Why do students take on jobs?


Senior Aaron Anderson walks off campus after school to go to work.

Eight hour school days, stacks of homework, extracurricular programs, chores at home, and a part-time job as the cherry on top. For some students, having a job provides much needed extra spending money. From going out with friends, to helping their family, to preparing for future responsibilities, sometimes students just have to work.

Some students may think teenagers don’t have financial responsibilities such as bills to pay or debts to clear like adults do. However, that is not always the case in this day and age.

“I’m hoping to save enough money to move out and get an apartment with my best friend after high school… but I can’t do that without some financial stability,” senior Janaza Pelzer said. “It’s easy to save money now for my future goals because I’m young and don’t have too many responsibilities at the moment.” 

On the flip side, there are definitely dilemmas to working at a young age. This is where transportation comes in. Not all teenagers know how to drive, let alone even have a car. So how do they get to work? At our school, some students can conveniently opt to get the last period off so they can start their work day earlier. But, this is also necessary in cases where a student may use public transportation to get to work, which isn’t always the timeliest option. 

“On the days I have work, I leave school after fourth period and walk to the bus station, and then I ride the bus to work. I change into my uniform once I get there, and work until almost midnight,” senior William Adams said. “It’s not too hard to manage everything, but it definitely can be stressful at times.” 

Knowing that some students start their shift and work into the next day, begs the question of whether or not holding a job has any ramifications on a working student’s academic performance. Does working a part-time job affect being a full-time student? As with most situations, it all depends on the person. For some, having a part-time job encourages and motivates them to work harder in school and maintain their grades. For others, working and keeping up grades may become overwhelming. 

“Since I started working, it hasn’t really affected my academics much. There have been times where I’ve had plenty of school work while juggling everything I’m involved in, but I’ve always managed to stay on top of my school assignments,” said junior Jacqueline Perez. “I’m in the National Honor Society, I play softball for the school, and I work part-time at Pizza Hut, yet my grades have still never been a problem.” 

Understanding why some students choose to get a job may help others decide whether or not they want to join the working class at a young age and whether or not they can handle both school and work. For many, it helps prepare for the future and teaches financial responsibility, while earning work experience at the same time.

“Working has taught me how to manage my time, get along with people even if we have our differences, and gave me something productive to do instead of being at home doing nothing or being bored after school,” senior Janaza Pelzer said. “I love working. It’s given me much more than just some pocket change.”