A chance to let off steam

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 February, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 February, 2002, 12:00am

I was among the crowds in Tsim Sha Tsui during the New Year's Eve celebrations. Usually I am very well-behaved, but I ran wild on that occasion.

My friends and I did so many things that we would not normally do. We pretended we were going to throw each other into the water and sang silly songs. Everybody was doing it, having fun, lost in the excitement.

Like many others, I thought: 'It's New Year's Eve and I'm gonna have fun!' When do I get to hang out at midnight with a bunch of friends? It feels good to enjoy the fun that can only be experienced when I am young. We cannot do so when we are old with lots of responsibilities.

Our generation has been labelled unimaginative and rebellious. Nevertheless, teenagers do not enjoy much freedom in Hong Kong.

We do not have a chance to voice our opinions, and even if we do, our opinions are considered immature.

The education system makes us memorise rather than think. Where does our intelligence go? We are smart in inventing ways to sneak out at midnight and go home without anybody knowing.

You may call it rebellious but it requires thinking.

Parents tell us to do things and define us as good or bad accordingly. Haven't they noticed that the harder they push their children, the faster they do the opposite?

Reverse psychology applies to most teenagers because they have untamed hearts. Having heard so many lectures from parents and teachers, even the wild ones know what they should and should not do. They keep it up because they think life is long and the consequences are unimportant.

As a volunteer, I met a teenage boy in the Prince of Wales Hospital. He was a special patient who ended up in hospital because he broke his leg. When I asked him how he broke it, he said he did it to get out of the correction centre.

He stole and got into blackmail at 15.

I asked him why and he kept saying: 'I'm not like you. I'm different from you.' But he was not!

I urged him to leave his triad gang but he said he belonged there now. It was a tragic story which demonstrated how having fun could lead to disaster.

Nga-wan is a student at SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School