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Dear Kelly's Official Response And Apology

11 Nov 2016 by Teenage

This is an official response from Kelly Chopard. Once again, we would like to deeply apologise.

An apology

I sincerely apologise if my response to “Raped after lying to mum” came across as harsh and “blaming the victim”. Please believe me when I say I am profoundly sorry for teenagers who are vulnerable and often “naïve” as I stressed, more than once, in my response in this case. I stated, “Your total naivety led you to believe you were having a sleepover with a best buddy. I totally believe you had no idea that he had sex on his mind. It is most unfortunate for you”.

My response takes into consideration our many readers who seek direction so they will not find themselves in a similar situation. I have to adopt a particular tone so as to make sure the writer does not engage in such risky behaviour again, and this is also aimed at warning readers of the consequences they face should they engage in risky behaviour.

Throughout my response I never blamed her. I said she was “naïve”. My focus was for her, and our readers, to learn that certain actions have consequences and I wanted to stress, “… never lie to your parents”. I pointed out the dangers of no one knowing where she was, even saying how worried her mum and the best friend would have been if they tried to phone her and got no response because she was under the influence of liquor and “he would not have answered it”.

I was focusing on the danger this girl put herself in. I focused on helping her see that her behaviour sent the wrong message to the guy. She honestly stated that the guy never lied to her. “… He said his parents were going away and asked me to stay over, I said yes”. She admitted she knew they have no maid.

I wanted everyone to know the danger of sending the wrong signals. He definitely got the wrong signals. When she arrived she says, “He grabbed me and kissed me”. I said she should have left but stated, “However, I believe you didn’t have a clue what he had in store for you”. Again there is no blaming her.

Again, I stated this because I know she was hurting but I have to put across the point that such behaviour obviously gave the guy the wrong idea as he knew she knew, “there was not going to be adult supervision or even anyone else present”. This point is important for the girl, as well as readers, so they get guidelines on how to behave so they don’t send the wrong signals. I try to write in such a way as to stress that care must always be taken so as not to find oneself in a venerable position.

There is no intention of “victim blaming”, just an attempt to point out that one’s actions have consequences and the sad fact, for me who really cares for everyone writing in, is that many young people today take risks and put themselves in precarious situations resulting in unhappy outcomes.

No one can be more sorry for this girl than I. I believe what hurt most was his casual dismissal of her but I was careful NOT to dwell on this so as not to cause her further pain. I tried not to highlight what was going through the guy’s mind. I was careful to downplay his point-of-view so as to spare her additional pain.

I genuinely care for my readers and over the years we have built a warm caring relationship, but I never underplay the seriousness of certain actions that could have negative consequences.

At the end of each issue of the Dear Kelly column is this statement: “Teenage DOES NOT condone pre-marital sex. Also included is a list of relevant associations, with contact details, should anyone seek counselling.

I try my best to help those who need a listening ear and I am gravely sorry that this response has garnered a negative response. I sincerely apologise if my response has upset readers but I hope, after reading this explanation, you will understand where I am coming from. My readers know they mean a lot to me.

Kelly

After qualifying as a teacher, Kelly Chopard went on to attend several counselling courses. Over the past 30 years, she has been invited to sit on panels and discussion groups, give talks and has thought modules dealing with youth issues. She counsels primary and secondary school pupils. She also engages in parent-pupil counselling sessions. In the 1970s, she was a member of the People’s Association Team counselling young adults in areas like drugs, smoking and other health and social issues. From 1979 to 1983 he had a counselling column in a local woman’s magazine. Since 1996 she has been responding to Teenage readers in her Dear Kelly column. 

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The Best Paying Part-Time Jobs in Singapore

4 Nov 2016 by Teenage

Sometimes it’s all about the money, money, money when that teeny-weeny sum of allowance just can’t last you through the week. Fret not; we’ve unearthed some of the highest paying part-time jobs out there that will earn you more dough!

IT Fair Promoters, $40/day

Part-Time-Jobs-Singapore

IT fairs are legendary amongst students for their pay (if you work hard that is). You get an average basic wage of around $40 per day, but of course you earn commission from the sales you bring in too. If you’re aggressive enough in sales, that amount can jump up to above $100 for just a day’s work. Job descriptions vary – some want you to be a sales promoter, some just want you to hand out flyers or samples, and some may even ask you to be a mascot. All of the above will involve a lot of leg power, but lets think of it this way, walking around all day can really help you tone up those gams!

Roadshow Promoters, $10/hour

Roadshows are the outdoor alternatives to the usually air-conditioned IT fairs. Depending on the company you work for, you can earn commission for pulling in clients. Okay, so you might have to endure the weather, but at least you don’t run the risk of being flattened by the hordes of deal-crazed customers who throng fairs looking for cheap discounts. If you’re lucky enough, you might even end up in a mall! Roadshow wages are equivalent to the wages you get for a better paid waitressing job, so it’s pretty common to see companies paying $10 per hour to their roadshow promoters.

Waitressing, $7-$12/hour

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Ah, the all-time favourite job of students everywhere. Some companies may even give you staff perks like free dinners or allow you to claim late night cab fees. The average salary range for a part-time waitressing job is between $7 to $12 for one hour. The average rate for waitressing is $7.50 per hour, so grab any that comes your way if it pays $10 and above for an hour!

Hint: definitely not at Starbucks or any fast-food chains

Tuition, $15-$50/hour

Put your stellar academic results to good use by giving tuition in your spare time. It’s times like these that you finally see some rewards for pulling all those all-nighters trying to find that elusive value of ‘x’. Knowing our fellow kiasu Singaporeans, there’s no lack of tuition opportunities out there, so keep your eyes peeled and start pulling some strings to land yourself a nice cushy tuition gig. If that fails, you can choose to sign up with tuition websites that match you with a tutee, but they tend to take a commission. Market rates for tuition jobs are around $15 to $50 per hour, depending on your qualifications and the education level of your tutee.

Telemarketing, $9-$10/hour

Part-Time-Jobs-Singapore

 If you’ve got the gift of the gab and an uncanny knack for persuading people, you should definitely give telemarketing a go. With a basic salary range of $9 to $10 per hour and additional commission that comes with successful deals, this is definitely one of the better paying part-time jobs out there. It may seem boring dialling number after number and repeating the same lines over and over again, but hey, at least you get to do so in the safety and comfort of an air-conditioned room.

Tip: watch our for irate customers who may not take too kindly at being called up, which unfortunately, may be most of the people you call.

Cleaning, $16/hour

You may thumb your noses at this supposedly low-level job, but don’t dismiss it just yet. It has one of the highest hourly wages around, with employers paying up to $16 an hour! Skill-wise, it’ll help if you regularly help out with your own household chores (say thanks to your nagging mums) cause your employers will want to see something sparkle since they’re already paying for it. To get started, simply sign up with one of the numerous cleaning companies around and they’ll link you to a cleaning job. Admittedly, your friends may laugh at you for taking on this one, but you’ll have the last laugh – all the way to the bank.

Any other good part-time lobangs to share? Let us know by commenting below!

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How to Handle Bad Bosses, #LikeABoss

27 Oct 2016 by Venetia Sng

Some of you might be going for your internships or even starting your first job, thinking that you’ve landed yourself a sweet gig only to find out that you’ve volunteered to slog for the worse person in hell. But hey, not all bosses are terrible – here’s a cheat sheet on how you can deal with the different types of bosses you’d most likely encounter, #LikeABoss style.

#1 The Micro-Manager

Bad Boss Meme

A micro-manager loves meddling with everything – punctuality, MC records and basically everything else. They will constantly inspect your work and nitpick at every microsopic error until it’s perfect. Also, beware of CCTVs. If you’re caught checking Instagram during office hours, all we can say is: may the odds be ever in your favour.

How to deal:
Those who exhibit such authoritative traits have trouble trusting others and relinquishing control. Productivity is key for micro-managers, so slacking off is a huge no-no. Turn up on time for work, keep them in the know with email updates and always follow up on projects. They’ll loosen up once they’re certain of your competence.

#2 The Cold-Hearted

Always cocooned in their fortress of solitude, they draw clear lines between their professional and personal life, making it difficult for you to warm up to them. But when they do speak up, their icy words cut deeper than a lash.

How to deal:
The tricky thing about this personality is that they won’t tell you what they want – you have to figure it out. It takes time to know what they’re thinking, so don’t panic when they give you the cold shoulder. Asking smart questions is the way to go – they won’t strike up a conversation with you over that, but chances are they will be impressed.

#3 The Talent Squeezer

Watch out for employers that are particularly adept at making use of your abilities – they are out for blood. Such bosses enjoy squeezing you dry until you’re physically and mentally exhausted, without leaving a single drop behind.

How to deal:
Just because they value your work doesn’t give them the right to push you to your limits. If you think the responsibilities are too much for you, learn to say “no” and prepare justifications to back you up. But if you really love your job, negotiate for something more. You deserve it after all.

#4 The Kanchiong Spider

Bad Boss Meme

Perhaps the best personality to embody the phrase “time is of the essence”, the Kanchiong Spider is always in a hurry to get work done. They fly into panic mode when things are moving too slowly and will start bombarding you with emails after emails the minute you step into the office.

How to deal:
We know it’s awful working for someone who’s constantly breathing down you neck. For starters, assure your boss that everything’s in order and update them on the progress whenever necessary. Take the initiative to help out with smaller tasks so they’ll have lesser projects to worry about. Also, speak up so your boss can be aware of the consequences of being overly time-oriented.

#5 The Biased Boss

There’s always this one coworker getting all the benefits, from overseas trips that are already paid for, to getting that coveted promotion. Then there’s you – going on countless coffee runs and doing menial chores around the office. And honestly, you’re not even that bad.

How to deal:
It’s natural to feel upset about the higher-ups playing favourites, but there’s a way to work around this – and no, we don’t recommend sucking up to them too. People might think that you receive opportunities solely because of your relationship with the boss, and not your capabilities. In order to beat that, prove your talent at work and stand out from others.

#6 The Dictator

Bad Boss Meme

The one who wakes up at the wrong side of the bed everything morning, the Dictator is probably the most feared of the lot. Vindictive and condescending, they tent to snap at you for the weirdest reasons and overlord over subordinates just because they can.

How to deal:
Stay far away from them and just complete your tasks quietly, all while being extremely pleasant. Chances are they won’t be able to find anything to scrutinise over if you surpass their expectations. But if they start taking things too far, it’s probably best to run. There’s no point in staying for someone that doesn’t respect you.

At the end of the day, you’re your own boss – own it.

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5 Ways To Develop Better Self-Esteem

10 Oct 2016 by Venetia Sng

True to the phrase, self-esteem comes from one’s self. Numerous external influences like friends, family or the media affects our self-esteem on a daily basis, but ultimately it comes from ourselves. Check out these 5 tips we have to developing better self-esteem.

Stop the FAT talk

Tummy Weight Loss

If your friends are hung up about their bodies and have low self-confidence, they will affect you and make it seem like you should feel bad about your body too. Stop all the negativity by suggesting healthy activities that you can all do together!

It’s okay to say NO

Saying No

Don’t bend to peer pressure by saying yes to everything. Be decisive, say what you mean, mean what you say and deliver your promises. Develop the ability to speak your mind in a kind, but firm manner and it will go a long way to building a lasting self-esteem.

Clothes that FIT

Dress Well

Start wearing clothes that flatter your body shape and stop being so mindful over the sizing labels! Most clothing sizes differ for every brand so don’t expect yourself to wear the same size for all your clothes. Have short legs? No worries! Wear bottoms that are slightly high waisted to elongate your legs. Looking good in the clothes you wear will naturally influence you to feel assured about how you look in them.

WORK for it

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Keep those endorphins high by exercising.
Endorphins = Happy
Exercising = Losing Weight + Being Healthy + Feeling Happy
Killing three birds with one stone!

Identify the TRIGGERS

T-Ara

Could it be watching the seemingly perfect K-Pop idols working the stage? Or the numerous photos of material possessions popular Instagramers post every other day? Either way, find out what sets off those negative thoughts, and keep them in check. Having someone famous or popular as your inspiration is a good thing, however know that the standards set by the media are unrealistic at times. Understand what is real and set attainable goals instead.

Image Credit: Getty, Pexel, yomyomf

Aim to improve yourself constantly and once you set your mind to it, you can do it!

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Guide to Studying Smart

3 Oct 2016 by Venetia Sng

The dreaded end of the year examinations are here and if you feel like you’re still not prepared for the upcoming papers, we have some tips to help you study smart and save time.

Summarise 

Chinese woman studying with laptop in cafe

Identify the key statements and always make a summary of every chapter that you study. There’s no point in highlighting the whole book and then flip through all the pages when you need to revise. By creating summaries of your own, you establish an effective studying method by skipping large amounts of irrelevant data.

Teach A Friend

Two Asian students studying together at university

Find a friend who doesn’t understand the topic well and explain it to them. This exercise forces you to revisit all the concepts, terms, formulas etc of the subject you are studying. Spending five minutes explaining a concept can save you an hour of studying for the same effect. It saves time, you get to revise and your friend learns at the same time. It’s a win-win-win situation!

Test Your Understanding

schoolgirl in front of wipe board, math equations

A good way to know if you have been studying the wrong way is when you can’t move between concepts. If you don’t understand what you are studying, you can’t link between the sections and you won’t be able to think through connections while doing your paper. Test yourself if you truly understand the subject by practising more. If your answer is wrong, find out what you did incorrectly and comprehend your mistake.

No Last Minute Cramming

girl sitting on pile of books .Girl reading book

Do not try to cram and squeeze information into your brain during the last few days as it is incredibly inefficient. It slows you down and it breaks connections that you have made previously. Instead, try to slowly interlink ideas as they come to you while going through your summaries so studying becomes a quick recap rather than a first attempt at learning.

Any studying tips to share? Let us know by commenting below!

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