As summer holiday officially ends, students suffer the three back-to-school 'diseases'

By Sebastien Raybaud

Lessons may not have started yet but students are already feeling stressed, according to one local Facebook page

By Sebastien Raybaud |

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Hong Kong students are feeling the back-to-school jitters ahead of the start of the new school year tomorrow, and some have taken to Facebook to vent their feelings of anxiety or dread.

According to post on a local Facebook discussion page named Secrets, students could be suffering from one of three so-called “diseases”: schoolphobia, post-holiday bi-polar disorder and semester-specific anxiety disorder.

The post, which appeared on Tuesday, describes Schoolphobia as the fear of returning to school after the holidays and the feeling of being unprepared, especially if students haven’t completed summer homework.

Post-holiday bi-polar disorder, meanwhile, is when students feel excited before school starts, only to quickly become disillusioned once the hark work begins, while semester-specific anxiety disorder makes it difficult for students to focus; they are also easily worn out and their muscles feel tense.

While these conditions aren’t real, the feeling of anxiety or depression many students experience is. According to a survey conducted by Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service and Education University in 2015, 51 per cent of pupils had an inclination to depression at different levels. The survey interviewed 10,140 Form One to Form Six pupils in 22 schools in 11 districts.

The Facebook post ends on a positive note, reading: “If the student’s situation worsens, please rip up summer homework and ask for help from friends and family. Don’t be driven by negative emotions!”

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge