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PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 July, 2007, 12:00am

Improve yourself to improve relationships

Is it difficult to improve interpersonal relationships? I don't think so.

Firstly, you can join school clubs, such as the Red Cross, Girl Guides, sports clubs and so on.

These clubs will teach you important skills, such as communication skills, which will help you become more confident.

Secondly, you must try to be friendly and helpful because everyone likes kind people who are willing to lend a hand.

Be nice to everyone and consider the feelings of others before you speak.

Thirdly, learn to be more outgoing. Many students are shy and lack confidence. I think these students should join more activities in order to overcome their shyness.

People will also like you better the more they know about you.

By gaining confidence in yourself, you can improve your interpersonal relationships.

Leung Lok-yi

Our Lady of the Rosary College

Promises are not made to be broken

There is an old saying, 'Easier said than done'. I totally agree with this.

Many people make promises they just can't keep.

When I was small, my parents said they would send me to England when I grew up. But because of the economic problems in Hong Kong, they still haven't been able to fulfil this promise.

I have friends who promised they would always keep in touch. But as the years passed, we lost contact.

I have promised my teachers that I will work harder. But I have not always tried my best.

It's really sad when people don't keep their promises. I think people should think carefully before they make any promises.

Rita Liu

Bullying must end

According to social workers at Jockey Club Teen Guard Valley, standing by and watching bullying is as bad as bullying.

Many students laugh at those they see being bullied at school. They don't realise that this, too, is a form of bullying.

Bullying is common in schools in Hong Kong. But many students don't realise that ignoring bullying is adding to the problem.

It's very difficult to stand up to bullies, especially if they are your friends.

But trying to help both the bully and the bullied can ease the situation.

Raising awareness of bullying is also essential.

I hope the Teen Guard Valley centre can help students and teachers gain a better understanding of how bullying affects everyone.

Bullying is not a joke or a harmless game. If you see it happening, don't just stand there.

Sandy Wong

Leung Shek Chee College

Coins celebrate history and culture

The demand for banknotes remains high, but the demand for coins is decreasing.

Coins have largely been replaced by electronic means, such as the Octopus card.

But coins are part of a country's culture.

They are more long-lasting than paper money, so they make better souvenirs.

Canada is one country which values coins. Special coins are introduced frequently. These coins represent Canada's culture and history.

Why can't Hong Kong do the same?

I believe Hong Kong should design special coins to commemorate our culture.

While they may cost more to produce, coins last longer. There's no need to phase them out.

Tai Yan-yu

Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

Life is like a roller-coaster ride

In our lives, there is joy and sadness. Sometimes we feel dark and dismal, but we sometimes are on cloud nine.

Our lives seem like a roller- coaster ride: they can suddenly go up or down.

Some people cannot accept big changes in their lives. They feel frustrated and depressed.

It might even make them feel that life is a waste of time.

But we should learn to deal with disappointment.

Although life is unpredictable, we should face it bravely and cope with our problems.

If we are upset, we should pour our hearts out to family, friends, teachers and so on. It is crucial to let it out.

Don't hide your misery - this will just make you more unhappy.

Share your feelings and you will realise hope is everywhere.

Cherry Wong Ka-ying

Key to life is mutual understanding

Life in Hong Kong is hectic. whether you are a student or an adult.

At school, students have to cope with homework, projects and tests.

Due to competition from classmates and pressure from parents, youngsters face so much stress that they forget to laugh and relax. They are forced to focus on studying, reading and revision.

At work, people focus on making money. Competition among colleagues is keen and there's pressure from the boss.

Family support is very important in helping us cope with pressure. Parents and children have to understand what each other is going through.

Instead of putting pressure on their children, parents should support and encourage them.

And instead of moaning about their parents pushing them, children should talk to their parents and tell them what kind of support they need.

Cheng Pui-shan

Enjoy the process

In Chinese class, we learned the important message that the process is the most important part of any task, not the result.

I find it very difficult to adopt this attitude. I study because I want to get good marks. I never enjoy the process.

If I had a choice, I would rather play computer games than study.

I don't enjoy studying but I enjoy the result - I want to get praise from my teachers and parents.

I think everybody wants approval from others, no matter how old they are.

But successful people do not focus only on their goals.

Our Chinese teacher told us that first of all, we need to understand our goals and plan how to achieve them.

This will help us understand ourselves better.

Then we should be able to focus on the process and realise that the goal is just a by-product.

Anastasia Mok

Maryknoll Fathers' School

Obeying the ban

I'm pleased that Hong Kong has set up a law which bans people from smoking indoors.

I'm in favour of this law because non-smokers are affected by second-hand smoke which pollutes the environment and contributes to respiratory problems.

Smoking causes all kinds of illness.

On the other hand, smokers contribute to government revenue.

To be fair to everyone, there should be places for smokers to smoke. But the government should also alert smokers about the dangers of smoking.

Lee Yi-shan

TWGHs Mrs Wu York Yu Memorial College