A week in the life of Kage; and my guide to decompression


Photo Courtesy of Kage Harlow

Kage Harlow takes a hike with his friends Ellen Rosson and Cullen Hamel at Shenandoah National Park.

Kage Harlow, Reporter/Photographer

  A lot of parents, teachers, and adults underestimate the commitments teenagers have in their life.  They think that teenagers do not use their time wisely and have unlimited amounts of time.

  My week consists of a lot. Quite a lot actually. From six hours of school and 45 minutes to an hour of homework a night, to a job with at least 20 hours a week, and then researching colleges, universities, and career options…I don’t have a lot of time to myself.  So when the opportunity rises, I take the time to decompress.  

  On school days, I wake up around 6:30 or 7 o’clock. Make my coffee, get dressed, and brush my teeth. Most mornings, I am running behind because I can’t ever seem to wake up on time. I like to sit for about five to ten minutes before I walk out the door and just think about the kind of day I am going to have. Hope that it is going to be a good one and always try to stay positive throughout the day. 

  I arrive at school around 7:30 and go into the school around eight.  In those thirty minutes, I sit in my car and listen to music.  This helps me prepare for the day. I only have three classes because I got an early release this year, which is quite nice to be honest. The  early release gives me more time to study, do homework.  Or get ready for work.  

  After a long day at school I go to work around 2:30ish. I usually work until eight o’clock, which isn’t too bad. I head home and get in the shower as soon as I get home because I always smell bad after work because of the aroma in the store. It’s kind of a mix of coffee and donuts, with a hint of grease. Then, I finish my homework. My homework usually is an hour or two long, which can take up a good chunk of my time at night. After my homework, I try to just relax a little from the long day I had and decompress a little and get ready for the next day. If I’m lucky, I am asleep by 11.

  When the weekend comes, that’s my time to shine. This is the time for me to release all of the stress and anxiety of the obstacles that the past week has thrown at me. Most Saturdays, I head over to my best friend Raegan’s house. We chill for a few before going into Short Pump. On Saturday nights, we head over to the Cookout and hang out with all of our friends from Deep Run, Patrick Henry, and Godwin. 

  We usually leave Cookout around 11 pm and ride in Raegan’s boyfriend’s lifted truck. Kelsey (my other best friend) and I are in the backseat screaming to our favorite songs. This has to be the biggest destressor for me. Just screaming to a good throwback song with my best friend really does the trick of releasing stress. 

  I either end up going home or just spend the night at raegans. Sundays consist of me doing my house chores and homework. Some Sundays I do go to work from 9-4. Sometimes I go to a youth group at the church (if I have time).  And, oh wait…. I still have to finish with my homework. 

  Like most American teenagers, I am busy.  Whether it’s helping my mom and sister at home, going to school and balancing a job.  All of this makes me stressed because I feel like I never have enough time.  So, like so many other people, I take time to relax and enjoy life.