The Life of Chinese High School Students


Xiaoying Mei, Reporter

Unlike in America, where the length of time spent in school usually stays constant from first grade through high school, the Chinese public school day, and study competition, increases as students grow older. High school students in China get up early and arrive at school at 7:00 am to begin their morning reading.  Reading is followed with nine lessons including: English, Math, Biology, Physics, Chinese, Chemistry, Social Studies and Physical Education. Students have a busy day with just a short break at noon. After the end of their lessons at 5:30 pm, students need to go back to school for self-learning- when students take quizzes, finish homework and make preparation for new topics.

During class, teachers work fast, focus on the hardest part of the topics.  Students have to prepare thoroughly ahead of the class, with a basic understanding of theories and concepts.  Of course, a deep understanding would be appreciated by the teacher. And it seems to be a rule that students conquer the basics and teachers focus on mastery.  Students need lots of practice on homework in order to get familiar with complex topics.   This means the school day does not end when the student leave the teacher. 

When it comes to the social life between friends after school, Chinese students prefer to talk with each other about their work. This is quite different from American students who focus on having fun or competing in athletic activities. 

It is commonly agreed that getting admitted to an excellent colleges is the most important reason for studying in high school. This is the ultimate goal for Chinese parents.  However, their wishes lead to high pressures. Many students feel guilty and inferior if they fail their parents’ expectations, which causes a heavy burden on students.  Where does this reaction come from? Chinese tradition values filial piety, which is considered the essential part of Chinese culture.With this value deeply growing inside, students have no options, but to fight and work hard, no matter how difficult the road will be.

With the booming development of the Chinese economy and scientific technology in China, people have high expectations for China’s future.  It is reported that Chinese students have stronger ambition to succeed compared to Japanese, Korean and American students.  However, the overspending of time on studying contributes to confusion about what students really want to do in their life.  This is really the greatest challenge for Chinese students.

Chinese students are facing a lot of difficulties, because of the complex development of Chinese society.  However, this is the reality Chinese students must deal with.   For all students believing in ourselves and believing in our future is the highest priority!