torment they have to go through.
Here’s what he said:
“Most of the Korean high school students are going through the same thing every day, which is hell.
“As soon as the semester starts, the school starts to look scary. I only get three hours of sleep every day.
“Even if you’re still in Grade 1, the stress and competition among students is tremendous. That’s just the way it is.
“Since everyone aims to get a place in college or university, the schooling system has become a competition for academic excellence among the students.”
“I’m uncertain and anxious about my future. Can I get into the university of my choice? What about 20 years from now? Can I secure a job? I just want the gate of hell (semester) to open soon so I can get through this quickly. I still have two years left.”
“Previously, I don’t understand people who commit suicide, but now, I’m depressed and I think of committing suicide several times a day.”
It’s no surprise that the suicide rate among South Korean youth (high school and college student) is one of the highest in the world, with the school’s workload being the main cause.
Besides, it was revealed that it’s normal and highly encouraged for students to study in school for 12 hours a day, instead of their typical 8am to 4pm schooling session.
When finals is just around the corner, it’s common for them to sleep 4 hours a night due to their intensive schedules.
After finishing their normal schooling hours from 8am to 4pm, they’d rush home for a quick meal and get ready for night classes at private schools. By the time they reach home, it’s already past midnight, and they’re left with a few hours of sleep before the next day starts.
Apparently there’s a saying in South Korea that sounded like this:
“If you sleep three hours a night, you may get into a top ‘SKY university; if you sleep four hours a night, you may get into another university; if you sleep five hours or more a night, especially in your last year of high school, forget about getting into any university.”
Although our high school years weren’t exactly stress-free, but it’s not as intense as theirs. It’s sad to think that their teen years will be filled with books and classes, instead of hanging out with friends. But remember guys, grades aren’t everything.
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