High School is easy … for maybe ten percent of the people in it. For everyone else, it’s a necessary step in life that we have to take so that we can move on to college, a good job and all of the things that come with being an adult.

It could be easier though. A few simple tweaks that some schools are making are changing high school life for the other 90 percent, and making it much, much better.

PPEP Tec students “Clean Dream Team” in Douglas

School doesn’t have to feel like another job

The reality is that a lot of high school students work. Job schedules can be tricky and by the time you go to school and go to work and squeeze in a little time for a social life, there isn’t room for much else. Some schools recognize that in the real world there will be times that you have to make choices that might cause you to miss time at school.

The first solution is a four-day school week with Friday left open for tutoring and making up time that you had to miss. You don’t have to risk falling behind and getting too many absences – you know it adds up.

The second way they make high school work is to have night classes. You don’t have to choose between what can be the two most important things for your future, your job and your education.

PPEP TEC students Guitar Club

Some fun and games would be nice

Great, you’ve found a school that you are able to fit into your schedule, but it should also fit you as a person.

It’s not too much to ask to have extracurricular activities that get you excited. “We don’t see the point of having clubs and activities that students aren’t interested in,” explained Jeff Mace, recruitment, retention and student services coordinator at PPEP Tech. “When the school year starts, we let their interests guide the decisions.”

You might like art or music or basketball or gaming … whatever it is that you’re in to, there’s a really good chance that other people at school like it too.

Give me a little credit

Yes, you have a job, and the money makes life easier – but the real value is more than the paycheck. Your job gives you an advantage when it comes to real-life experience. Don’t ever underestimate the value of work, because future employers and college advisors won’t.

Having practical skills will give you an advantage when it comes to landing that ‘first’ job out of college. Hiring managers aren’t looking for someone who is going to spend the first few months on the job figuring out things that you already know – be on time (but really be a few minutes early), vacation days are earned, being sick on a Monday isn’t going to make the boss love you.

You can get high school credit for the work that you do at your job at PPEP Tech. You aren’t just learning how to do the tasks, you are most likely learning how to work as a team, how to manage projects, how to deal with difficult people and everything else that we all need to know.

High school should fit you – not the other way around.


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