Students balance work with school


Teens describe the struggles that come with working during the school year. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Aryn Gallacher, Staff Writer

When teens first come to high school, they usually are not looking forward to the rigorous workload of the next four years. Instead, they eagerly await finally getting their licenses and being able to hang out with friends without relying on their parents to drive them around. However, in order to be able to go out with friends, many high school students have to get a job to pay for all the food and fun on the weekends.

Senior Ally Dunn says she must work through the school year in order to gain some extra spending money.

“I work at Bed Bath and Beyond, and I’ve been working there since March,” Dunn said. “I work around 15 hours[a week] since I’m only available weekends.”

Many students face conflicts when it comes to balancing school and work. Junior Fabrizio Vazquez describes how working at Tropical Smoothie Cafe has brought him challenges along the way.

“Sometimes, I stay up late doing homework because I close on weekdays,” Vazquez said. “I guess that’s just a part of the grind.”

High schoolers are also given the opportunity to partake in Advanced Placement (AP) classes in order to earn college credit and prepare for rigorous classes in the future. However, these AP classes could make it more challenging for students to make time for a job due to the extensive homework these courses often demand.

“I am in a few AP classes as well as other tough classes,” Dunn said. “The few times I’m not busy at work or at [cheer] practice, I am doing homework and studying.”

Along with homework and participating in a job, many teenagers are student athletes or are involved in a club or other group. This can also take a toll on how much time these students have to balance all their responsibilities.

“I’m in a good amount of extracurriculars, such as student council, National Honor Society, National Social Studies Honor Society, Link Crew and ski club,” Vazquez said. “These extracurriculars sometimes disrupt the balance between work and homework because they take away from my time.”

Although it can sometimes be difficult  for students to work during the school year, Mrs. Laure Gambaro discusses how important it is for high school students to experience what it is like to balance all their different responsibilities.

“I believe it teaches them how to balance work, school and possibly sports,” Mrs. Gambaro said. “I know it is hard for some students who have a tough school schedule and sports, but even volunteering occasionally can teach you these skills also.”

Dunn has to manage work, school and an extracurricular activity, and she finds that her busy schedule positively and negatively impacts her high school life.

“[It has left me with a] positive [impact] because I have made friendships and learned how to manage my time well,” Dunn said. [However, it has also impacted me] negatively because I get overwhelmed with constantly being busy and barely seeing my family.”