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Pros and Cons of Teen Jobs

Emily Molden, Photo Editor

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According to the U.S. Census, approximately one in four high school students over the age of 16 hold jobs. Having to devote time to a job outside of school can have effects on students’ academic and athletic responsibilities.

“I used to have a job, but now I realize that it is too much to balance the five AP (advanced placement) courses I’m taking and the job,” senior Jimmy Dang said. “If you’re not in a lot of AP courses, then sure, go ahead, you’re probably gonna have a lot of time on your hands, but if you’re in AP courses, or more rigorous courses, then no. It’s a terrible idea, because you’re gonna be so stressed out, you’re gonna get no sleep, your homework’s not gonna get done, you’re basically gonna feel terrible and awful. You have no time. You’re gonna get stressed out, and depending on the job, it might suck your soul out.”

There are many benefits that come to holding a job in high school.

“You get experience from having your own job and earning your own money and learning how to save it and how to spend it before you get out in to the real life while you’re in high school,” senior Julian Castaneda said.

However, there are drawbacks to having a job as well.

“You’re still in high school, and you should be independent. You become too independent at an early age,” senior Pablo Turcios said. “So that’s good, but it’s not great. If you’re education based, you wanna be top notch.”

Turcios and Castaneda both currently work around 20 hours a week, Turcios on weekdays and weekends, Castaneda on weekends.

The very job that gives the funding to enhance their free time strips it away as well.

“I missed out on football games I could have gone to, but I had to go to work instead,” Turcios said.

Activities for fun, like sporting events, aren’t the only thing that have to be given up for employment. Having a job can give students less of an academic edge as well. Familyeducation.com, a site stating it is a partner in parenting, states that working more than 13 to 20 hours a week (a part-time job) is associated with lower grades.

“I missed out on NMSI sessions that I could have came to and focused on my AP tests,” Castaneda said.

Overall, there are mixed feelings among those who are affected by high school jobs.

“I feel like it’s more of a personal thing,” Turcios said. “Like me, personally, I’m still doing good in school, but another person would just have to focus on the money instead of their education.”

Although academic strength and free time are sacrificed, experts agree that there are benefits to holding a job at a young age.

“I think it teaches two things,” sociology teacher David Cavitt said. “One, it teaches you more responsibility. It starts helping you manage money, and at the same time I think it allows you to realize that that’s not the job for me, and I don’t ever want to do this again. It helps you find a balance and open up doors for more opportunities.”

 

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