Making sure to stay safe during travels is important, especially for long weekends like Labor Day weekend. 

Labor Day weekend is the first long weekend of the school year for the students of IUP, and, while some use it for relaxation time, it is important to understand its history.

Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, landing on the first Monday in September. The holiday was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894, originating in one of America’s most difficult chapters.

During the Industrial Revolution, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to fulfill daily needs. Children were working as young as five or six in factories, making a fraction of an adult’s paycheck. These workers also functioned in unsafe conditions with little access to fresh air, bathrooms and breaks.

Years later, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.

Today, there are many ways to spend the Labor Day holiday as a college student, especially if you want to soak up the last moments of summer after the first weeks of school.

Getty Heights Park on Oakland Avenue is a great place to take a pet to enjoy the long weekend.

“I took my dog to the dog park,” Kaila Dean (senior, psychology) said. “He had a blast.”

Many students spend time with their family and friends as they have extra time to travel to their homes. This often involves parades, sporting events and cookouts.

“I spent my Labor Day weekend going to a cookout with my family,” Mackenzie Welker (senior, early childhood education) said.

Labor Day weekend was spent at a cookout on my mom’s side, Kaylee Berstler (senior, nursing) said, and then went to my cabin on the river with my dad’s side.

Some students did not get the break they may have hoped for during this time.

“I worked all weekend,” Kaitlyn Armstrong (senior, psychology) said.

Despite the fact that she worked, Armstrong added that her boss gifted the staff Starbucks.

Other students had heartwarming experiences during the break.

“I invested into an LLC (limited liability company), and I worked on a house that was sinking,” Steele Henderson (senior, human resources) said.

Sporting events can also be a big part of the weekend.

“Over the holiday, I watched the Penn State and Wisconsin football game,” Gage Henry (freshman, finance) said. “It was nice to see my family after my first couple weeks of college.”

Spending time with family, friends and having a little fun at a barbeque is always beneficial to a hard-working student at IUP.

Whether you chose to stay at school or go back home, hopefully you had a good weekend and are ready for classes to kick it into full gear in the coming weeks.

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