The Ups and Downs of Student Life: Is it Worth it to Work?

Spring showers bring May flowers, but should adolescents truly take on jobs in acquiescence?

Among the many perils of youth comes the unique challenge of learning to think for yourself, and learning to make decisions independent of others. Namely, your parents. As you progress towards adulthood, this yearning towards independence increases, and with it, the question of self made money arises.

In here, we’ll be looking at the lives of various participant students, ranging both in life circumstances as well as choices. Maintaining a specific focus on the students work life, work towards answers. Namely, try to determine whether it’s worth it to work- is it?

 

Name: Shana Stroster, Senior

Employment Status: Busser at restaurant

Describe your circumstances:

This job seems self explanatory, but it’s very fast paced and a lot of hard work.

I get paid in two ways, in tips and hourly pay.

I have many uplifting and confidence building coworkers.

It has been an overall great job experience.

Why have you or why have you not chosen to pursue a part-time job or otherwise?

I picked to pursue job experiences so that I could work during college to save money for books and other necessities needed during the year.

How has this decision influenced your life as it relates to academic achievement?

Having this job has made me realize that having responsibilities other than school makes me work harder not just only at my job, but in school.

Staying busy with out of school activities always has a good effect on my studies.

How has it affected your social life?

It has affected my social life in many ways.

I cannot always just say “yes, I can spend time with you today”, all the time.

It actually has made me more aware of why people have brunch, and actually want to have brunch.

But it has made it easier when I have to buy things, like brunch.

If you couldn’t tell I’ve started to like going to brunch.

Any drawbacks to working/not working?

I don’t see it as a drawback, if anything it’s a step forward in the right direction.

It sets you up for a work place, which you would be in after college.

They are on a more simpler scale for high schoolers.

But still a good thing to experience.

The only thing that would be seen as a drawback would be if said person wanted to stay working. It’s a good experience and looks good on college applications.

Would you encourage current students to take on a job/working position?

I would say that I’m more an advocate for high-school students working. It’s a good experience and looks good on college applications.

 

Name: Madisyn Wilson, Senior

Employment Status: Employed

Describe your circumstances:

I have decided to choose a part time job because I get to save up money and prepare for my future.

Why have you or why have you not chosen to pursue a part-time job or otherwise?

I decided I wanted to have a job because then I could make my own money, and not have to rely on other people.

How has this decision influenced your life as it relates to academic achievement?

I don’t have much time to have anything, other than school and work, so I don’t have much free time.

How has it affected your social life?

I don’t get out much.

Any drawbacks to working/not working?

I think it would be to my benefit because I would have experienced it.

And when I go to an interview I already know like what kind of questions I’ll be asked.

Kind of because, you won’t really know, like- what the workforce is.

Yes, I just think it depends what type of job your going into.

Would you encourage current students to take on a job/working position?

I feel like if you have school, and then a job, and then sports, and then like clubs and stuff it would be a lot harder but I mean, if you’re willing to take on that, then I guess you’ll find a way.

 

Name: Maya Wiegand, Senior

Employment Status: Unemployed

Describe your circumstances:

I’m struggling with anxiety among other things.

Why have you or why have you not chosen to pursue a part-time job or otherwise?

I overthink a lot.

It makes me kind of paranoid in a way.

Just being like ‘hello, yes,’ and just trying to force yourself to be personable.

Presenting yourself like a perfectionist for an employer.

And I’m auditioning for the musical soon.

We go, and we work.

It’s almost like a job like afterschool- we stay for hours on end.

So I’ll have little free time…..I’m also really nervous that if I got a job now I’d get fired.

And I don’t want to fail at my job.

I was like oh, I’ll just wait until I’m 18!

But now that I’m 18, I’m like…….oh…..I’ll wait till I’m out of school!

And then I’ll be like…..oh……until I’m out of college?

It’s like my own brain’s tricking me that I can’t have a job.

Any drawbacks to working/not working?

It’s not to my benefit because I’m broke, and don’t have any money….

Do you plan on taking on working position in the future?

I probably plan on getting a job after the musical; yes.

And I worked with my father, so I have that aspect of work experience

I feel like I’m personable to at least get accepted and hired.

 

Name: Joshua Wood, Senior

Employment Status: Employee

Describe your circumstances:

My current circumstances are attending high school and being enrolled in an online course for dual-enrollment with (MCC) Macomb Community College.

I also work a part-time at Tropical Smoothie Cafe during weekdays and weekends.

Why have you or why have you not chosen to pursue a part-time job or otherwise?

I’ve chosen to work a part time job while simultaneously attending school because, for the most part, it is what is expected of the youth.

It also provides me financial means to pay for things in my life and support myself.

How has this decision influenced your life as it relates to academic achievement?

This decision to work while being in school has affected my academics by making it so that I must manage my time more thoroughly, and it has also influenced my life by cutting back my social hours and exchanging them for work.  

How has it affected your social life?

My social life isn’t heavily affected as I still find time to hang out with my friends and enjoy my own hobbies.

Instead of having all week after school to do anything I am also working part time so I have a balance of working, academics, and social life.

Any drawbacks to working/not working?

I do believe it to be a very bad drawback to pursue further to pursue goals in life without understanding the work force.

Comparatively, I am very inexperienced to people like my parents and teachers on the subject but everyone has a starting point at some time in their life.

I think the earlier one begins working the better off they will be in the long run as they will better underfund labour.

Would you encourage current students to take on a job/working position?

I encourage students to take on some sort of working position at this or any point in their life because I believe it to teach very valuable lessons.

 

Despite the prevailing circumstances a student may find him/herself in, taking on the added responsibility of a job will only serve to strengthen their skills; it will not break them. Afterall, the significance of the choices made in adolescence cannot be undervalued. It’s during this time that the brain undergoes notably large changes – second only to those which occur during early childhood. And the reality of it is, skills not used are often times dulled – if not forgotten entirely.

And it is precisely that that a lack of job exposure in early or late adolescence puts an individual at risk for – dulled or absent work skills. In the end, it’s best to not be neglectful of opportunities. When the question comes to rise for you – whether it be at dinner with mom or while in conversation with friends – keep an open mind, you may not know just what opportunities your closing the door to.   

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