Juggling school work and jobs

Many students face the unenviable task of multitasking education, employment and extracurricular activities

Emma Checchi, Staff writer

From the ages of 16-to-18 is the ideal time to find a minimum wage job. Most establishments hire teenagers for their eagerness to work and their willingness to take on any task. Fast food establishments, movie theaters, swimming pools, and more offer today’s teenager a chance to gain responsibility, learn the practical side of working a “real job” and earn significant amounts of money for the first time.

Having a job while still in school can be hard to balance, though.

“I started working during my junior year and it was stressful sometimes because you never really have time to breath,” said Ben Gonzales, a senior at Glenbard East high school. “I liked making the money, but I was losing sleep.”

Many teens work simple retail service jobs that don’t ask of much, but adding school, social life, sleep, and family time into the equation can cause problems. Even if the job is simple, it’s still another responsibility on the shoulders of today’s working teens.

Many teens work to contribute to household incomes. Teens also find minimum wage jobs to pay for their own expenses so they don’t have to rely on their parents and feel more independent.

“I think it’s important for teenagers to have jobs,” said Melanie Key, a supervisor at AMC theaters. “I had one growing up and it definitely prepared me for the real world. I mean, it’s really hard especially when you have a bunch of other homework and you still want to hang with your friends, but it’s still a good thing to experience in my opinion.”

It’s no secret that balancing high school and a job is stressful, but the benefits and life experience can be rewarding in most cases. Working the right job with the right hours gives teens a good bases on what to expect leaving their adolescence behind.