Student Life: Education and Employment What grade level should you start working?

Jenna Ariza

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Jenna Ariza

Student Life: Education and Employment

What grade level should you start working?

A majority of high school students become of the legal working age between their sophomore and senior year. Yet, many of those students end up juggling both their academics and a job — so when is the right time to actually get employed while you are still in high school?

The legal working age begins at 16, which is still a relatively young age to be working.  With this being said, there are limitations to how many hours a teenager is allowed to work within a week, as well as in a day. Though overworking a student at the bare minimum of the legal working age is not permitted, many employers/managers take advantage of the employee by breaking and/or bending this such rule. High school students who get overworked, often get  stressed out and become overwhelmed with fatigue.

UACHS senior year student, Joshua Verzosa, works as a cook for Auntie Anne’s in Newport Mall. Although he works at his job towards the end of the week, some of his extra time off from work and school is spent playing varsity volleyball at Snyder High school.

“I feel like working is tedious,” expressed Verzosa. “Just thinking about work before work tires me out and sometimes I just feel as though I do so many tasks for such a low pay.”

Although being overworked while you are still a high school student is stressful, there are other factors that can come into play as well. If you, as a student, are unable to posses time management skills, difficulties between your working and schooling life will come into play. It is also evident that going to the job you are employed at will take up some of the extra time that you have in a day. For instance, I usually get out of work around 10 to 10:30 PM and it takes me a while to get home, being that I use Uber Pool to save myself some money from late night rides. As for the weekends, my schedule is switched — whereas, I have to do openings at 6 in the morning; this has a tendency to mess with my sleeping schedule. But, I am not as affected by this factor due to that my work schedule is usually the same every week and my work days are spaced out.

As for Verzosa, he feels overwhelmed at his job sometimes but he does not think that should stop a student from becoming employed.

“I say junior year is a good time to start working,” said Verzosa. “It’s an opportunity to save up money for college.”

If you are thinking about becoming employed while you are still in high school, it should also be recognized that your shift schedules are not always going to be the same. If you are lucky, you might be able to get a consistent work schedule throughout the week. Talking to your shift manager about when you are available is a necessity if you want to prevent tiring yourself out throughout the week. If your work schedule still does not meet your needs and expectations, it is probably best if you either look for another job or wait for a better time to become employed.

As for schedules, it can be difficult for Verzosa to deal with since he finds himself juggling his academics, sports, and his work life. At times, he has to change around his work schedule or go to his volleyball games if it is deemed as important. Often, he feels tired out from doing so many things in a week — but he does have free time to rest and hang out with friends when he can.

“As a high school student, I suggest you don’t work everyday of the week,” said Verzosa. “You should get at least 3-4 days off. If you’re an athlete, I suggest you don’t work at all because it’s just too tiresome.”

If you usually do closings, or work in general, after school on weekdays, it is also most likely that you will end up doing your school work after work pretty late. Try to do your assignments ahead of time to get it out of the way, with times such as: during your free time in school, on your way to work, and/or during your work break. As for studying, preparing your notes and studying ahead of time before you go to work would be a must if you want to avoid studying late night at night after a long day of school and work.

Many of the students who work while in school, most likely know that having a job counts for time management skills and a sense of responsibility that they owe to themselves, school, their job, and their education. Most high school students claim that their hardest year in high school, but this is arguable being that senior year students are preparing for college. Honestly, it would be best to get a job when you have the most free time; if you ever feel stressed out or overworked to an extent of which you can no longer handle, it is okay to only focus on your academics instead of juggling a job and your education at the same time. If you are planning on and/or thinking about applying to a job or then some, it is important to remember that it is up to you to see if whether or not if you are prepared to dedicate yourself to your job and do all of your studying,  homework/classwork, test/quizzes, projects, and other assignments on time.


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