When being a student there are certain things that come attached to that. It could be going to youth groups, seeing a tutor for extra help, or, most commonly, extracurricular activities after school. But the thing that can throw a wrench in all of that and turn your high school life on its head, is having a job. High school is one of the most absurd times in a person’s life.
Students are thrown into this crazy ocean current filled with all new responsibilities. High school is a time for maturing and growing up, and a huge part of growing up is getting a job and being able to pay for things on your own.
But how can someone go to school, be in an activity after, keep their grades up by studying, and still have a social life? It doesn’t take much searching to find students working in the community. Just a mile or two drive from Carroll and walk into a McDonalds, Moe’s, Panera, Kroger, or anywhere else and there will be hard working students from the school trying to make it through the day and just get home and sleep.
Sadly, for some student’s sleep might not come until almost midnight. Why do students do it then? Why would anyone in their right mind push themselves to near exhaustion every day and night?
Students have different reasons to want to get a job. Of course, the obvious is most high school kids want some spending money and hate always begging their parents for it, so they can hang out with friends. Then there are other reasons.
Some students do it just to keep themselves busy and be a part of something. While others go into a job in high school for the experience. Even if someone isn’t going into business or management, having a career can still preparer a teenager for being on there own. Being in an environment with specific duties and instructions as well as being able to work with others and try to improve your teamwork skills.
There are numerous benefits that come with working at an early age because you earn skills that school might not be able to teach you. But there is a way school can be of help when it comes to preparing someone for a career and getting one after high school. Carroll’s Business teacher Mr. Taylor believes in not only the importance of getting a job in high school but as well as maybe finding an internship that interests you.
“Students can gain knowledge and confidence in their career decision making, so they are able to make the connection between schooling and employment. In addition, internship students are also able to gain a variety of jobs skills that they will use at their future jobs,” Mr. Taylor said.
Internships are a good way for students who want to gain on the field experience but don’t have much time outside of school. Internships through Carroll give students the chance to see what interests them and if they want to go into something like their internship after high school.
The only downside to this is that most internships are unpaid, which takes away from trying to make money. If money is a necessity, then a paid job outside of school might be more up your alley. Mr. Taylor also believes there are numerous benefits for a job outside of school.
“A student learns a variety of things that will help them currently and in the future. First the students can gain job skills that they will use at every job, like responsibility, punctuality, teamwork, and communication, just to name a few. Students will also can explore a career first hand, to help them decide which potential career they may want to pursue in the future,” Mr. Taylor said.
The fact is, Carroll will give you plenty of help if you are looking for a guide to your future.
The question is still, why do students do it?
When a student already has school and after school obligations like sports or music. Normally students start to get jobs the end of their sophomore year, which is normally when they can start getting their license and be more independent. That’s the biggest thing, being independent.
All throughout elementary, middle, and half of high school most students have been driven around by their parents and having to ask for money to go hang out with friends. When a student has a job, they have the freedoms of being able to go and do more things then they ever have been before.
With 7 days in a week 5 of which that are taken up mostly by school it can be hard to find hours to go into work. Junior Austin Hoskins has had his job at Ted’s market for a couple of months now and is starting to get a system down.
“I like working a mixture of weekends and weekdays so my whole weekends or weekdays aren’t just filled up with work. This gives me time to study for school and see friends,” said Hoskins.
Another piece of the puzzle that can through things off is extracurricular activities after school. Senior Jordyn Bilger is a member of the Carroll Show Choirs as well as working at Trolley Bar.
“I decided to get a job so I could have money of my own to have fun with friends. A good way I have learned to balance both choir and work is by laying out both calendars and trying to find days where I can squeeze in work,” said Bilger.
Easier said than done.
Some jobs might see how busy a student is and not want to hire someone like that. On the bright side, most after school activities like football or marching band, are seasonal activities, so after those four or so months where a student is too busy to work, once the season ends, they can go back to working more days.
Most students who get jobs normally get them either end of sophomore or end of junior year and anywhere in between that. Most students will be seen working at a food place because those types of business normally higher younger age groups of people and it is always a good beginner job.
Junior Belle Miller, works about six to 12 hours weekly, got her job months ago and has been working on the balance of school, friends, after school groups, and being employed.
“I never really thought about getting a job in high school until my sophomore year when I needed to start paying for gas and other things,” said Miller.
Getting a first job is a big decision for anyone to make especially a teenager in high school. Being put in an environment without a safety net of your parents and a teacher can be very scary. All of this might sound bad, but really it’s a good thing because it prepares a teen for a life after high school on their own which also does not have a safety net.
The next step after high school in a teen’s life, is going to a college. College is a whole other ball game from high school because now a student is on their own. A job might be an option for a student to consider when going into college or they might have to drop their job they had during high school and move on.
“I think I will get a job after high school because it won’t be as stressful as my first one since I’ll take all the experience I learned from it to my next one,” said Hoskins.
Another thing that a student can get out of a job are the life skills and lessons on how to interact and work with people. School and work are two different things because at school you interact and work with people your age and people you know.
At a job a teen must learn to think on their toes if a problem occurs or if they need to work something out with a fellow employee. Gaining these skills of quick thinking and how to please people you work with, can prepare you for interactions later in a career.
When things are crazy at work, it’s a learning lesson of how not to screw up again and how to become a better and stronger worker. Having a job isn’t for everyone though. Many high school students are overwhelmed with the thought of adding a job to the list of things in their life’s and just go through school without a career. But before passing down the thought of having a job it is important to first look at all the benefits one can gain from getting a job early on in their life’s.
Obviously, a teenager can finally start to get a source of their own income, which grants them the freedom to see what independence feels like as well as gain experience on how to fix fast and how-to time manage. Getting a job doesn’t mean that a student’s grades will start dropping because there isn’t time for both school and work, because there is. The thing that makes or breaks a student worker is how they can time manage all the things in their lives, and that might mean only getting 5 hours of sleep on a week night.
If that sort of thing starts to become a regular occurrence might be a good idea to start reducing work hours because it is important to remember one’s mental health comes before making some extra cash.
The main thing that can be learned from having a job at a a young age can be summed up in one sentence spoken by many relatives to young people; “with great power comes great responsibility.”