Balancing School and Work

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Taylor Fanning

Taylor Fanning poses with her coworker at MJR!

Alyssa Benka, Social Media Manager

   High school is one of the most busy and hectic times in our life. When you add a part time job on top of that, it feels like a recipe for failure and stress. 

   Part time jobs are seen as a way for kids to learn responsibility and time management before going to college and getting a “real” job. Having a job in high school does have many benefits, like having your own source of money and learning communication skills. It also comes with many burdens.

   Although there are limits on how long students are allowed to work during the school week, certain places ignore these rules and a part time job turns into a full time commitment. Students work six hours or more, while still being expected to finish their homework. Teachers will not give extensions on homework because a student was at work; they do not accept work as a valid excuse to not get assignments done. At the same time, they expect the student to stay up at an unreasonable hour to finish an assignment due at 11:59pm.

   When you take into consideration that LCN students get home after 1pm and may not get home from work until 10pm, it’s easy to see how difficult it can be to succeed in school. Going to school for six hours, coming home for an hour or two, then leaving again for another six hours is not a sustainable way to go through high school. It becomes physically exhausting for students to learn from sunrise to noon then work from afternoon until well after sunset.

   The biggest problem is the race against time. Now that assignments are often due online, they have to be turned in before school the next morning. Students in school can usually only work an evening/night shift. If they want to go to sleep, they have to finish their homework before so it isn’t late.

   Taylor Fanning, ‘21, has had many late nights during the school year. She has worked at a movie theater for two and a half years, taking up the majority of her high school years. “Working late nights made it really hard to get up for school in the morning. I would skip [school] all the time.” 

   Fanning has impressive grades and is one of the class of 2021’s valedictorians, but she acknowledges that she would do even better in her classes if she didn’t spend so many hours and late nights at work. Along with many other students, she wishes that weekends were reserved solely for relaxing.

   After calculating time spent asleep and time spent at work, I have about fifteen hours throughout the entire weekend to do what I want. I have to set aside about four hours for homework if I actually want to understand what I’m learning. Now, there are eleven hours remaining for the weekend. Some people have it way worse than I do. People who work past 11pm could argue that they have half the amount of free time that I do. Students who play sports on the weekends have even less time.

   Like many things in life, jobs in high school are good in moderation. Too much time at work can interfere with school, and not enough experience can lower a student’s chance at landing a professional job in the future.