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A Teen's View

Summer Stress

Danielle Ryan

(8/2010) Can you believe summer is almost over already? Normally summer is the one time of the year where kids have complete and total freedom from school; nothing to worry about; no schoolwork to complete. We can sleep in everyday, watch TV, relax, and enjoy this time to ourselves. Summer is great. Unfortunately, though, when we got to high school we realized that we would not have as much freedom as we had in our previous years. Now, I donít mean to say that we spend all summer slaving away at schoolwork or jobs, but there are some "road blocks" in our summertime plans and activities.

Earlier this summer I was asked about what was on my mind during the summer. At the time I very easily answered that question with the simple reply of Ďnot much actually." For the most part, every summer, before this summer, I could answer that question with the same response. Like I said, summer is three months worth of free time where kids can clear their minds and think about themselves. After I answered that question I really thought about my response and decided that I had a lot more to think about. My mind could not be blank like I wished it could have been.

At 17 years of age I have too much to think about. I have huge decisions to make this year, and on top of that I have pressure from family and friends to start making these important decisions. Luckily, Iím not the only person who has all of these decisions to make. Every 16, 17, and 18 year old across America has the same things to think about. We have to pick a major/ future career, and we have to pick a college to attend. We have to figure out whether or not we want to go away to college, or if we want to stay home and commute. If we do want to go away to college, how far do we want to go? Do we want to stay close to home or do we want to get as far away from our hometown as possible? The even bigger question that lingers in our minds is how do we pay for our college education?

This question brings me to another new summer experience: finding a summer job. When we start thinking about college and how we are going to pay for it, getting a job immediately comes to mind. The problem with searching for a job is that being hired by anyone is extremely difficult in todayís economy. It was hard enough finding a job as a young adult when the economy was not so bad and the competition for jobs was minimal. Now the job market, no matter what industry, is highly competitive. I know that many of my friends started looking for summer jobs way back in February and March. They applied for many jobs hoping to be hired for any one of them. Unfortunately, most of them were not able to find a job. It seems like the jobs just are not there, especially for kids who are only looking to work during summer hours. Those who are lucky enough to find a job during the summer hope to make a little bit of money to put towards their college education, as well as have a little pocket change to spend as they please.

Another thing that comes along with being in high school is the summer schoolwork. Surprisingly enough there are actually schools out there that give homework during the summer. I know, hard to believe isnít it! I know that I am not alone when I say that I like to have as much free summer time as possible to myself without having homework to worry about. With that said, I can say with complete honesty that a majority of high school students donít even start their summer homework until a week or two before school actually starts. I bet that is just as hard to believe! We have books to read, projects to complete, papers to write, packets to finish, chapters in our textbooks to read, and even online tests to take. It almost sounds like summer school! My parents often tell me that they never had to do homework during the summer. Just one more thing that has changed over the years I suppose, for the worse in our case.

As you can see there are many summer stresses that teens have to deal with. There are important decisions to make, homework to do, and even summer jobs to find. All of these tasks need to be done while also trying to keep somewhat of a life. We can't be thought of as work-a-holics, not yet at least, we are too young. I suppose getting older isnít always fun. We just have to enjoy what we have left of our free summer while it lasts.

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