Far apart but close at heart
Recently, one of my friends left Hong Kong to continue her studies in Australia. We have been good friends for more than three years, so I was unhappy.
This made me realise why it is so important to treasure what we have.
We always think that we deserve the things we have and they belong to us forever. It's naive to think this way.
I believe no one likes to lose what they have, but when this actually happens, they regret it.
If we can get back what we have lost, it would be an ideal world. However, this rarely happens and we may even blame ourselves for the loss. This could cause emotional problems.
I value my friendship highly so I'm determined not to lose it.
I will keep in touch with her because I believe that friends who are apart are still close at heart.
Cici Wong, Methodist College
Let's treat animals as our friends
Animal cruelty is becoming a serious problem in Hong Kong. A total of 1,416 cases of animal abuse were recorded over the past two years.
Most recently, a stray cat was killed by a group of teenagers. They beat the animal so badly that it died from multiple fractures.
I always believe that Hong Kong people have a warm and loving heart - they donate a lot of money to charity. But there is a minority who commit cruel, inhumane acts.
If those 10 teenagers could kill a cat on the street, imagine what they could do when they grew up?
Some psychologists have pointed out that those youngsters might have lacked parental care. They were seeking excitement and they could commit more serious crimes later in life. Schools should promote the message that education is not only about getting high marks. Good behaviour is also important.
In addition, the government could use TV advertisements to raise public awareness of animal welfare.
The police, too, have a crucial role to play. They should put more effort into solving cases involving animal cruelty.
Let's treat animals as our friends.
John Wang, Pui Ching Middle School
Stay on track
I have acquired a habit which makes me feel good. It's running several rounds in a sports ground every weekend.
Running is good for our health, and it helps us concentrate better in class.
It tests our endurance and is a good way to boost our motivation.
Life is a like a long-distance run. We need to have determination, or we will fall behind.
So stay on track and don't lose sight of your goals.
Poon Sze-wai, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College
The importance of being modest
Modesty is a virtue that has been praised for centuries. However, it's really difficult to be modest at all times, especially for those who have had tremendous success in their work or study.
I think modesty is about acknowledging that we are not the smartest and we can be ignorant sometimes.
On the other hand, arrogant people think they are very clever and know everything. But they don't realise there's no limit to knowledge or wisdom.
Today, you may be so proud of your exam results and look down upon those who get poor scores. What if you drop down the ladder tomorrow? How can you expect people to treat you kindly when you have been so proud before?
Remember, there are many others who are better than you.
So be modest and avoid ignorance and stupidity.
Yanki Kwok, Pui Ching Middle School
Hong Kong's music industry shone brightly in the past. But the standards have deteriorated.
Songwriters lack ideas, the melodies are not so catchy and the CD covers are not attractive. Moreover, some singers copy other artists so there is no originality.
Illegal internet downloads are also causing serious problems for the industry and reducing its revenue.
The government should introduce laws to combat music piracy.
There's always hope
I'm writing in response to the article 'Three die in family suicide over debts' (South China Morning Post, April 2).
I'm shocked by this tragedy but it did not make sense for the family to commit suicide. Life is precious - you don't get a second chance.
People should realise there are others who are worse off. Millions around the world are dying from war, starvation and disease.
In comparison, our troubles are negligible.
The daughter involved in the Sha Tin tragedy was intelligent and versatile.
She should have been positive and tried to solve their problems instead of taking such extreme measures.
Whatever the difficulties, we should face them bravely.
Treasure your life and remember there's always hope.
Yolanda Tsang Wai-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
Have a chat
Nowadays, many parents and children do not communicate with each other. Hence, the generation gap is widening.
Parents should get together with their children for 10 to 15 minutes and talk about their difficulties.
Youngsters should not be afraid to express their feelings. Also, if they behave well, there will be fewer arguments.
George Hui Ching-nam, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School