Saturday, March 10, 2007

Education Stress??

Happen to chance upon this blog, which was tomorrowed ( Sparked off some thoughts from boring old me.....

Anyway, to view the blog go to The main thing from this blog that gotten the attention of the editors of is that the blog is very frank. honest (not something we associate with mass media) and of course, this paragraph on 'stressful education in Singapore'.

I am a secondary student and i am going to take my "O" lvl this year. My wish for this year is to pass my english paper if not i will not able to graduate to poly or JC. i feel that this year is very stressful as most of the teachers had given mi a lot of homework to do and nd to do a lot of ten years series. Being a student in Singapore is very competitive. My parents always like mi to be top in the school but a lot of student in the school are very li hai and smart so we cant get top. My parents also like to compare mi with the RI students and sae that I am dumb or stupid, but different student hav different capability and talent. So I think that my parent should not compare mi wif them.

I am the onli boy in the family so my parents hav high expectation on mi. I hav 3 sister, both of my sister is working while one of my sister are still studying in NTU. My parents lived in the olden days whr they think that boy is more impt then the girl. And they think that the girl will be married to other people whereas the boy will marry a girl back. So they think that I am more impt then my sister so they care mi more then my sister. Because of tis, I become very weak and not daring because my parents protect mi too much. I become a worrywart because of this.

I hope some of my students do read this blog, and care to comment on it here. Some questions I like to ask:

  1. Is education really stressful in Singapore?
  2. Students are feeling stress usually because they fail to meet expectations. Or rather, other people's expectation. What about their own expectations?
  3. Is stress bad?
  4. How to reduce, or remove stress, if it exist in the first place?

Firstly, having survived 16 gruelling years of Singapore education, I don't find it stressful at all. Seriously. And it's not that I have low expectations! While it's true my parents/relatives never place any high expectations on me, I do have high expectations of myself (and my sister, whom may have felt a bit to live up to her brother's name but I digress).

To answer my own questions, you feel stress because you can't meet expectations. Hence it is not stress nor how difficult the subject is, but rather expectations that is the cause. More accurately, the unwillingness to meet that expectation. For example, I will feel very stress if someone was to force me to take part in Singapore Idol! Because I don't have the interest, and even if I have any tiny drool of talent in me, I will feel stressed since this is not what I want to do! I will not work towards it, and practice will become a chore and a 'stressful' business.

But if I AM already in the Singapore Idol competition, I will give my best in the competition. Whether the other competitors are significantly or obviously way better should not affect how much effort and pride I take in the competition.

And so, the grades of the average RI or RGS student shouldn't affect your studies at all; conversely the grades of the worst student in class is not an excuse for you to work less harder just because 'you're not the worst'.

However, if you do feel stress, it means you can forsee the outcome of your current level of academic work to fall short of your expectations. Don't blame the parents/society/school etc! Take pride in your stress, that you expect yourself to do better!

To overcome stress, not only should you work harder, you should work smarter. Realise that stress can be a motivator, and that the feeling is simply how our brain tells us to buck up! Use it to help you focus; do not attempt to get rid of stress but instead work with it. In fact, I maintain a steady level of stress myself so as to keep myself going. If there's no stress, I'll be slacking pretty much!

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