PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 October, 2008, 12:00am

Take charge of your own health

People are becoming increasingly aware of their health.

More people buy medical insurance, go for regular medical check-ups and eat more fruit and vegetables.

But many people still eat too much junk food, smoke and drink too much alcohol.

These bad habits can cause diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

The government is trying to educate people about healthier lifestyles.

But we have to be responsible for our own lives.

Take charge and lead a healthy life.

Chan Pui-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Cheating is natural under pressure

Cheating is a bad thing to do. If you cheat in an exam, you're not really testing yourself.

It's also unfair on other people who have worked hard on their revision.

But some students feel they have no other choice.

If they fail, students are often punished by their teachers. To avoid this, they find a way to make sure they pass.

And while some people are too lazy to study, others find cheating is their only option.

I believe the education system is unfair on students. There is too much pressure to get good grades, and not enough emphasis on acquiring knowledge.

To discourage cheating, less pressure should be put on students to get perfect scores.

William Li

Fix family problems to avoid tragedy

Although Hong Kong is a prosperous city, many people have family problems.

There is a family in my building with serious problems. The father lost his job a few years ago and became an alcoholic. He spends all the family money on alcohol, and scolds his wife and children when he's drunk.

Some of their neighbours have taken pity on the family and given the wife money to buy food.

It is important that the appropriate government authority take action on cases like this to protect innocent family members and help people overcome such addictions.

If families get support, they are less likely to face the sort of problems that lead to tragedy.

Vivian Hui, Ho Fung College

Speech can be used as a weapon

Words can be used as weapons. What we say can hurt people.

But they don't cause a visible wound, so nobody knows how much they can hurt.

When a lie is repeated about someone, or someone is called a mean name, it makes the victim uncomfortable.

They lose confidence and become shy.

Although words don't leave a physical mark, they can be as hurtful as punches and kicks.

Think before you talk about someone. Imagine how you would feel if people were saying nasty things to you or about you. We should all use words for the good of everybody.

Yu Yik-fan, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Don't become a 'high mark idiot'

Most students believe getting outstanding exam results and a place at university is the ultimate goal of their secondary school life.

They spend hours and lots of money on tutorial classes to achieve this goal. Then they have no time for extra-curricular activities or even simply relaxing.

While exam results are, of course, important, school has more to offer us.

Leadership, moral integrity and problem-solving skills are all core elements for achieving success, and they can be learned out of the classroom.

Unfortunately, most Hong Kong students turn a blind eye to everything unrelated to exam marks. These students are 'high mark idiots'.

There are ways to avoid becoming such idiots. Join extra-curricular activities: sports not only train our muscles but also improve our co-operation, while activities like drama and music give us confidence.

Examination skills are only skin deep. School life can be so much more fulfilling.

To stop being an idiot, discover school life outside the classroom.

Rene Lam, Hang Seng School of Commerce

A misconception about youngsters

Some adults think all teenagers are lazy. They think all we do is study.

But we have a lot to think about apart from study: relationships with family and friends, tests, activities, dating, health and so on.

We may not face as many pressures as adults, but we do have a lot to worry about.

Luckily my family is very supportive. Teenagers need a lot of encouragement and support. We need to be able to talk about our problems.

If we ask for help, other people will understand us.

I hope this letter will remind adults that teenagers have a lot to worry about. And that we need their support.

Marilyn Au Wai-yee, YOT Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

Taking advantages for granted

In light of the Beijing Olympics, the Hong Kong government let the public use some sports facilities for free between July and September.

But 38 per cent of the people who booked didn't show up.

This is a waste of government money, and it prevented other people from using the facilities.

This sort of behaviour is unacceptable and thoughtless.

The scheme was a great way to encourage more people to play sports. Maybe if people had to pay a returnable deposit, they would stop taking the opportunities for granted.

Li Lok-him, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College