The typicalhigh school senior gets less than seven hours of sleep on school nights. But they need a great deal more.
Most high school students are chronically tired. They juggle school, sports, homework, chores, friends and family.
To meet all these demands, surveys show, high school teenagers usually stay up close to midnight on school nights. And then they have to get up early the next morning, typically around 6 or 6:30 a.m., to get to school on time, as most high schools start classes around 7:30 a.m.
By Friday, most teens are very tired, says Dr. Helene Emsellem, a sleep researcher with George Washington University. And then comes the weekend.
Brandon Smith is graduating from Columbia College in Chicago. He works part-time at a sandwich shop downtown. Smith's college loans total $98,000, and he expects them to go higher.
Credit Cheryl Corley / NPR
Brittany Langmeyer is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago. She works as the productions and marketing manager for StreetWise Magazine. She and her father have split the cost of college.
Credit Cheryl Corley / NPR
Skyy Calice attends Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. She's majoring in criminal justice and sociology. She plans to become a police officer, like her father.
Part of a series on young people and financial literacy
For many high school and college seniors, graduation is a time of new beginnings and harsh realities. Their thoughts are turning to money — for tuition, rent, and credit card bills. Three Illinois students have already made decisions about debt and finances that will be with them for years to come.
Engineers probing the ruined nuclear reactors at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are finding yet more damage. Not only did fuel melt in three reactors, they've just discovered a hole in one reactor vessel. And radioactive water continues to leak at the site. That mess in Fukushima has led several governments to reassess nuclear power.
Japan was planning 14 new reactors. Germany, famously anti-nuclear, had approved several new plants. Utilities in the U.S. had plans for new reactors as well.
Green car technology is still in its infancy in China, and there's little uniformity in the way of infrastructure to support the vehicles, like this concept car with solar panels, made by Roewe, seen at the Shanghai Auto Show.
The boom in car ownership in China has brought with it many problems familiar to Americans: bad traffic, of course, but also more pollution. So the Chinese government and the auto companies are trying to push a new generation of environmentally friendly car.
But it's not proving easy.
Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of global electrification, has the somewhat unenviable task of persuading a Chinese public in the first flush of gasoline-powered capitalism to park the Hummer and roll out the Ford hybrid.
Janet Ohlsen, pictured here in 2009 after completing a triathalon, has battled depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. After a long search for mental health care, Ohlsen found a psychotherapist with whom she clicked.
Turn on a TV talk show and you'll think that everyone in America is in need of mental health counseling. But there are hundreds of different kinds of therapy out there, and it's hard to know which ones work.
Researchers have put a lot of effort into testing different forms of psychotherapy, and they have solid evidence of what works, particularly for common mental problems like depression and anxiety.