Part Time Jobs: Making it Work

By Hannah Chromicz, Staff Writer

The clang of a cash register. The scent of fried chicken. The odor of pool chlorine. These are the smells and sounds of part-time jobs.

From lifeguarding to store clerking, many juniors and seniors choose to work after school. Some need to help their family pay bills or for college tuition. Others take them on in order to earn spending money or fill spare time. Either way, high school jobs are common among students. According to the research center Child Trends, 51% of American students from the ages 16-24 were employed full or part-time as of October 2017.

Having a job means taking on responsibilities and learning new skills. Some colleges and universities look for teenagers who have work experience because they are able to balance work, school, social activity, and sometimes even sports. “I got my first job in high school as a paperboy,” said Ray Morales, a security officer. “And I think doing well in school relates to doing well at your job.”

In spite of these benefits, high school employment also has its drawbacks. WIth new responsibilities come new time commitments. Balancing these obligations with academics and even sports can become overwhelming, forcing student workers to choose.

“When I was working at a daycare, I began to get no sleep and I started failing math class,” said Ajia Hamilton (9). “I realized that school was the best thing for me, and I quit.” Some students, however, go the other direction and select their job over school, dropping out in order to work.

Some teenagers are hardworking and can balance all their duties while still managing  to keep their life balanced. They’re able to avoid failing classes and losing sleep. They are also able to find jobs that relate to what they want to be when they grow up. “There were times where my schedule made it hard for me to do all my schoolwork and get enough sleep,” said Milka Yemane (12), a waitress at Silver Diner . “Besides that, my job has really helped me.”