School + Work = A Difficult Equation to Balance, Yet An Enriching Experience

by Ellen Amico

With schoolwork, sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities, a high school student’s life is already busy. What about adding another responsibility into the mix – having a job? For some students, having a job is a necessity, or just a great way to earn some money on the side. Having a job can also offer important life experiences and skills that will be helpful in the future.

Balancing a job with school and social life, however, isn’t always easy. “It is definitely challenging at times to balance school and work, especially when you know of large assignments or exams and you have to be at work the day before,” says senior Hayley Siegle. Figuring out when you’ll have time to do homework or study while also working a job requires some time management skills, according to Isabelle Ilan. “It is important to prioritize the commitment I made to work with the students [tutoring] and to plan ahead with my own [school]work,” she says. Time-management and organization are key life skills, and holding a job can help students learn these skills at an early age. Sometimes, managing your time means making sacrifices. Working on the weekends (or a few hours after school) is what many students can handle, so having a job may mean giving up a part of your weekend. Some of that time will go towards working, and a large portion of the remaining time will likely go towards homework. “I will typically stay in at night to get work done, at least one of the two nights of the weekend,” says Hayley.

Despite the sacrifices one may have to make while working a job, many students think it is worthwhile. “I 100 percent think people should have jobs in high school. It teaches helpful skills like leadership, commitment, organization, and time management,” says Ruth Beinhacker. A job can be a fun experience, and extra money is never a bad thing. That being said, students should consider if they think they truly have the time to hold a job, and that “they can manage both schoolwork and work,” says Hayley. Additionally, a job can help you find your career interests. Ruth says that “having a job in something [she wants] to do in the future has been extremely valuable.” Overall, a job is definitely worth the experience you gain and money you can earn, if you have the time. Interested in getting a job? Talk to some of your classmates and learn about where they work!