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Students work their way through high school

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Students work their way through high school

The battle between school and work rages on.

The battle between school and work rages on.

The battle between school and work rages on.

The battle between school and work rages on.

Gillian Burks

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A debated topic, especially within schools, is whether or not students should hold jobs during their high school years. It is unfair to say that no student should have a job. Some families hit rough patches, so sometimes the kids are doing everything they can to help. There is nothing wrong with trying to help and be a productive member of your family. Although, some students do not need any extra help, but still pile on a job on top of school and extracurriculars.

Jobs provide many life skills that are otherwise not learned throughout their high school years. An excessive amount of activities can be stressful to some, but it provides practice of time management and prepares them for future busy lives. Workplace etiquette and basic knowledge of the workplace also prepares students for later careers and allows to ready themselves as best they can for that jump into adulthood. As another benefit, having a job allows students to begin saving for college living or just saving for the future in general.

Even though work may seem like a great time eater for high school students, just like sweets and coffee there must be moderation.

According to an article from Concordia University, “students who work more than 15 to 20 hours a week see a decrease in academic performance.” As a student it is our job to keep good grades, and so having another job can be deterring from what should be our number one priority.

15 year olds are barred by federal rules from working more than 18 hours a week and more than three hours on school days, but 16 year olds may work unlimited hours as long as the job is not considered hazardous. This puts a lot of weight on 16-18 year olds to be able to manage time for school as well as work. Parental figures should also make sure to check that their job is not expecting late or excessive hours. Managing the time spent at work will be the best way to allow yourself the needed time for school work so you can maintain your grades.

Stress is another factor when it comes to an overbearing lifestyle for teens. Having extracurriculars, school work and a job puts a lot of pressure on a teen and creates an anxiety ridden life.

Teachers at Jefferson City High School have a first hand view of how work affects students. They speak to us, grade our work and see the way we act. If anyone would be able to describe the impact of having a job on top of school on the majority of students it would be one of them. David Gale, a history teacher at JCHS, sees hardworking students everyday in both his regular and AP classes.

“I’m worried that a lot of kids are burning the candle at both ends,” Gale said.

I think that the issue over high school students and work does not have one clear answer. Some students can handle time management and some cannot. Some do not even have a choice in the matter. A first job can be a stressful addition to an already busy lifestyle, so, with a deep concern, I advise those who are unable to manage their time to steer away from working during their high school years.

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Students work their way through high school