The moment the last final of second semester is dismissed, the students of Durango High School hurry out to their cars, bikes, longboards and the buses to flee campus as quickly as possible. They gush with excitement for upcoming escapades that may warrant a noise complaint from the neighbors. School’s out, and the students are free to spend their time however they are inclined.
For the first few days of break, the pure joy of not dreading class Monday permeates student life. Teenagers stay up late and sleep until noon (a privilege well-deserved after finals week). But after the initial bliss of sweet summer wears off, each newly freed pupil is left with the choice of what they will spend the interim from school doing. Many pack up for preplanned family vacations or visit colleges. Those left in the dust of this little mountain town must find a way to occupy the next three months.
Inevitably, some will spend most of their time at home, watching Netflix or playing video games. However, the majority of high school students are able to make their summer productive. Especially those who pay for their own gas, a large number of students hold summer jobs. With a paycheck coming in every couple of weeks, teens can save for whatever their heart desires. Plus, mom and dad will finally leave them alone about paying for the copious amounts of online shopping they do (or maybe that’s just me).
Many students are too busy to hold jobs in town. Between camping, floating the river, hiking and the numerous other beautiful opportunities available in Colorado, families find themselves out of the house more than they are in it. It’s hard to deny the appeal of blessings to close-in proximity to home. Enjoying the summer heat at high elevations is a great way to soak up as much of Colorado as possible before the next school year begins.
Who can forget the daunting ghost that looms over the summer of any student planning on taking Advanced Placement classes next year? Summer homework – the bane of any upperclassman’s existence – can only be avoided for a finite period of time. It’s not difficult to convince oneself that the assignments can be completed in their entirety over the course of a week, but alas, it simply isn’t true. All praise goes to the students who get started early, and save themselves some torture when late August rolls around.
Whether a teenager is trapped in town for the season, or given an opportunity to travel about, Durango students know how to get the most out of their break. School lurks around the corner, but such a thing can be forgotten easily until at least mid-August. So here’s to high school students: managing to be solidly busy, and avoiding spending their time thinking about approaching fall as much as possible.
Sheila Prentice is the health editor for El Diablo. She is the daughter of Bob Prentice.