Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

High School: Hard Labor

on September 1, 2014

It’s Labor Day in the U.S., and I’m thinking not only of the mighty work force that has built this country over the years but also of all the hard-working teens in high school.


Ask any teen if high school is hard, and I think you know what the answer will be. Even if some aspects are enjoyable, there’s a lot of work involved.

In a brief discussion with my nephew, who just started his sophomore year, I asked a few questions about his high school experience so far.

He shared with me that the beginning of his freshman year was difficult because he’d come from a much smaller school. Compare that experience to starting a new job at a much larger company than you’re used to–and one that requires new skills or more rapid application of them–and you get the picture. I feel stressed just thinking about it.

He said that the “late nights” doing schoolwork are particularly tough. I can believe that. There’s so much more to learn in 2014 than there was in 1974 or 1984 or even 2004.

Besides going to school and contributing to chores at home, a lot of older teens work part-time jobs on days that many of us enjoy as a holiday–like Labor Day.

I don’t know about you, but if I drive up to a fast food restaurant or shop at a store today, I’ll try to remember to smile at the teen inside the window or behind the counter.

2 responses to “High School: Hard Labor

  1. AJ Cattapan says:

    Good points, Cynthia! I taught high school for one year (before switching to middle school), and those kids were always tired. Right after school, they’d have a club meeting or sports practice. Then they’d grab dinner, do a little homework, and then run to their third-shift job!


  2. Thanks for commenting, AJ. I forgot to mention sports, band, clubs, and other extracurricular activities! I certainly admire teens who juggle any of those with school and jobs.


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