My blog topic: Is there too much pressure on teenagers to go to college?
Last month, 2018’s Suneung (korea’s college entrance exam) ended. This exam day is one of the most important moments in a young person’s life. Students spend 3years
preparing for these exams, and then it’s all over in one day. Even the flights don’t take off on this day during English listening test, and the work hours are changed so there’s no traffic on the road when students go to school, it feels like the entire country is changing its schedule for this exam. Therefore, there’s a huge amount of pressure.. as the results can determine which university a student will attend, and potentially what job and future they’ll have. So my answer for this topic is Yes... There is obviously pressure on teenagers to go to college, especially here in South Korea. There are two reasons for that.
The first reason is related to South Korea’s structual problems.
According to the OECD statistics, and according to any statics… our country’s unemployment rate has climbed to its highest level since 2010. So there’s very few opportunity to get a good job in korea so the competition for such jobs will be strong. And naturally, the employers will want to select who have the best qualification to do that jobs .. Most employers won’t even look at the resume who graduated not a good University. That’s just the true and cold reality. That’s why teenagers compete every day to go to S.K.Y Universities.. The korean people ‘s recognition about attending University is very firm.. to be honest, many people in korea think the people who don’t graduate good University as losers. That’s why korea’s education fever is very high. Our country’s parents still push children to go to the best college possible. Most of korean parents are obessed with private education to make their child to survive in that competition. In 2017, private education spending hits record high according to the survey. To be honest, I don’t think is bad. I think high education fever is good, but the direction is wrong. Korea’s education system give a lot of pressure on teenagers. The cramming education system have made students very passive and make them to not know why they should study. The biggest problem of our country’s education system is that it makes students to focus on succeding than on learning. so students can’t enjoy studying..but they should keep study as the society requires that.. with no reasons ….so they naturally get a lot of stress.
The Second reason is the students’ individuals’ stress from high school lives.
I still remember the extreme stress and pressure I got as a student in high school. First of all, the competiton among students for getting good grade is much more extreme and excessive than in college….can’t comparable to college.. especially on third grade..our lives turn upside down .. If you have time , please visit any high schools in Korea…students don’t care about appearance so they don’t makeup and sleep like corpses during break time… Also, you can easily find “Stop watches” on the students’ desks. Almost every students in high school bring
stopwatches in class to timed the study hours… to study more than other students… to fill more hours than the previous day… And many students changed their phone from smartphone to Feature phone. Holiday is not holiday.. students think holiday as the most important opportunity to study more than other students in private library. At the beginning of the third grade of high school, many class teachers write on the blackboard “D-365.” and started counting down the days… and every day.. literally everyday.. they give a lot of pressure to us to motivate us… especially during the Suneung application period..and sometimes, when Suneung exam coming, as all students in classroom become very sensitive, the relationship with their classmates and with their class teacher can be worse.. this also can give another stress to teenagers…My highschool’s classroom motto was “At this moment, your enemies books keep flipping.” So we can’t deny that there’s stress for teenagers to go to college.. there is ..pressure ….
However, despite that pressure and the negative side of our education system, I think going to the good college is still most important thing than anything for teenagers. If we know the fundamental reason why we’re studying and why we should go to the good University, then I think we can find the good thing of this process and endure this time. One of the reasons why most of us get stressed from studying is because we don’t know exactly why we’re studying. Some people may say that they’re studying to get a good job, some people may say they’re studying to raise money…. it depends on individual’s life’s values…But in my opinion, in the end… I think we are all studying to be happy. Our ultimate lives’ purpose is happiness.. we’re not studying for others…and as I said on my second blog, we were not born to spend our whole lives to
struggle to be well-packed products of capitalism. We were all born to live happy and meaningful lives… Then when do we feel happiness? This is also can depends on individuals’ personalities and values …but I think most of us feel happiness when we like ourselves.. when we love our lives…. If we understand this, then this process is not a pain anymore…. it’s just the process to be happy. Because, by studying hard we sometimes can discover and change what kind of people we are and how hard we can try to reach our goal… I mean, we can discover our limits and can develop our self-confidence in this process.. I can’t think of no better way to know our limit than studying…. because everybody don’t want to study . even people who like study don’t like every subjects. So when we study, especially in highschool, ‘we’ decide how high we set our goals and ‘we’ decide how hard we are going work for that goals….’we’ decide how we will respond when something doesn’t go our ways. Because studying is a battle against myself. especially in highschool..!! because as you know, highschool’s studying is even more harder than college’s studying. So I think studying is not just about obtaining knowledge but also about building our self-esteem. For example, if you don’t study at all, give up when you have to solve very difficult mathematical problems , so get bad grade in school and be absent on class everyday, and go to the university that you can never be satisfied with, then no matter what situations you face in your future, you can’t endure and handdle that because you don’t have experience trying hard in something that you don’t like…You don’t have experiences that have made
you to like yourself and to believe in yourself.. you just have experiences that made you to disappointed to yourself….so no matter what obstacles you face in future, you will respond to crisis with the same attitude as before. On the other hand, if you study hard as a student, even if it’s not your favorite subject if you try to stay up late at night to study that in a small private library , try to be a good student on every classes, and do your absolute very best on every single assignments at nights and every single tests , and finally get good grade on Suneung and go to the University that you can be satisfied with, that pride and thrill will be very strong… and that positive self-esteem will form the foundation of your confidence. so, no matter what situations you face in future, you can overcome that time with hope and confidence and think “I can do this!” because you already have many experiences that have made you to have believe in yourself.. We all like ourselves when we live our lives diligently and when we achieved something that not everyone achieve.
Most of us think that we can be super happy if we don’t study at all and if we can play and sleep everyday…. But I want to ask to them this : Really..? Do you really think that you can just feel happiness if you can play and sleep all day long?
No, we don’t…that kind of happiness is short and temporary… As Benjamin Franklin said, “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears” Laziness makes human’s body and mind more exhausted than working hard. I felt this every vacation and every Chusuk……….can’t breathe…. meeting friends and playing with them and having leisurely good times with family are very good. but ironically,.even if there is no pressure that makes us to work hard, we would not want to let us live lazy lives. we love ourselves when we live our lives diligently and spend our time productively……So, to any teenagers who feel so stressful in studying and think they will be very happy if they don’t study at all, I want to talk to them Stop studying… try to play everyday, I promise you, it will never ensure you endless happiness….you will realize that the stress that you get by not studying at all is even harder to endure than the stress that you get by studying hard..Because sometimes…many times happiness comes from the joy of achievement and the thrill of effort.
Second, most of us feel happiness when we can give good influence to our society. But if we study hard , get good grade in school and go to the good University, then we can get more opportunities and more power to give good influence to others. Because what we learn from college can form our life’s values…. By getting the best education possible, we can think critically, we can express our opinions clearly, we can have unique perspectives and unique voices to add to our national conversation.. so we can be positive forces to our community. So, to to do great thing, we first need to be smart… not for showing off but actually learning many things….. we need to first empower ourselves with a good education then get out there and use that education to build a world worthy of our values… By studying we find our interests and can discover where our voices work best. Then, we can be happy in future by making the world better place than before in our reflective fields…
In conclusion, I agree that there is extreme pressure and stress on teenagers to go to college and our country’s education system worsen that problem. But if we carefully think the fundamental reason why we’re studying, if we realize that we’re studying to be happy.. if we understand that we’re all studying not to be faithful slaves of capitalism but to achieve meaningful success, then I think we can endure this time positively.
Some people may say that going to the good college is not everything in life. and that that’s not necessary leads us to success… I agree with it to a certain extent, and I understand very well that happiness is not proportional to school test scores… But what I want to say is not that University itself defines everything in life. What I really want to say is that how well we manage this experience in twenties can truly affect to our self-
respect, confidence and self-love that we should keep hold in our future lives. Through education we don’t just develop the ability to learn and skills but we also develop our confidence and attitude toward our lives… we develop skills like grit , determination, optimism and resilience in this process. There will be a huge difference between students who’ve endured and overcame the extreme stress in this process (in high school), and do his or her best and don’t give up and eventually get good results and a person who had always run away under high stress and have given up in the face of challenges. they will live totally different lives in future…because their mindset and attitudes toward life will be very different. So this time is really important for everyone as a part of growing up. and I think that’s why we need to go to not to the ‘best’ University , but at least to the University that we can ‘satisfied with’… we have to study without regrets.. and University doesn’t define everything in life, but it defines many things in life..especially here in South Korea….. we can’t deny that. I think teenagers should get the best education possible. They have to go to the University that they can satisfied with… a University that reflects their values and faith.. and they have to learn what they really want to learn. By doing so, they can have the most powerful weapons to change the world in their own ways. Therefore, I will also keep do everything I can to spend my twenties to go to the good University that I can be satisfied with.
Minimum of 2-links to other blogs on this subject.
YouTube or Ted Talk to link and support my argument.