The outbreak of war in September 1939 altered the lives of Canadian high school students. A study of two Ottawa schools, Lisgar Collegiate and Glebe Collegiate, reveals the extent to which students, too young to enlist and yet old enough to grasp the severity of the war, were affected by world events. Despite the anxiety and hardships brought about by war, young people growing up during the Second World War took on serious responsibilities and acquired a remarkable sense of purpose.