This is a stressful time for roughly 500-thousand young South Koreans and their families every year.
It’s when high school seniors go for the infamous eight-hour marathon of back-to-back exams seen as so important to the future prospects of Korean youth that many parts of the country come to a halt – flights are grounded during test time, stock markets open an hour late so as not to disturb the students.
Yes, it’s stressful enough.
Now, add Covid – you can only imagine the stress level.
That’s where the hundreds of thousands of this year’s exam takers and their families face as they head into exam day during pandemic times.
How should they pace themselves

Joining us live in the studio is Dr. Won Eun-soo, Professor of Psychiatry at Cha University School of Medicine and Chaum Life Center.

Dr. Won, welcome to the show.

Dr. Won Eun-soo, Professor of Psychiatry at Cha University School of Medicine and Chaum Life Center

Many events have taken place this year under extraordinary circumstances. And the upcoming CSATs are no exception.
We can only imagine the extra stress and mental burden on the students that are facing this year’s exam. How can you explain what they are experiencing psychologically?

The CSATs are stressful as is, but this year there is added anxiety to both parents and students because never has the CSAT been conducted amidst a pandemic. With the daily number of new COVID cases on the rise in recent days, we really don’t know what to expect. How do you read into this situation?

What would you suggest students do to control their minds and added anxiety?

How about for the parents? We can only imagine the anxiety they’re living through, not only regarding concerns of falling behind on test preparations the whole year, but also the fear of feeling like having to trade off risking their children’s health and academic future.

In this regard, what kind of impact do you see this prolonged pandemic to have on the relationship between parents and students?

It’s tradition for high school seniors to let loose and enjoy their coming of age after the CSAT. They won’t be able to do that this year due to COVID How will this have impact on this year’s seniors?

Not only for CSAT-facing high school seniors, but we are also now at the end of the year – the season of events and gatherings. The recent event of American Thanksgiving last week has shown negative impact on the psychology of many as not gathering is the right course of action in the COVID-era we are currently living in.
Phone calls and video calls can only deliver some of the warmth Not being able to get together with family and loved ones, especially at a time when it’s tradition and the weather is so cold.
Even those that aren’t sensitive to being alone are bound to feel some loneliness this year.
How do you see people reacting to these emotions and how can we cope with them?

Dr. Won, you’ve given us your insights on how to cope through this prolonged pandemic. I want to ask though, how have you been doing? Do you find that you’ve maybe picked up a new hobby?

Dr. Won Eun-soo, many thanks as always for your expertise and insights. We appreciate it.

Reporter : jenmoon@arirang.co.kr

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