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Mum: let it go!

June 28, 2010

Back in May, when there was a 4-month-long, or as my tutor likes to put it, 1/3-year-long holiday ahead of us Form Sevens, it was not unexpected for parents to push their children to work. My mom said I was “sitting at home all day doing nothing other than staring at the computer screen from 12 to 1”. Not hard to imagine I was mad at her for that. I wasn’t even one month through my holiday yet and she was already yearning for me to get out of the house. I was so furious that after our argument, I imprinted six pages of angry scribbling onto my journal and entered a cold war with her.

 I was furious because I certainly wasn’t ‘doing nothing’. I was catching up with all the reading that I haven’t been able to do because of the exams. I was clearing out the DVDs of the TV shows and movies that I’ve bought but never had the time to watch because of the exams. I was trying to meet up with my friends for some random chats, gossips and heart-to-hearts that we neglected and desperately needed because of the exams. We are teenagers, and these are what we do on holidays. Besides, I was almost sure that I was going to get a job at the book fair this year.

 She eventually stopped forcing me when she realized I just won’t compromise. It was also around the same time that the PIC of the magazine called and asked me if I would be her part-time assistant instead of working at the book fair. My mom looked surprised when I told her that I got a job myself, since I was being uncooperative when she had everything planned out for me.

 Then I thought: maybe that’s the problem. Teenagers, hormones, rebellious – words often seen together eh? I don’t know if that’s the case for me, I probably just don’t want to be controlled too much. I get what the parents are thinking, but it’s not like we would definitely choose the wrong option when we were given the freedom.

 As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Our way of thinking may lead us to dead ends or obstacles that we trip over and fall, but don’t they always say that people learn from mistakes and gain from experiences? If we don’t try, how would we ever know?

 I’m actually thrilled that work starts next Monday, partly because I’ve always wanted to do something related to publishing, and partly because I got the job by myself. So as a teenager (not anymore in six months), I think it’s not a bad thing if parents would just let loose of the control a little and let us unleash our thoughts and imagination. We might not be the only ones gaining from it.

Samantha Chan, 19, is a fresh graduate from Marymount Secondary School. When she’s not reading or writing, Samantha is watching movies. She dreams to work for the film industry one day. Her column Bite of Life is inspired by the tiniest bits of joy, laughter, frustration and anger in her life. Samantha hopes her articles will take readers to a calm, peaceful place.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jelyn permalink
    June 28, 2010 10:15 pm


    With me it’s actually the opposite. I’m the one who’s itching to find a job and earn some money and gain some work experience, my parents feel indifferent towards it, but they are concerned about me just sitting at home all the time and wasting time. I think that there is a very big gap between our parents’ generation and our generation in the way that they just don’t see the world in the same way anymore. They don’t understand how stressful and time-consuming and laborious school is nowadays and they think it’s just the same as how school was for them back when they were studying and it really isn’t. Anyway I think your mom is just worried because it’s very competitive out there when it comes to jobs and she wants you to get ahead. But I understand your frustration!

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