Employed students learn to strike school, work balance 



Sophomore Campbell Hans has some after work fun with the other employees at the restaurant where she works as a hostess.

Emma Attig, Reporter

Wake up. Go to school. Go to work. Attempt homework. Give up. Sleep. Repeat. 

About half of all American high school students have jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Balancing life with time can get tricky, and students may find it hard to make time to do their homework or even socialize outside of their job. But in order to save money for college, a car or to have personal spending money, many students bite the bullet and take on the extra work. 

Even though a job can be stressful, HCP counselor Carlissa Baker said that she thinks it can be beneficial to students and provide as an outlet.  

I’d say that a job helps create an outlet and helps teens have a support system,” Baker said. “They are able to have something to focus on, other than what’s going on around them with school and home.” 

Sophomore Campbell Hans works at a local restaurant. On average, she said she works 22 hours per week.  

“Last night, I didn’t have any time to do homework,” Hans said. “I do it in advisory, the day of, because I don’t have any time.”  

Hans said that she works five days a week, starting at 4:30 p.m. and doesn’t get off until as late as 10:00 p.m. Time management between work and school becomes a struggle for Hans on these days. 

On the other hand, some students, like senior Reyna Sun, appear to have struck a better balance. She works about seven hours a week as a swimming instructor, but still has her own challenges. 

“It’s just hard to keep up with both things without constantly being tired,” Sun said.  

Students who work may miss out on some important aspects of high school, such as spending time with friends. It is a sacrifice Hans has had to make.  

“It’s kind of hard because, on the weekends, my friends go to parties like they invite me, and I have to say, ‘oh I can’t go. I have work,’” she said.  

 “Social events are a part of high school. I want to do them, but I can’t. It’s hard to balance at times.” 

There is joy to be found in a job well done, however. While Sun said she can find it difficult to have energy for other activities, since her job is a physical one. 

“My job is pretty fulfilling, so I would say I am lucky,” she said.  

If finding a balance between schoolwork and an after-school job isn’t enough, students are also faced with responsibilities at home, which just piles on the stress. 

“My room looks like a swamp,” Hans said.  

Though a job can be very stressful, Baker said the key is balance. 

“I think working is still good, but sometimes I think the issue is the balance,” she said. “Sometimes you are working to much. Just make sure you have a positive balance with everything because it can be stressful, so try to have time management and make healthy boundaries.”