PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 December, 2009, 12:00am

Memories of selling flags for charity

I sold flags for charity for the first time during the summer holidays. I woke up early and went to school, where I learned to sell the flags and answer people's questions about the purpose of selling them.

I received a sticker and a bag to put the money in, and before I left school I had already sold two flags, which was a big encouragement.

I took a train to Sha Tin New Town Plaza. At first, I was frightened because everyone was in a hurry to go to work. I worried that no one would stop to buy a flag, and I was also afraid of running into my schoolmates. They might make fun of me if they saw me.

But, after a while, I forgot about all that and became busy selling flags. I quickly noticed women were less generous than men. Also, I found that although some people look serious and cold, they can still be kind-hearted. We should not judge people by their looks.

I had several unforgettable encounters. The first one was a middle-aged man. As he put some coins into my bag, he said: 'Little girl, study hard. Your parents work hard for you.'

I felt ashamed because as a student I was a bit lazy.

Later, I said 'thank you' to another old man after he bought a flag, and he said: 'I should thank you too because you're helping to raise money for the disabled.'

His words touched me and I decided I wanted to do more charity work.

In the afternoon, a child and his mother bought a flag and I tried to pin it onto the child's clothes as he put his coins into my bag. He stopped me and said: 'You should only give me the sticker after I've put the coin. That's the correct way.'

The last interesting encounter was with a woman who had already bought three flags. She bought one more and left with a big smile.

That day, I sold half my flags and learned a lot about life. It was a rewarding experience.

Jessica Wu, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

Loan adverts send the wrong message

There are many adverts on television and in print media offering loans. Often, they target young people, particularly students.

These advertisements tell us that, by borrowing money, we can do anything. They mislead young people to think they can borrow money and live glamorous lives without any consequences.

Young people who borrow from these companies will feel like they have a lot of money to spend on things like designer goods. But they have to pay back the money with interest.

Students who are not working do not have any income. They might be able to borrow money, but paying it back is another thing. This can create problems in the future if they want to get a loan or a mortgage.

I think these financial companies should not be allowed to advertise.

Zero Ngai Ka-ying, Pooi To Middle School

Dealing with the pressure of HKCEE

Being an HKCEE candidate this year is a particularly big challenge. The students in the years below us have started the New Senior Secondary (NSS). This means if we do not succeed, we will not be able to repeat Form Five.

There is a lot of pressure on students taking the exam. Our teachers are pushing us to do well. They give us a lot of extra tutorials after school so we have very little free time. It is important to take the HKCEE seriously. We need to focus on our studies and not waste time chatting online or playing computer games. But we must also ensure we eat healthily, exercise and get plenty of sleep. If we are not physically fit, we will not be able to concentrate and do our best during exams.

It's important to have a study schedule. For example, you could revise Chinese and maths on Monday, English and Geography on Tuesday, and so on. By following the timetable, you will be able to cover everything. This will make studying less stressful and more effective.

Renna Fok, Hotung Secondary School