For many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, working a part-time job alongside being a full-time student is not an uncommon choice. Based on a survey of 330 MSD students, 35% work some form of a part-time job. Some students work to give additional financial support to their families, while others do it for their own personal needs.
However, being a full-time student and having the additional responsibility of a part-time job can be stressful. Trying to schedule work hours along with allowing time for homework and extracurricular activities can be a lot for some students to handle.
“At the end of the day, after working in school and babysitting, there’s barely any time to actually enjoy myself,” senior Erin Kaeppel said.
Some students work at restaurants while others may work in retail stores or local law offices. Although there are businesses that hire students below the age of 16, such as Publix, the majority of students with jobs are 16 years or older.
As students mature in age, many parents or guardians begin to emphasize a strong belief that having a job begins to prepare students for the responsibility, accountability and financial planning they will encounter after graduation.
“Having my daughter work teaches her values, she now has the ability to buy what she wants,” parent Jay Williams said.
Students at MSD tend to work as a babysitter or a bagger and cashier at a grocery store. These businesses hire students young, as low as age 14 at Publix.
“I work at Publix as a bagger and cashier. I love having the ability to talk to everyone who comes in, it helps enhance my social skills since I used to be really shy,” junior Annie Pretner said.
Students often choose to work a part-time job so they can have the freedom to purchase concert tickets, have dinner with friends or buy clothes on their own. This helps give them a sense of behaving like an adult for their future plans.
“Working every week at Tunies is really enjoyable. It helps me stay organized and on top of my time between homework and work hours,” senior Romy Mader said.
A major struggle for students is when work hours overlap with the need to study for a test. For instance, a student may have to work until 11 p.m., which forces them to stay up a few more hours to study, leading to them being exhausted the next day. These students find solace in having a personalization class which offers an opportunity to get ahead prior to going to work.
“Having to work right after school can give me anxiety when I have to be to work 10 minutes after school ends… as well as study for tests for the upcoming week, but I am glad I am making money,” senior Dakota Williams said.
Working and going to school has both positive and negative aspects. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 50% of youth ages 16-24 were employed, either full-time or part-time. Working part-time as well as going to school affects everyone differently depending on their lifestyle.
In the end, it all depends on the student’s preference and lifestyle. No matter your age or grade in high school working a part-time job will affect your daily lives.