PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 August, 2008, 12:00am

Being ordinary is blissful

While many fifth formers and their parents envy students with good results in the public examinations, the parents of physically or mentally challenged students are just as pleased with anything their children achieve.

Parents in Hong Kong are especially guilty of comparing their children to others.

Some seem to believe the purpose of school is to distinguish those of greater talent. But I believe education should be about teaching everyone, no matter what their natural intelligence.

Everyone has the potential to succeed.

I may not be a top student, but I value my skills and abilities. Geniuses are rare, but if you can concentrate on the skills you have, you can be a success in your own right.

I feel, as an average student, I've had the chance to grow up without pressure to always come first. This makes me appreciate life.

It is a pleasure to be ordinary. Don't let envy blind you.

Cheung Hoi-ching, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Treat other people with respect

It is very important to treat people the way you want to be treated.

If you bully someone, try to put yourself in your victim's shoes.

I doubt you would want to be treated like that. If you are nice to your classmates, they'll treat you the same.

Although we all know bullying is not nice, many students still do it.

They think seeing someone suffer is funny.

But imagine how it feels to be treated like that. Imagine being humiliated and hurt.

Instead of picking on someone, try to befriend people. If you get to know someone, you may find you can be friends, not enemies.

So next time you're tempted to bully or laugh at someone, stop and think about how you'd feel in their position.

Melanie Tse, Sha Tin Junior School

Useful lessons from life experiences

I have taken part in military training on the mainland three times since I was in Primary Six. I learned a lot each time.

What I enjoyed most was the team spirit. Although training was hard and we were completely exhausted, we still stuck together and tried our best to achieve the targets set by the instructor.

We sang spirited songs and listened to the instructor's experiences as a soldier.

I believe there are valuable lessons to be learned from every experience. This experience enhanced my body and my knowledge of the military.

I will definitely take part again next year.

Wong Sze-wing, Leung Shek Chee College

The value of beauty

A lot of people focus on their appearance above everything else.

They think looking good will impress others.

Some employers even choose job candidates based on appearance rather than ability.

But beauty does not reflect ability or personality.

When employees focus so much on dressing up, they are not paying attention to their duties.

Some people are so obsessed with their appearance they undergo cosmetic surgery. This is very dangerous.

People should accept what they look like and work on developing their personality - unlike our looks, our personality lasts forever.

Leung Shuk-man

In other words

Recently, I joined a translation competition with my friends. This was a big challenge for me as I had never done anything like it.

Different languages have their own unique characteristics. Translation requires great proficiency in more than one language. The competition required us to express a piece of writing in another way without changing the content or mood.

This was not as easy as we thought it would be.

Having participated in the competition, I learned to appreciate different languages. I know this invaluable experience will help me in my studies.

Flora Liu Pik-kei, SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School

Learn to treat the Net with respect

Most people in developed countries use computers. One of the most common reasons is to access the internet. The internet is full of useful information and services such as e-mail and online shopping.

The Net is a helpful tool, but some people abuse it. They download files without the owner's permission or illegally download songs or movies.

We should not exploit the power of the internet. It is important to respect and protect intellectual property.

For example, if you use the internet to find information for homework, you can't copy things word for word. If you do, you are breaking the law and infringing copyright.

If we do not respect the internet's resources, we risk them being removed. To lose these resources would be a great inconvenience, so don't be selfish.

Use the internet properly.

Lau Hoi-shuen, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Singing lessons

I don't usually perform in front of people but recently, I sang at my friend's party. I didn't practise so I felt nervous and kept shaking.

It was so hard to overcome my nerves. But then I tried to imagine I was a singer and the other people were my fans.

I calmed down and started to enjoy my performance. Performing isn't easy. But this experience reminded me how important it is to be prepared.