PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 February, 2009, 12:00am

The power of caring for others

Everyone has to choose his or her own path in life. But that does not mean we have to be alone.

Any time you stumble and fall on your chosen path, there are people there to pick you up again, offering support.

Showing you care can improve family relationships and friendships.

When you are small, your parents care for you. When you are feeling down, your friends give you a helping hand.

These actions make you feel strong and brave enough to face difficulties.

But it's important we offer our support to others in turn - especially our family.

We may often show our friends we care, but we seldom do the same for our parents. Remember how much they love and care for you, and try to show them you care too.

Wong Sze-Wing, CNEC Christian College

Avoid debt unless really necessary

Debt can be a large sum of money borrowed from the bank, or a few dollars borrowed from a friend.

What all debts have in common is that you have to pay them back. You must think before you borrow.

One summer, I borrowed some money from my elder sister to pay for lunches after my extra classes. But my debt was justified. I borrowed the money for a good reason, and I was able to pay it back.

But it did make me think deeply about borrowing money. If you find yourself in financial difficulty, there are always solutions. You must make sure you work out a plan to pay it back within the shortest amount of time.

It's better to plan your finances so you're never in debt.

Sophia Chan, Leung Shek Chee College

Back to the days of quality music

Many people say Hong Kong's pop industry is becoming worse. The quality of songs is deteriorating.

This is especially true compared to the 1990s, when there were so many great singers: Anita Mui Yim-fong, Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing and Roman Tam, for example. Even though these singers have passed away, their voices are still alive.

But now it's hard to find a singer who can last for more than three years.

These days, it seems that anyone can become a singer, whether or not he or she is musically talented.

The only way to save the industry is to limit the people signed up to be singers. When it comes to singers, we must focus on quality, not quantity.

Tannyson Mok, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Valentine's Day green lessons

While many teenagers spent Valentine's Day with a girlfriend or boyfriend, I spent mine with my family. But even though I didn't have a Valentine, I feel I learned a lot that day.

I was in a mall on the big day. I saw people carrying shopping bags which were no doubt full of presents and chocolates.

On the one hand I was glad I didn't need to bother thinking of buying someone gifts, but on the other hand I felt really bad. I felt bad for the Earth.

On Valentine's Day - and at Christmas and Lunar New Year - people spend lots of money on wrapping paper. While it is very pretty, all that paper is bad news for the planet. It means trees have been cut down, and more rubbish is building up in landfills.

There are other options. I once received a birthday gift wrapped in a page from a magazine featuring my idol, Jesse McCartney. It made me feel that my friend cared about me and the Earth.

Carmen Leung, Hang Seng School of Commerce