Balancing Work and School- Is it Possible?

Balancing Work and School- Is it Possible?

Patrice Schnierle, Reporter

High school can be a tough time for many people; there are worries about college, the SAT, friendships, and relationships all during a time in which we are figuring out who we really are and who we want to be. But what happens when we add a job to the mix? Can students handle the pressure and multiple responsibilities? This year, a year like no other, most people’s priorities have switched to bringing in money for themselves and their families. The pandemic has caused many to lose their jobs and has forced many to get jobs. I talked to the students of Woodland Park High School about their experiences making the best of both worlds. 

Lauren Ingalsbe, a senior at Woodland Park High School is the sole employee at Gold Hill Theatres. She finds it challenging to have time for schoolwork, “My work times vary, but I typically work from 3:30 to 7:20. It is difficult juggling school and a job, especially right now.” A healthy practice that helps her is using free time to the best of her ability. “To help me juggle, I will sometimes do school stuff at work. Mostly I try to use the time between school and work. Once my parents get home from work it is hard to get stuff done because night time is usually family time.” Although she has gotten a routine down, she still experiences FOMO (fear of missing out) because her work schedule is so time-consuming. This shows that even the most seasoned teen workers struggle to find balance. 

Derek Hamlow, a senior at the high school, just started training at Starbucks. Although he is new to the workforce, he feels as if his job helps him juggle responsibilities, rather than making it harder. When referring to his new balancing act, “It isn’t really [difficult]. Because of my job, I have learned better time management skills for my homework.” He has quickly found ways to get schoolwork done in his spare time. “I usually stay up later or take advantage of my study hall and advisory period.” 

With such an uncertain time, the only certainty students have is that they will work hard to create a comfortable life for the ones they love. Having a job in high school will not only help them save up for college and the years beyond but will also teach teens valuable life skills and will instill determination and hard-working tendencies into their lives. As students learn and adjust to this new way of life, we must be understanding and have grace. It’s important to remember that everyone is doing their best and that people’s buckets can empty and we must give people all of the time that they need to refill.