Should high school student have part time jobs?

There’s no doubt that when students turn a certain age, they begin to express interest in working a part-time job. Whether at a grocery store or a fast food restaurant, there are countless places for students to begin their journey into the real, working world. It’s an invigorating experience that most look forward to, but only few truly take into account how rigorous their schedule will soon become. With the pressures of finishing schoolwork on time, achieving good grades, spending hours completing homework and balancing extracurricular activities, is it really worth spending six hours a day after school at a job?

While the idea of getting a job for the first time may be intimidating for some, there are an abundance of benefits that come with one. When you first get a job, you’ll have to be interviewed and converse with your employer. This is a great way to practice your employee dialect and make sure you can speak properly to those above you. You do learn some conversational skills while talking with your teachers, but it’s a different ballgame when you have a job since your reputation is on the line. By getting a feel for what it’s like to speak using a different dialect you may have never used before, this can prepare you for future scenarios like college interviews. Another great benefit of a job is the independence that you obtain. There is nothing like the feeling of the first time you get your first paycheck- you earned all that money by yourself, and you can spend it on anything you want. Gaining that independence can lead to confidence and allow you to find your own strengths not only within your job but within your life. Finally, getting any job experience in general will ultimately help you in your future. You can include a job on your resume, gain long term friendships, and figure out which job environments suit you best. Overall, a part time job is a great activity even if it’s only one or two shifts a week.

On the contrary, there are numerous conflicts that can come with a part time job. First is the lack of time to get other things done like schoolwork, clubs, sports, etc. Typically shifts can last from four-six  hours and depending on the type of job you have, can be very tiring. For example, I have a part time job as a grocery store cashier right now- by the end of my shifts I’m exhausted. I’ll usually work from 4-9 PM, leaving me little to no time to do homework and studying. Sometimes jobs can interfere with extracurricular activities as well. Sports, especially higher level ones, can practice numerous times a week and then have games on weekends. This is likely to conflict with a work schedule and needs to be sorted out. Working, extracurricular activities, studying and school can also leave little to no time for social interaction with friends. High school should be a time for students to gain valuable friendships and create fun memories.  Having a job on top of all the stresses life has already given students can be overwhelming for some and can pretty much cancel out the social aspects of life.

All in all, there are numerous pros and cons to ponder on if you’re not sure whether to get a job or not. It is ultimately up to your workload and schedule, but I definitely do not recommend one if you’re extremely busy. Don’t stress if you cannot afford to get one, because high school students should spend most of their time focusing on their studies; there will be plenty of time in the future to work!

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