Students juggling school and part-time jobs


Luka Vaicekauskas

Throughout the school year, students focus not only on their grades, subjects, and sports, but also on making extra pocket money. However, a day is only 24 hours and one full Earth’s rotation, but to many students, it is not enough. Juggling with rigorous classes and a part-time job can be challenging, but many students find it rewarding.

Throughout the school year, students focus not only on their grades, subjects, and sports, but also on making extra pocket money. However, a day is only 24 hours and one full Earth’s rotation, but to many students, it is not enough. Aside from the school day being nearly seven hours and the recommended hours of sleep for a teenager – eight, it only leaves approximately nine hours to conclude the assigned homework, study for tests, spend time with family and friends, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and keep up with work and extracurriculars.   

Alongside the hallways of Plant High School, students shared their stories on how they manage to keep up with the pressure, and the game against time.  

Sophia Gray, a junior, said, “I work at Dairy Joy, two to three days a week,” Gray said. “I play lacrosse for the Plant team, but I have not yet played and worked at the same time. So far, it hasn’t been that hard to manage my time, as it is only the beginning of the school year, but I expect I will have to work on my time management in the future.”  

Young employees are mostly hired and targeted in fast-food places as they are easy to employ, since they are prepared to work for low pay rates, as many of them live at home with their parents. These fast food and customer service places not only offer a convenient way of gaining some economic independence to the developing individuals, but as well stress, communication, and time management skills to combat the pressures faced during the shifts.   

Makenzie Hawkins, a junior, said, “I currently work at Panera Bread, and I have changed my hours from last year to only working on the weekends, so I do not have to work during the school days,” Hawkins said. “I always try to schedule my week beforehand, and plan on when I am doing all of my schoolwork, or spending time with my family. One piece of advice I would give a first-time employee would be to not worry too much about the job, and prioritize school over work, as you can always get a new job, but with school, it will be hard to catch up if you are really behind. All in all, money is nice to have, but I rather have better grades.”   

As from the stories heard, a brief list of suggestions was made in order to share some tips of time juggling between school and work:  

  • Create a schedule and stick to it  
  • Protect your study time 
  • Make to-do lists online or on paper  
  • Fuel your brain and body  
  • Take care of yourself and get the needed rest 
  • Take some online classes or dual enroll at eligible colleges  

 Bella Mangione, a junior, said, “I work at Xtreme Juice, and during the summer, I used to work about four days a week, but during the school year, only two, which is usually on the weekends,” Mangione said. “Usually, it is difficult to manage school and work, as I take an SAT prep course, and the work for it I do during the weekends. I chose to work at Xtreme Juice as I knew a friend there, but it is an intense environment because of how quickly it goes, and how many customers we get a day.”   

 As many students confirmed, work and school can be challenging to juggle, but the pros overcome the cons. On a college resume, having a part-time job can show dedication and responsibility, and it can even be fun and rewarding to the student itself!   

 Finding a job these days for teens is not as arduous as it was a couple of years back. Many local businesses as Sweet Soul, SOHO Juice, and many others are vigorously searching for new faces behind the bar. As was confirmed by many small businesses’ owners, they are experiencing a tremendous employee shortage since the pandemic began, and many even increased the hourly wages to attract more candidates for the job positions.  

 While in school with a part-time job, there can be some difficulties, but by having one, an individual can grow in many ways and learn valuable lessons to guide them along the way in their professional career.