The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



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Balancing work and school

Graphic courtesy of Canva.

This previously ran in our February 2024 issue. 

Having a job is perceived as one of the most important steps a high schooler can take on their journey to adulthood. It teaches them more about responsibility than any pet or piece of homework could. Students may only get jobs because there is a paycheck involved, but that doesn’t undermine the importance that a job holds on a teenager. With all of that on the table now the question stands, is holding a job really the best thing for high school students?

Obviously over the summer when a student has more free time than ever, acquiring a job  makes sense, but the school year is a different story. Free time is more of a rarity during the academic year, with school lasting normally seven hours it takes out a huge chunk of time available to students.

A lot of stress is put on a high school student to get a job, but with so little time in the day, I can’t say I blame kids who don’t work. I’m not encouraging students to sit around on their phone all day instead of getting a job, because I think that students should work at least some point during high school. But as a student who works five days a week and has had the same job for over a year, I can’t say it doesn’t come without its consequences.

For starters, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to get homework done. Personally, I could have had two year-round late arrivals this year, but I had to replace them with study halls. If I hadn’t, then I would instead be forced to stay up till 3 a.m. finishing up all my school work. I consider myself lucky that I at least have that option for study halls, since there are a lot of students who work long hours and don’t even get that opportunity. 

It also doesn’t leave a lot of time for planning stuff with friends, clubs, or sports. It’s unfortunate; a lot of the time you’re forced to pick one or the other. When you reach that age where you’re expected to get a job you’re going to have to pick and choose what activities are most important in your life, and which ones are worth sacrificing. 

Though there are a lot of negative sides to having a job, the positive sides are way more impactful than you would ever expect. The amount you can learn from even just a small period of time at a job can majorly affect you.

Gaining that experience of working in a professional environment helps you throughout the rest of your life, as you leave high school and make your way to college or wherever life takes you. Also having your co-workers and sometimes customers relying on you to not only do your job, but to do it well, can seem like a lot of pressure at first but can teach you how to handle yourself in stressful situations.

The whole ordeal of getting a job and working consistently throughout the week teaches you a lot about not only the world, but also yourself. You get to meet the many different types of people that exist out there, and get to grow your abilities of becoming more extroverted as you enter the real world.

Is it worth it? While having a job and gaining that experience is great for you, it comes at a cost of potential academic opportunities. It’s different for every person, but it’s an important conversation to have with yourself. If you see yourself having a lot of free time, then I see no reason why you shouldn’t be actively looking for a job. Don’t forget you have your whole life ahead of you to work, but at an early age, the experience and knowledge you learn from it is unmatched.

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About the Contributor
Sam Beadle, Deputy Opinion Editor
This is Sam’s first year on The Stinger. After school, Sam works as a host at a local restaurant called Casa Catrina. Outside of work and school, some of his hobbies include reading, writing short stories and reviews, and playing basketball.

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