Teen Culture

Canadian teenagers tend to be busy and involved whether in school, at part-time work, in organized sports and cultural activities, and, of course, in socializing with their peers.

Family and friends

Teenagers in Canada tend to be involved with their families and the vast majority of teens live with both parents. Canadian teens are expected to contribute to household chores and duties from washing dishes, to taking out the garbage, to shoveling snow in winter or mowing the lawn the rest of the year. Different families impose different rules regarding freedoms and curfews for being home at night at a certain time, but most Canadian teens have considerable freedom to use their leisure time as they wish, which most often includes socializing with peers.  Often teens with get together at a friend’s home to play video games, watch TV, or make a meal together. Often teens will go shopping at a mall, to a movie or to school events in a group.

School and part-time work

Getting a good education is important for most teenagers and the vast majority of Canadian teens graduate from high school and wish to pursue some form of post-secondary education. School takes up most of a teenager’s time with school running from approximately 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. every weekday during the academic year. In addition, homework is commonly assigned and the average Canadian high school student is expected to study for about 1-2 hours each school day. Whether through their school or local community, teens will often be involved in organized team or individualized sports such as ice hockey, soccer or tennis, and these activities will require a serious personal commitment and considerable time. It is a similar situation for teens with in an interest in music, drama or dance. Many teens aspire to play at a competitive level which demands an even more intense commitment; often an individual teen participates in more than one sport and/or cultural activity at a high level of performance.   In addition to community based activities, nearly all Canadian high schools have an extensive and wide ranging choice of after school sports and extracurricular options.  These teams, clubs and activities cater to diverse interests and ability levels.  Every student has an opportunity to become involved.

Another part of teen life is volunteering. In Ontario and several other Canadian provinces it is a school graduation requirement to complete a specified number of community service hours. Many teens choose to complete far beyond the minimum hours required for graduation.

Many teens, especially in the senior years of high school, work at a part-time job on weekends and sometimes after school hours on weekdays. This part-time employment is often in the service industries such as food preparation or working in a retail store, and this work is encouraged by parents as a way for teens to acquire employment skills and to earn some income. Many students are compelled to work in order to save for post-secondary education since college and university tuition is not free in Canada.

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