Hi Noel,

For writing practice purpose, I wrote about stressful environment in Korea.

Please advise me if you have any comments to improve the quality of writing.

Thanks in advance.

A Stressed Nation

Suicide rate in Korea is the highest among OECD countries. Suicide rate in Korea has been tripled over the last 20 years and the suicide itself has become the 4th largest cause of death in Korea.

Depression accounts for 37.9% of the main reason committing suicide and stress from interpersonal relation (31.2%), financial distress (10.1%) and health problem (5.7%) are followed by the depression.

Ironically, standard of living has been improved substantially in Korea and Korea’s medical services as well as healthcare systems are one of the best in the world. Then, what brings Korean people suffering from depressions and stresses.

Strong pressure of competition is one reason. Good competition is necessary to foster the whole economy by encouraging people to be more productive. However, too much pressure from the competition disappoints people and even frustrates them. Korean people first encountered fierce competition at the school. School ranks students from the first to the end. Students who get high scores, they can easily get an admission to premier university and the university is a major determinant of success or failure in getting a job.

Stagnant economy is the second reason. Korean economy had created a lot of decent jobs when it had experienced rapid economic growth from 1960’s to 1990’s. However, economic growth in Korea has been stagnant and employment rate stays at historically low since global financial crisis in 2008. Many college graduates enter the job market every year. However, college graduates were supplied at a higher rate than the labor market demanded since the whole economy simply doesn’t generates enough jobs. College graduates are still struggling in job market.

Even, after getting a job, Korean people face even more stressful environment. Many of Korean businesspeople are having a hard time to get used to strict culture of the Korean companies and it decreases average length of service for employees.

Then, how can we mitigate the harm from stress? I believe education system must change. We don’t need hundreds of students who are good at mathematics and English. Good education has to encourage students to find ways to succeed in life not to succeed in exam.

We have to change education system to cultivate talent in various fields. When we have different people with different way of thinking, then we can reduce the competition level in the whole society. Not everyone in such an education system wants to enter the premier university nor get a job in large size corporates.

A society can be very prosperous when it consists of different people with different ideas. And people will be exposed to less stressful environment in that society.