Are Jobs overwhelming for Students

 In the midst of their unfortunately busy schedules, most high school students also juggle a job.

   Even though New Jersey laws allow students to get a job at the age of fourteen, many teens don’t get hired until they are sixteen, but that doesn’t stop any high schooler from filling out a job application. People say “age ain’t nothing but a number,” and freshmen and sophomores lug their parents to drive them to work and you can find them in their work uniform ready to take on the day… or night. If they’re feeling really risky, some students might even have two jobs. 

   High school students already have so much on their plates from the heavy homework load (especially as juniors), to sports after-school, and sometimes extra help for the strenuous classes they might be taking. Getting a job means more responsibilities, because if you do it poorly — you get fired, or worse, tank your GPA. 

   I held an interview with a number of students, senior Anna Langan being one of them, and asked her about her schedule. When does she find time to work without letting it cause an imbalance to her and most students’ delicate schedules?

    “Right now, I work on Saturdays and Sundays at Applebees,” she says. “I go in around three or four o’clock in the afternoon and some days they let you leave based on how busy it is. Some days I get home at like 2:00 A.M.”

   Because Langan is eighteen years old, these hours are legal. But does legal make it bearable? Generally, students without jobs would either spend their weekends catching up on the work that has piled up over the week or studying for their impending quizzes and tests. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends teenagers to have ten hours to sleep; however, students with shifts like Langan can kiss that recommendation goodbye.

   When asked, most students said that they tend to do their schoolwork before they go to work. It’s a smart decision in an attempt to shave down the excessive amount of work especially since they reported to be exhausted afterwards. A few of them stated that they also do their homework while they are at work when they have some downtime. Students who play sports after school take advantage of the weekend shifts, so it doesn’t impede upon their practice and games. 

   Junior Aiden Kremer, has a job at the ChopHouse with weekend shifts. This gives him the opportunity to go home and get some rest after baseball practice from 2:00 to 6:00 in the evening. While Kremer might not have the same demanding work schedule like Langan, he does find himself exhausted by the end of the night. After serving customers with tall orders, he looks forward to coming home, even if that means some homework left over from what he couldn’t finish before his shift. When asked if he ever thought about quitting, he answered yes, since it can get overwhelming.

   If work is another burden on the shoulders of teenagers, why do they get jobs? 

   “I hate asking my parents for money,” Kremer said with a small grimace. I bet many kids can agree with that. If you can make your own money, why don’t you?

   While having a job might be overwhelming, students appreciate the sense of independence when they are the ones putting money in their bank. It increases their work ethic, and creates the mindset of working for things they want without having to rely on their parents.

   Sometimes, jobs bring more than exhaustion. Shreya Komar, a senior, works at Kumon as a tutor. Because she spent a painstakingly long day at school, she admits it can get tiring, but she loves helping others. When her students finally understand what she’s explaining to them, a sense of pride washes over her. She’s helping others in areas they struggle with, which is worth more than the urge of needing to close her heavy eyelids when she returns home.

  So, the question “are jobs overwhelming for students” truly depends on the particular student. After going to school and packing on strenuous classes along with extracurriculars, most people can conclude that students aren’t strangers to being overwhelmed.

   Jobs are no different to them. Sometimes, it’s just something they’re willing to take on, overwhelming or not.