Alida Monaco doesn't spend her summers doing the usual teenage stuff, like working at the mall or flipping burgers. Instead, she's studying special relativity and astrophysics — by choice.
"I chose to go to summer school because I wanted more experience," Monaco said of the physics course she took last summer at Brown University. "Anything else I wouldn't have had time for. I was booked every day."
It used to be that a summer job was considered a teenage rite of passage. Today, Monaco, who has never had a summer job, is part of a growing trend of teenagers focusing on their studies — even during the summer.
Only 43 percent of teenagers had a job last summer. That's down from the 72 percent of Americans age 16 to 19 who worked in July of 1978, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.