Part-time Jobs pose threat to students’ academic careers


As students reach the age of 16, more and more of them are getting jobs for various reasons. Some students get jobs for spending money, others to support themselves. Some students fail to realize that it is a new responsibility that they have to learn how to work with. In some cases, it has started to affect their grades.
“Working has affected my grades in a negative way,” junior Amber Flippin said. “It just makes it harder because you have to know how to budget time.”
Flippin is not the only one who is struggling with time. Other students find that sleep deprivation from working has caused their grades to drop.
“It’s hard to find time for homework if I am closing most nights, but sometimes I go and do homework on break or I try to finish it in class. I don’t think it has really affected my grades. I think being exhausted has affected my grades,” junior Ciara Cooper said.
Flippin and Cooper both work at McDonald’s, but had different jobs prior. They decided to work at McDonald’s for the simple fact that it’s more money.
“I actually had my first job at 13 babysitting for my neighbors. I decided to get a job at McDonald’s because it is one of the higher paying jobs a school kid could get,” Cooper said.
“I had a job before at a cafe, but I quit because it wasn’t enough money,” Flippin said. “I didn’t want my parents paying for everything.”
There are some students who are first-time workers, but the reasons for working are still the same.
“I wanted to have money to support myself and be able to do the things I wanted to do on my own,” junior Ren Rozzel said.
Some students don’t see the money as a necessity, but more as a hard-earned luxury.
“I just wanted some spending money,” senior Jazzlyn Kurtenbach said.
Rozzel also works at McDonald’s, where work nights can run late. The opinions on these late-night hours vary.
“Personally, I don’t see it as a problem, because most kids are up on their phone or out with their friends until late anyways. Sure, it gets really tiring, but being on your phone most of the night isn’t too bad. Also, if you get your job done quick, you’re normally out decently early,” Cooper said.
While Cooper thinks it is alright, others disagree.
“I think that students shouldn’t work super late, especially on a school night,” Flippin said. “It makes you exhausted. I would know from experience.”
Other student employees believe it depends on the person.
“I feel as though students have the choice to decide how late they work at a certain age, but students should not have to work late on school nights. They need to be able to get the rest they need, as well as have time to work on homework,” Rozzel said.
English teacher Tricia Foster also had a job in high school at an ice cream place.
“I had a job at some Dairy Queen-like place. They sold ice cream and burgers,” Foster said, “I don’t think students should work late on school nights.
Foster was not affected by working when she was in high school.
“We closed early so working late was not an issue,” Foster said. “Plus I didn’t work a lot of hours.”
Working is a huge responsibility and it affects students in different ways. For Flippin and Cooper, the effects are the same.
“A lot less sleep. Truly not enough. I don’t get to do much of anything. I go to school then work. I don’t have free time anymore,” Flippin said.
“Having a job has made me exhausted and better at time management. I just have to find time to hang out with the people I care about, and have to make time to study,” Cooper said.
For Rozzel, it has affected her in a positive way.
“Having an after-school job has made me more outgoing and responsible. It has also made me much more busy so I have been forced to learn to balance my time,” Rozzel said.
There is one thing all of these students had in common. That is that they had to learn how to manage time.
“Having a job is great for kids, but working past 10 just makes them tired,” Foster said. “They can’t focus on the future and more times than not that job is not their future.”