I am writing in response to the Face Off article, “Should students get a job the summer before Form Six?” (Young Post, March 8). The article has been written by Joshua Lee, a secondary school student, and Lucinda Kam, of the University of Hong Kong.
According to Joshua, taking a summer job provides students valuable real-world experience and an insight into how things work outside the classroom. Most students nowadays focus too much on academics. Good grades are important, but teenagers should also learn to take on responsibilities and interact with adults. This way, they will be able to improve their communication skills and learn to manage their time properly.
On the other hand, Lucinda says students could do a little bit of studying and relax for most of the day during the summer holidays. She says part-time work won’t help students get into university. Therefore, it is more practical to spend the holiday preparing for the DSE.
However, if I were a Form Six student, I would definitely get a summer job. Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, doing a summer job can help me to build a network of friends who can help me during my school life or when I start working later on. It’s also a good way to relieve study pressure.
And the skills that I learn from my job would make me more competitive in the market.
I am sure I can strike a balance between my work and studies, and take maximum advantage of the opportunity.
Annie Wong, St Paul’s School(Lam Tin)
Thanks for your letter, Annie. That debate raised a lot of interesting points on both sides of the summer jobs argument.
It’s certainly true that Hong Kong students in particular are extremely busy. I know of many who even have to spend time during their summer holidays at school taking extra lessons – not because they’re finding it difficult, but because their teachers don’t have enough time to cover everything during the school year.
This is a very tough situation, but that’s a discussion for another time.
If you are lucky enough to have free time during the summer before Form Six, I highly, highly recommend you try to get some work experience. Whether you do a part-time job (which teaches you the value of earning your own money), or some volunteer work, or take up an unpaid internship, taking the time to experience the adult workplace is invaluable. It also impresses future employers, as it shows that, although you are young, you know how to behave in an adult environment.
But also remember that it’s very important to rest over the holiday. If you are stuck in extra classes all summer, don’t add to your burden by trying to find work, too. There's plenty of time for that after you finish the DSE.
Karly, Deputy editor