The stress and pressure facing young people in urban China

Updated 2017-05-05 11:00:36 CGTN

From an early age, Chinese young people face huge pressures from the education system, and after they graduate, the job market, the marriage market, and so on and so forth.

Youth Day in China is celebrated on May 4. CGTN's Dai Piaoyi roamed the streets of Beijing to find out what are the main issues stressing out Chinese urban young people.

In China's big cities like Beijing, many young people are struggling under the pressures of studying, finding employment, work, everyday life, and marriage.

Academic pressure remains the major stress that first- and second- year college students are facing.

The number of Chinese students studying abroad has rapidly increased in recent years. As an echo to this trend, the pressure of learning English and preparing for overseas study was a frequent bugbear for many students.

The pressure to find a job is also one of the greatest problems faced by graduating students.

"It is getting hard to find a job, since we have limited resources and information," a senior student who is about to graduate complained. "Most of the companies want experienced employees. Nobody wants fresh graduates like us," he added.

A third-year graduate student said she is concerned about not finding a job after graduation, even though she has decided to pursue a doctoral degree and does not need to face employment pressure at present.

Due to the high cost of living in the big city, some students admitted that they will turn to their parents for help if necessary.

"I think I will need my parents' financial aid, more or less, right after I graduate from college. The life pressure in Beijing is very high. As a recent graduate, it can not be perfect in life and work," said one of the students interviewed on campus.

"I am worried about the cost of living in the big city. With the help of the school's subsidies, now I only need little financial aid from my parents. But I maybe need help from my parents after graduation. For example, I have to rely on my parents to buy a house," the PhD candidate said.

Graduating college students who have found jobs are not carefree. A senior student from the Capital University of Economics and Business stated that, in consideration of his modest salary and the high cost of living, he has concerns about his future life in Beijing.

For the interviewees who have graduated, the pressures of marriage were also mentioned.

Two Chinese words, "shengnan" and "shengnv" - meaning leftover men and leftover women - are applied to those who remain single in their late 20s or above.

One girl who did not give her name, who had just graduated from college last year, admitted that she does not want to be a 'shengnv'. She said her biggest hope is to meet her Mr. Right, get married, and have babies in the near future.

A man with five years' work experience who also did not give his name, stated that he is still suffering from the economic pressure to get married. "In order to give my girlfriend a better life, I need to work harder and save more money before getting married," he said.

Even though young people in China are facing pressures from different aspects, most of them remain positive about the future.

During the interviews, we encountered a man who was once a solider and is now a white collar worker in the financial industry. He believed young people with dreams have to come to the first tier cities and work hard. "My dream is to work hard and bring my parents to Beijing. I wish to give my parents and family a better life in the future," he stressed at the end of the interview.

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