By: Madison Conner
A widely disputed topic comes around the time of students’ sophomore years. Teenagers often rush to get a job as soon as they reach age sixteen, but is this the best idea? The opinion on getting a job differs, dependent on the student and his/her schedule.
Many research studies have shown that getting a job as a student is beneficial. Communication skills are developed within a business atmosphere, with both managers and patrons. These skills will always be utilized in future jobs, no matter the field. Making a commitment to a job can build time management skills by learning how to balance work, school and extra-curricular activities. Financial and money management are also useful skills to have for life outside of a job environment. Having a job as a student provides students with all of these useful skills, as well as building a resume for future jobs.
Though there are positives to having a job as a student, a job can be added stressors or commitments to an already busy schedule. A job can be mistaken as a priority and demand many hours of time. High school is already a stressful time and a job can end up being a distraction from school. Sleep is a primary need for students and working late shifts could interrupt that. Late shifts can also be a distraction from homework, ultimately leading to falling grades and assignment negligence. A job can also keep teenagers from participating in the extracurricular activities that build their resumes and teach them skills, like teamwork, communication, and problem solving.
Calvert High School sophomore Calliope Millman said, “I think people just expect teens to get jobs, but I don’t think they realize what they have to deal with… My friends who work at Chick-fil-A sometimes work right after school and don’t get home until midnight. They sacrifice sleep and homework to make it work. It’s almost like working two jobs. First school then actual work.”
Finding a balance between a job and school is the most important thing when considering employment. Becoming educated and graduating high school should be top priority for these students, not keeping a job.
Calvert High School freshman Kristen Prince said, “I think it’s a good thing if students can drive and have nothing else to do, but if they are involved during the summer then I don’t think it’s needed because they still need to enjoy their summers and not feel stressed.”
Leisure time is also important for students. During this very social time, students should be expanding their lives and getting out of their comfort zones, not working six–hour shifts at local fast-food restaurants. A job should not be an added stressor or a burden of any kind. A job should be something that is educational and enjoyable.
A student’s decision to get a job depends on many factors, including demands within a family, school, extracurricular activities, and types of available employment. Before applying for a position, students should consider all aspects and if they will be able to meet the demands of a job.