The School Newspaper of Plano Senior High School.

Amelia Bautz

To work or not to work, that is the question

Teenagers with jobs experience benefits and drawbacks of their employment

November 5, 2018

Pros of having a job

Many teenagers feel the need to get jobs in order to prepare for college while they are still in high school.

Having a job in high school can prepare teenagers for the adult responsibilities that they will have after they go off to college.

When the topic of college is brought up, a common concern teenagers have is cost. One major benefit of having a job in high school is the ability to accumulate money for college.

If students have money set aside before leaving for college, there will be less financial stress for that period of time when students are searching for a new job.

While saving money for college is certainly beneficial, not all of the money a student earns has to be put towards school; students may also have bills to pay or just want to spend some money for themselves after all their hard work.

An important skill learned from having a job in high school is money management. If students learn how to manage their money at a time when it is less
crucial, it not only helps students prioritize their finances, but also aids in the decision making process when it comes to buying certain products.

However, money is not everything when it comes to having a job. There are skills that students can improve on and acquire when entering the workforce that can be useful after college.

Time management is an important skill taught to teenagers who have jobs in high school. High school students have a busy life; juggling classes, pulling frequent allnighters in order to get an “A” on an upcoming test whilst also trying to have some personal time.

While having a job may seem like it would hinder a teenager’s already packed schedule, having a job can teach a teenager to spend their time more efficiently.

In the world beyond college, adults have a multitude of responsibilities that have to be managed, even more so than teenagers. If teens learn to manage their time between classes, a job and a social life and in high school, they will be better prepared for the responsibilities to be faced in the “real world.”

People typically associate themselves with others that they share the same interests, beliefs and attitudes as them. Having a job in high school can help teenagers realize that not everyone is the exact same as them.

Having a job in high school allows teenagers to get their feet wet before entering the “real world,” while not completely submerging them in what lies from college and beyond.

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Cons of having a job


Anita Freij

Keeping a balanced schedule is more difficult when one attends school and work. Often times students with jobs are most likely to feel overwhelmed.

Typically high school students often have a job on top of school work and social life, yet more often than not parents still supply children with money.

Students should be able to enjoy the last few years of childhood before college without having to worry about a job, and focus on their present educational goals.

Managers or supervisors tend to give jobs to people who are older and can work more hours. For 14-18 year olds it can be a bit harder to even get hired.

This is because age plays a big factor in hiring practices and as students in high school it is typically harder to work more hours than say a college student who only has classes in the morning and can work longer hours.

Nowadays, many parents don’t even want teenagers to get a job because parents agree with the notion that teenagers should enjoy these final years before becoming adults and going to college.

Not all parents agree with this and every now and then want teenagers to get a job so they no longer need to provide for them. But when worse comes to worse, parents typically still give kids money for basic necessities.

Another possible, yet very rare case scenario would be a student finds a job that they really like and continue to work at right out of high school, resulting in the teenager not going to college.

While this could be beneficial, the student may want to eventually quit that job, but it’d be really hard to do because now the adult has no college degree and is stuck in that job. This would be a very rare case scenario, but it could still happen.

According to Child Trends, 51 percent of 16-24 year olds are employed either part time or full time while still pursuing an education.

The rates of employment in teens continues to rise over the years and will continue to grow as the years go on.

Teenagers should be enjoying the last years of childhood, not slaving away at a job that barely benefits them for the future.

Having to balance all of these aspects causes stress, lack of effort and exhaustion. Students already get stressed out by just homework and school in general, not to mention doing college applications.

Having a job as a teenager has been a tradition for far too long and parents and teens themselves need to start realizing that the tradition needs to stop here.

Balancing an education with a job is not only stressful, but it teaches teens to focus more on jobs than their education depending on how demanding the job is.

Society should be prioritizing education, and a job should be a second concern as a teenager, or better yet, no concern at all.

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