'Weakling' students

staff writer

Those at university may lack endurance, a study finds

staff writer |

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University students are not as tough as they think they are, a survey says.

A study conducted by social enterprise HKSOW together with charity group Wu Zhi Qiao looked at people's views on the ability of university students to endure hardships.

Experts interviewed 1,000 people over the phone in June. Of the interviewees, 11 per cent were university students aged between 18 and 22. The rest were members of the public above 22 years old.

They were asked to rate university students' resilience on a scale of 1 to 100. The surveyed students thought that their ability to endure hardships was at 56.3, on average. The public, however, rated them lower - at 46.9, a significant difference of 9.4 points.

Up to 60 per cent of respondents said they thought university students couldn't handle criticism and became easily bored. Almost as many - 55 per cent - said university students could not handle jobs with low pay and longer working hours.

However, a third - 30 per cent - of those polled said they were impressed by students' ability to go without sleep for long stretches of time. Also high on the list was students' ability to endure heat and discomfort.

HKSOW founder Wong Bak-hong said students should engage more in school or extra-curricular activities to boost their endurance and learn how to control their emotions better.

Some 28 per cent of the interviewees suggested that students could toughen up by doing internships overseas. Around 25 per cent suggested doing volunteer work, farm work and fitness exercises regularly.

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