Free to be me

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 2006, 12:00am

Dear Jaime,

Summer holidays are coming up and most of my friends are going away. My parents are not sending me anywhere and last year I was so bored because there was no one to hang out with. How can I make this a meaningful summer?


Hi Rochelle,

Thanks for your e-mail. It must be hard when all your friends go away. But you can still use your time effectively and enjoy your summer holidays.

Have you thought about what you may want to achieve?

I encourage you to write a list of five things you really want to do in your summer holidays and five things you would like to learn.

For example, you might want to learn more about a particular topic, or learn to dance or play an instrument, or you might want to spend some time at the beach or take up some volunteer or paid work.

There are many organisations that you can volunteer in over the summer holidays and get some work experience.

Work experience always looks great on your resume and it means you can develop skills and learn a lot.

If you want some places you can volunteer at, e-mail us at the Young Post we have many ideas for you.

If you really want to push yourself, join the Young Post Summer Challenge. E-mail Jessie Hui for details -

You could also do something great for your parents, as you'll have a lot more time on your hands. You could learn to cook a meal for them.

Dear Jaime,

I don't like to admit this but I'm always angry and it's getting worse. I am constantly fighting with my brother, I get angry with my parents, I even get angry when I sit down to do my homework.

So far I've been hiding it well but it's starting to show more often at school.

I really don't want to be an angry person but I don't know how to stop it.

Can you help?

Jo Dear Jo,

Thanks for your honesty in your e-mail. This is the first step in acknowledging that you don't like a character trait within you.

We all have many character traits we don't like, but the good thing is they can be changed with a little bit of work.

Anger is a normal reaction to different circumstances.

I want you to write a list of all the times you get angry, what it was that made you angry and how you responded.

Once you have that list, have a look if there's any situation that is occurring often that starts that anger.

The main goal is to use all the energy you have in your anger positively and not negatively. For example, anger can give you the strength to stand up for yourself or it can cause you to be violent.

One thing I encourage you to do before you react to anything when you are feeling angry is to take two deep breaths. This will help you slow down and not react in a violent way; it will help you relax.

Try to manage your anger by writing it out in a journal or doing some exercise like going for a run. It's also helpful to talk to a parent, mentor or friend about the feelings behind the anger.

If you want more ideas, send me another e-mail.