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9 Tips to Deal with Academic Stress in Hong Kong and Learn Effectively

invictus_dealing_with_stress.jpgAs adults, the common perception amongst the majority is that children don't have as many worries to deal with as we do. However, one major worry which will be prevalent in their lives is definitely academics - how to do well and get to their eventual university or college of choice. Academic stress is a major cause of failure for many students in Hong Kong as it reduces their level of concentration and understanding. 

What then is the cause of academic stress in Hong Kong and how can students get over and above this menace in the educational system? We take a look at some of the causes of academic stress among pupils in Hong Kong and how to overcome them. 

Here are some tips for parents that will hopefully aid you in helping your child/ward properly manage and overcome educational stress and perform better in school.

Academic Stress in Hong Kong

Hong Kong places a great deal of value on its education system and is renowned for its technological know-how and advancements. However, it has been discovered that Hong Kong students, from grade school kids to secondary school kids to university/college students are much more stressed academically, compared to students in other countries.

Due to economic and cultural factors resulting in a rigid education system and strict learning policies, academic stress is prevalent among Hong Kong students, particularly undergraduate students, who are often plagued with depression and anxiety based on the drastic intellectual changes that they are mandated to keep track of.

Causes of Academic Stress

Academic stress is not peculiar to Hong Kong. However, there is a need to understand how children in Hong Kong can overcome academic stress early so that education in secondary school, college, or university will be a lot easier.

1. Unrealistic academic workload with limited time
When students are tasked with huge academic workloads with limited time for completion, the implications often will include heavy discouragement and demoralization.

At Invictus International School, we allow our students to study moderately. We understand that it takes more than working too hard to learn, learning has to be moderate for anyone to grow. We also advise parents to reduce the pressure on kids to outperform them or other kids.

High academic standards set by the government and the society go a long way to suggest that, if students are to excel in their academics, they have to channel more than half, if not their entire private time into working on projects, assignments, and revision, which ends in them having lesser time to relax, as workload continuously adds up.

2. High societal expectations
Students have a lot to deal with in their youth, mostly before secondary school. They begin to experience the need to meet up with the expectations of their parents, peer group, and society at large. They have to live up to the educational standards of teachers and the government.

While these factors are necessary to keep a child focused and motivated, it has been proven that self/internal motivation is the best kind of motivation for the youth.

3. Fear of failure
Fear is a major contributor to anxiety in both public and private schools, therefore, when a student is constantly worried about the likelihood of being unable to measure up during exams, there is a huge probability of such a student falling into depression.

How to manage academic stress

Managing anxiety is a continuous project as there are currently tons of things working against your peace. However, it is a necessity. While there isn't any particular method of eradicating academic stress completely, the following tips can help bring it to a minimum.

1. Develop a learning style
The learning style theory specifies that every person is capable of processing data and assimilating information on different levels. Therefore you might have to determine whether you are more suited for an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic mode of learning.

At Invictus International School, our teachers are highly skilled on all levels and know just how to carry every child with a different learning style along.

2. Exerciseinvictus_kids_running.jpg
It is reported that a good workout now and then is capable of boosting endorphins which reduce anxiety levels and keep you in shape. This doesn't only help the student education-wise but also helps them to develop in other related or unrelated endeavours. Exercising also boosts their confidence level.

3. Make sure to get enough sleep
There's a limit as to how much the human brain can process data and assimilate information when deprived of sleep. Create intervals for rest when possible.

Research stipulates that it's not only refreshing but also effective in boosting academic performance. There are a good number of signs that you've not had a good sleep in a long while and academic stress is one of them.

4. Choose a healthy diet

You'll be surprised about the impact of what goes into your body on how much work you can get done. Different food groups will have different impacts on your body and it only makes sense to form the habit of only eating or drinking anything that helps your mind.

Intake of food that constitutes high levels of sugar and fat can deplete your interest in studying, therefore rendering you unmotivated to complete tasks.

A diet of fruits and foods high in fibre, carbohydrates, and protein is great for keeping you energized and focused.

5. Opt for an international school instead of local public schools
Research has shown that students who attend public schools in Hong Kong or any other country for that matter tend to study primarily to pass exams rather than gain knowledge.

International schools are capable of instilling a good attitude towards learning by exposing children to the fun aspects of studying, through practical activities and an expansive curriculum allowing children to have a broader spectrum.

At Invictus International School, our international primary curriculum (IPC) motivates and inspires a strong desire to learn. The curriculum is student-led as opposed to teacher-led. It simply means that teachers are taking students through those subjects that they have shown strong desire, interest, and proficiency in. The IPC approach doesn't only create smarter kids but also helps to build a world with happier adults with reduced stress levels.

6. Try to be optimistic
Although it can be difficult to move past setbacks, dwelling on the past never helped anyone achieve their goals, thus you'll have to approach issues about your academics in a more positive light.

Having a personal and self-oriented mindset to prepare and plan for the best future possible. This doesn't mean you've accepted a fate of confusion. It simply means you're adopting a more focused and rational mindset.

7. Ask for help when necessary
Asking for help doesn't make a student less intelligent. As a matter of fact, at Invictus International School, we encourage students to work in groups where group members can share thoughts with one another as well as with their teachers and ask for help whenever necessary.

If you find yourself in a bind, don't hesitate to discuss with a close friend that can be of assistance or perhaps join a study group that can proffer solutions. If possible discuss with teachers the issues you're facing via email.

8. Reward yourself occasionally
invictus_teacher_class.jpgDon't take your progress for granted, treat yourself to something you like when you overcome milestones or accomplish a set of tasks. When you pass tests or an examination, make it a habit to praise yourself and reward yourself with something that reminds you that you've overcome a milestone. It helps to keep you self-motivated.

This should lighten your mood and encourage you to keep working.

9. Talk to someone
Stress among young people is one of the main causes of mental health problems in the long run. Always speak with somebody you trust. This helps to ease your burden. Talk to a guidance counsellor, your parents, or an adult you can discuss with, in confidentiality.

At some point, people have to deal with some level of stress. However, talking to the right person about it can help prevent full-blown depression or anxiety.

Motivation is Key

While there are some negative sides to students being put through the wringer, stress can also be a useful motivator that brings out the best in students. Some students are reported to do better at tests and examinations under pressure.

The above tips should help reduce stress among students in Hong Kong to a great extent and increase performance considerably.

Pick a date to take a quick walk into our institution and speak with our staff on plans that have been put in place to help ensure that your child's stress level is properly managed. We'll be more than glad to receive you.