Growing up in Hong Kong, I was always surrounded by distractions: activities to go to, friends to meet up with, tutoring sessions to attend etc…I even used to watch TV 😉 HK just always seemed like a busy place, with the MTR (the subway system) bustling, bright and safe, until 2am. It was a paradise for shoppers, eaters, and movie go-ers. Nonetheless, I left HK five years ago for college in the US while some my friends continued with university there. How different were our college lives? Here are some statistics from a survey study that was done at the Polytechnic University in Hung Hom.
1) People were asked about their health:
- 38.3% of males and 25.7% of females take part in leisure time recreational activity such as swimming, dancing, cycling
- 62.6% males and 55.7% females eat breakfast
Only 60%? This has always confused me. Don’t you get hungry when you wake up? I have to admit I’m an early bird, so I tend to opt for a big breakfast (french toast, eggs benedict style) than a late-night snack. I also guiltily admit that food is probably the first thought that comes to mind after turning off the alarm; no snoozing please, my stomach will say.
2) People were asked about their sleep schedules:
- 73.8% males and 74.3% females don’t get enough sleep!
Granted, these are college students who are nervous about their midterms and problem sets, so the results are predictable. However, from the past few weeks of reading about sleep and happiness research, the one and probably the only one overarching agreement that researchers have is, plainly, you need to sleep. People never adapt to the feeling of tiredness and you can’t even train yourself to get less sleep. So, if you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, it won’t get any better unless you sleep more!
3) There were some encouraging results when people were asked about their interpersonal relationships:
- 68.2% males and 78.6% females maintain meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others
- 67.2% males and 73.6% females spend time with close friends
- 50.5% males and 63.6% females get support from a network of caring people
Friends, family, and loved ones are important people who will support you throughout your life. So, it’s good to know that this Hong Kong survey shows positive results. It is difficult, especially with everyone’s busy schedules, to find the time to build those meaningful relationships, but it is crucial as it gives us meaning in life. Equally as important, we need to know when to reach out to this network of people. The survey also shows that majority of Polytech students get support from their friends and family.
Though this study was done in Hong Kong with university students, I suspect that a lot of these results will replicate outside of the university setting and outside of Hong Kong. It also leads me to believe that people’s experiences are not all that different no matter where we are or what we do. So, to all of you, remember to sleep 7-8 hours, eat breakfast, and spend time with those you love and care about!
On the topic of HK, I’ll be home for break in December (Dec 28-Jan 10) so hit me up! Can’t wait to catch up.