Nomiundari Ulziibodijau, 17 of Lismore and Chris Vennix, 19 of Lismore.
Nomiundari Ulziibodijau, 17 of Lismore and Chris Vennix, 19 of Lismore. Jacklyn Wagner

Study reveals youth are stressed

IN the uneasy economic climate and competitive job market, youth are more concerned than ever about excelling in their education and securing employment.

The National Survey of Young Australians 2011, released by Mission Australia on Wednedsay, showed Australians aged between 11 and 24 years old were more concerned about school or study problems, coping with stress and body image than family conflict and personal safety.

On the other side of the coin, school or study satisfaction ranked as the third most-valued item after relationships and friendships among adolescents.

Chris Vennix is studying high school education at Southern Cross University and often stresses out in the days before examinations.

"High school was more about family or friends and I never really worried about study until my HSC," Chris said.

While he values getting a job, he said his family and friends came first.

"I don't consider a job that important if I have to give up everything," he said.

Nomiundari Ulziibodijau, a student at Lismore High School, knows she needs to achieve good marks in her HSC and at uni to reach her chosen career path of engineering.

"What worries me most is getting into uni and getting a good job," she said.

In 2011, the top concern was school or study problems for 37.3% of students, a significant increase from 25.5% last year.

The next highest ranked concerns were coping with stress (35.4%) and body image (33.1%).

More than 20% of respondents said they had nowhere to go to for advice and support.

Northern Rivers Social Development Council youth programs manager Brett Paradise said there was a lot of pressure on youth to perform well at school.

"The issue we are seeing is we are compelling young people, who are not always the highest academic achievers, to stay on at school," he said.

"They are being compelled to carry on until Year 12.

"There is not a lot of talk around education as a lifelong endeavour."