How high school students juggle school and work


According to Walden University, 30% of high school students are employed for at least a portion of the school year. Photo provided by Walden University

James Rhoten, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Whether going to school via virtual learning or in-person, traditional school, many students acquire jobs during the school year. Some need a job to help support their families, while others need a job for gas money and to hang out with their friends at the mall on weekends. Either way, high school students need to be wary of handling their school work on top of their occupational duties. 

Working a job can offer many different skills and experience, one of the most important being time management. 

Senior Hollie Fox, Party Host at Jak’s Warehouse, said, “At first it wasn’t easy because I didn’t know what time management was, but having a job and going to school while doing sports forced me to learn to learn how to utilize my time so I was able to get everything done.”

Fox has more on her plate than just school work and her job, as she participates in sports as well. The same goes for senior Jonah Tillman, Stocker and Building Materials worker at Menards, who plays football for the Trojans. 

“I have to be smart with my time and be disciplined everyday so I won’t fall behind in any of my responsibilities,” said Tillman.

Joining the workforce early provides a head start and a sneak peek of what working as an adult can be like. Junior Eric McMahon, Worker at Penn Station, believes this experience will be useful for when he’s older. 

“I handle it now because I think of it as when I’m an adult and how I’m going to juggle my life then as well,” McMahon said. “It’s good practice.”

Senior Jessica Sonsiadek, Drive-Thru worker at Wendy’s, finds it very important for students to actively seek out a job once they are old enough. Sonsiadek said, “I think it’s very important for students to try and find jobs so they can learn responsibility. They can also learn how to manage a schedule between work and school for their future.”

For students worrying about how a manager might react to them prioritizing school, there is no reason to worry, as long as you communicate with them. Senior Savannah Vela, Drive-Thru worker at Dunkin Donuts, said, “I just communicate with my teachers and my manager so I can manage my time. I make sure to prioritize school, but the main thing is just keeping all your plans written down and staying organized.”

“I have a job that has really flexible hours and a great manager. Weekends I work up to 9 hours a day, but my manager Nicole lets me take days off or switch hours if I ever need more time for school and sports,” Fox said.

Joining the workforce in high school can lead to some great opportunities when you’re older and gives you valuable life experience. You can learn to become more disciplined and balance your time more efficiently, so you’re not struggling when you’re older. Oh, and making money is a nice incentive as well.