Students find time for both work and school


Credit: Carlos Morales

LN senior Carlos Morales outside Texas Roadhouse. He works there as a busser and host.

Melissa Preston, Chief Copy Editor

Between the feeling of independence and extra cash, summer jobs are a great way for teenagers to prepare for life as an adult. Although, as summer ends and school starts, teenagers can find themselves struggling to manage their time wisely. 

Over the summer, many teens get jobs; however, as the school year starts, students are having to balance their school life with their work. 

“It’s just not having enough time in a day to do all the things I want,” Loy Norrix senior Carlos Morales said

In the article “Why so few teenagers have jobs anymore” written by Jessica Dickler of CNBC, we learn that “just over one-third, or 35%, of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are part of the workforce.” 

This means that one-third of high schoolers have to learn to balance the responsibilities of both school and a job. They are finding new ways to complete their school work, relax, and still make money. 

With less time to themselves, many changes have to be made, especially with work schedules. For Loy Norrix senior Shelby Richardson, this meant a cut back on hours. Richardson has worked at the restaurant Red Robin for 2 years. During the summer, she works 18 to 23 hours a week, and once the school year starts, she only works 16 hours a week. 

“With school starting back up, I saw my hours scheduled really plummet — which makes sense, gives the students that work at Red Robin more time for school,” Richardson said. 

Even with less hours at work, this doesn’t mean more free-time. LN junior Alex King got a summer job this year, and while she enjoys getting the money, she’s had to lose some after school free time. After school, she goes straight to work, and while this doesn’t impact her studying time too much, it is annoying for her. 

“Going straight to work from school is annoying because I don’t get a break and it can make me feel exhausted,” King said. 

Rearranging schedules and losing free time can be difficult for students with a new job, yet after a while they find a schedule that really works for them. 

“It was really hard to fit everything in my day,” Morales said, mentioning how he had to stop some hobbies such as drawing and dancing. 

School is a top priority for students, no matter how little time they have because of their job. This means that they find time to do homework whenever possible. Richardson normally does her homework in the mornings, or at her second job at Consumer Credit Union as a virtual learning instructor. 

“They’re like ‘yeah you can do your class stuff during that time, it doesn’t matter, as long as you keep an eye on the kids, you’re fine,’” Richardson said about her employers at Consumers Credit Union. This has helped her multitask and get the most done in a day. 

Morales, however, does his homework late at night, or whenever he has free time. Right now, with online classes, Morales does most of his homework during lunch or between classes. However, when school goes back to in person, he plans on spending the two to three hours between work and school to get most of his homework done. 

“I will still have 2-3 hours of ‘free time’ where I can spend most of my time doing homework,” Morales said. 

Even though jobs take up a majority of student’s time, they are still important and help teenagers get the one thing they want most: money. Morales described his job as challenging, but even through the trials he needed the money for after high school. 

Richardson said that the struggles of a job were worth it for the money, “because when you do have those days when you’re not working, it means you can go out and get food with your friends, and then it’s awesome.”