Working For Balance

Melissa Hollingshed, Staff Writer

Attending school and maintaining a job as a student in high school proves to be a challenge. A challenge many of our students, here at St. Joseph High School, takes on every day. Although these students all have one common goal, to make money, they each balance and achieve this in multiple ways depending on their job, extracurricular activities, and schoolwork.

Michael Pagliuco, senior at St. Joseph, recently got hired at the Panera Bread in La Grange, IL. He has two weeks’ worth of working experience there. Michael does not play any fall sports but he plays basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. “I may have to give up basketball just so I can keep this job and not have to stress myself out trying to balance everything out. Having good grades is the most important factor to me so I don’t want to put myself in an overwhelming position,” says Michael in reference to how he feels about his job and schoolwork. “Money is a necessity to anybody, at any age,” he laughs adding, “I just want to be able to buy myself certain clothes and food without asking my mom for money.”

A sense of independence is given to Michael and to all students by being able to manage their own hard earned money. “I work six and a half hour shifts twenty hours a week. For these first two weeks they’ve been kind of bogus,” he includes, “I mean what teenager wants to work every Friday and Saturday night to 11pm?” Michael is only seventeen and this is his first job. He has experienced sacrifices already but does not necessarily have to worry about sports or clubs. He also has a study hall first period so he can take care of most of the simple homework, “I only get about an hour worth of homework every day, so it doesn’t get too bad. The only problem is sleep and keeping my social life steady.”

Erica Goodman, another senior at St. Joseph, on the other hand has worked at the McDonalds in Oak Brook for about a year. She works six hours on weekdays and eight hours on weekends. “I have three hours of homework every day! It gets extremely overwhelming at times,” Erica exclaimed. “The toughest things to balance are homework, work, and sleep honestly,” Erica added. Erica gets off at work at about “10 o’clock”, has to do her three hours worth of homework, and try to get her required hours of sleep. By the time she’s done with her homework it’s already one in the morning! That’s only if she goes straight home from work, skips dinner, chores and favors for her mother which rarely happens. “Sometimes I have to choose work over school and try to get my homework done during class. It’s difficult but I’m very well organized.” Organization is a key to success in balancing oneself. Erica mentions, “In order to achieve balance and excel in work and school you have to give up the extra stuff some days,” She smiles, “I have a life so I’m constantly trying to keep my friends happy but also get my sleep in. I have to sacrifice the time I spend with them to homework and work occasionally.” Erica is dedicated to her job at McDonalds but also her job as a student and with dedication comes responsibility and sacrifices.