Dear Jaime, I'm in Form Four. School assignments are so much harder this year. I've also taken up quite a few posts at school, for example, I am the new Students' Council vice-chairman. My piano lessons have reached the most difficult stages, and I must practise hard for the Grade 8 exams. There's so much work to do, and I don't have time for sports or girls. How should I deal with it? Thanks, Jonathan Hi Jonathan, Life is made up of endless tasks and 'To Do' lists. There will always be opportunities to get involved in different volunteer organisations or positions that will take up your time, and for the next few years you'll have a constant stream of homework. As there is always so much to do, you must think about your priorities in life. Is it necessary to be so busy that you have no time for sports or girls? Maybe at this stage in your life, it is acceptable. A good question to think about is: 'If I only had a few months to spend on Earth, how would I spend them?' Would you be doing what you are now? (Except for homework - there's no getting out of that!) Or would you want more time for other things? You are the only one who can decide this. I would encourage you to write a list of all your 'To Do's, and then a list of your priorities. Have a look at your schedule and see if your priorities in life line up with the way you are spending your time. If so, that's great. If not, what do you need to start or stop doing? Sometimes it takes only a few changes to get the right balance. E-mail me if you would like some more ideas. Dear Jaime, I find Hong Kong such a fake place to live in. I am an expat kid and feel so lonely. My parents are away a lot. I have some good friends, but even then I feel like everything is superficial. It seems like only this month's 'in' crowd gets invited out to social events. How can I find 'realness' when I feel so lost? Mary Hi Mary, Thanks for sharing how you are feeling with me. Hong Kong can feel quite lonely sometimes. Many people find it hard to make real friends here, especially if they have travelled and lived in many different countries. People don't like getting hurt so they sometimes avoid being close to anyone. But, in the end, these people usually end up miserable because they never get to experience true friendship. You can choose not to be one of those people. I believe the more friendly you are, the more friends you'll make. You could try getting involved in some sports or youth groups. It might also be a good idea to talk to your parents about how much them being away affects you. There are many different events for teenagers in Hong Kong. Feel free to e-mail me if you would like some guidance on where to start looking.