The alarm goes off at 6:00 am and many students could swear they went to sleep five minutes ago. First, a quick shower followed by the finishing touches on that homework assignment due first hour. Then headed off to a full day of high school and once the 2:30 bell rings, it’s off to work for many. Their five to eight hour shift affects their homework now because it’s late and they’re even more exhausted. “I like to go to bed by 9:00 p.m., but sometimes I don’t get off work till 10:15” senior Erik Stephenson said.
Part time jobs for high school students can consist of anything from tutoring to retail to babysitting. Right now, more than a third of high school students hold some kind of part-time job.
Most high school students with part-time jobs work around 10 to 20 hours a week and for some, they look for jobs that can only schedule them for the weekends, so working doesn’t affect homework time, but most are not that lucky.
Balancing both a part time job and the demands of high school can be one of the most challenging things but students can also gain a lot of life experience from it. “Teenagers get a sense of responsibility”said Mitch Lambert, “which may be harder to get without activities outside of school.” However, the most important thing is to not over whelm yourself and realize you have control. First, decide how many days per week you can comfortably work without allowing your homework and social life to suffer. Erik Stephenson, who is currently employed at Maple Plain Family Center, stated, “it’s not that difficult if you are in good communication with your boss and know your limits of how many hours you can work.”
Students from all over struggle with focusing on school with a part time job. Senior Hailey Jacobsen from Hopkins Main Street School of Performing Arts says, “the hardest part about working on a school night is homework, getting home around 10:30 at night and then homework for an hour or two really affects my sleep schedule.” Although sophomore Samantha Sansevere, who is home schooled, says, “homeschooling allows me to work whenever I want because I choose when I want to do school.”
Cell phone bills, car insurance, gas money, saving up for college tuition and extra spending money are on the minds of high school students, but when people try to handle a part time job and school, it can start to get stressful. Depending on how much they work and the difficulties of their classes, most students would admit that it can get over whelming. But the independence and satisfaction that comes with earning a pay check are worth it.