Your Voice: Student mental health woes in Hong Kong; Taylor Swift’s movie sees resounding global success (long letters) – YP

As a student from a local school, I am writing to express my concern for the mental health of young people in Hong Kong. The city’s Education Bureau has given a grant of HK$80,000 to each of the city’s local primary and secondary schools to raise awareness of mental health, which, in my opinion, is not the ideal solution to address the anxiety and stress experienced by students.

Recent instances of teenage suicide attempts or deaths have deeply saddened us. This phenomenon serves as a warning about the challenging circumstances that students in Hong Kong face, with pressures much heavier than they can bear. What are we facing? Stress from academic results, family and social life concerns, heavy workloads, self-esteem issues, negative emotions and even poor financial status – the list is endless.

The factors contributing to poor mental health of Hong Kong students are endless. Photo: Shutterstock

Moreover, it is essential to remember that the students who endure these challenges are just children, not adults. They have to navigate through all these issues during their childhood, when their minds are not yet mature, simultaneously pushing themselves to achieve higher goals and fulfil societal expectations while neglecting their own needs. When they think about their future, they struggle to determine what they truly want to be, and when they reflect on their past, they feel inadequate. This continuous process exacerbates the anxiety and tension experienced by students.

I think the grant needs to be utilised in a more meaningful manner. Do social workers assist students with their emotions? Yes, they do. They provide guidance and help clarify students’ future paths. Do workshops and talks help students alleviate their stress? Certainly. However, why do we still see such a high number of suicide cases? Because although these suggestions help, they only provide temporary relief.

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To address the problem at its core, the government, parents and teachers must all bear responsibility. Additionally, since the government plays a crucial role in monitoring the effectiveness of implemented policies, they can conduct regular surveys to track student mental health.

Parents also play a pivotal role in supporting the emotional well-being of students, and schools should inspire them to discover their future paths and lighten their workloads.

In conclusion, society should place greater emphasis on alleviating pressure on students. When their needs are met, I believe that the number of suicide cases will decrease. Please extend a helping hand to Hong Kong’s students in need.

Eras film shows how Taylor Swift has evolved

Sophia Ling, German Swiss International School

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour was released in October this year, and the film registered bumper collections at box offices worldwide.

It is a captivating tribute to Swift’s illustrious 17-year career, showcasing the evolution of her music across different genres and periods of her life. It covers songs from her 10 studio albums, spanning country, pop, folk and alternative rock genres. Each album represents a distinct phase in her life, allowing fans to witness her maturity and artistic development over time. The film effectively captures the essence of each era, showcasing the evolution of Swift’s style and the accompanying visual aesthetics. Designed to celebrate her discography, the film takes viewers on a journey through her musical landscape, highlighting her growth as an artist and the personal experiences that shaped her.

The film recreates the concert experience of the Eras Tour. While her shows are in no short supply of attendees, a theatre release opens the door to Swifties – the name for fans of the singer – who cannot afford concert tickets and those who live too far away from a concert location.

Taylor Swift attends the premiere for “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” in Los Angeles in October. Photo: Reuters

The film experience is similar to the concert experience. Many fans dressed in themed outfits representing each of Swift’s “eras”. Some made hundreds of friendship bracelets to trade during the movie and memorised lyrics and fan chants. In the cinema, fans stood up and sang along to every song.

The documentary highlights how Swift has evolved musically, from her early days as a country singer-songwriter to her successful transition into pop music. It showcases her ability to experiment with different genres, exploring folk and alternative rock elements in her recent work. This musical evolution demonstrates Swift’s willingness to take risks and push the boundaries of her artistic expression.

Beyond her musical development, the film also delves into Swift’s personal growth. Each album corresponds to a different period in her life, allowing fans to witness her maturity and self-discovery. From her teenage years filled with innocent love songs to her more introspective and emotionally complex works, Swift’s lyrical themes and songwriting reflect her personal experiences and growth as an individual.

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Moreover, the film touches on Swift’s journey towards self-empowerment and finding her voice. It showcases her transition from a young, vulnerable artist navigating the challenges of fame to a confident and outspoken woman who uses her platform to advocate for important causes. Her evolution is not only evident in her music but also in her public image and the role she plays as a cultural icon.

Swift’s impact extends far beyond her music, and many fans, including me, have found solace and inspiration in her personal story. Her journey towards self-empowerment and resilience has resonated with countless individuals, helping them become more confident and find their voice. Her story is one of perseverance and overcoming obstacles. She has faced her fair share of challenges, including public scrutiny, personal setbacks and industry pressures.

Through it all, she has shown remarkable resilience and the ability to rise above adversity. Following her journey gives me the strength to face my own struggles, and I am certainly not alone in saying it.

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