Students balance school life along with their jobs


Rithika Ashok , Assistant Features Editor

A typical day for many consists of getting ready in the morning, attending school, going to extracurriculars, doing homework and going to bed. However, for other students, days consist of a more complicated schedule, as they take on another responsibility of working, in addition to their already busy school day.

“I work at Chick-Fil-A and I have a lot of responsibilities,” junior Jillian Sy said. “I take orders on the cash register or on our iPads outside in the drive-thru, and I also get drinks and take payment at the drive-thru.”

Students who work have many reasons to devote their time after school to another activity. Some might be working to support their household with another income, while others work for extra pocket money for a Friday night out with friends.

“I chose to work in general because I felt bad asking my mom for money every time I went out to eat or buy stuff. I wanted to earn my own money,” Sy said. “I work specifically at Chick-Fil-A because my brother is one of the team leaders, so working with him is kind of fun. [However, it is] also challenging since he can be more strict with me [in comparison to the other employees].”

Many factors play into the decision when a student applies for a job. Location, work shifts and hours are essential information to figure out a balance between work and school.

“I [made my choice] to work at [Mission BBQ] because it’s close to my house, and I really like the company and what it stands for,” junior Mackenzie Marciello said.

In addition to school and work, some students participate in sports, which can eat away from the time available in a day. However, each student has a different method for balancing all activities equally.

“As an athlete, sports consume a lot of your time after school, but I still manage to balance my extracurricular activities like track and orchestra with school by managing my time well,” sophomore Michele Ahn, who works at Cinnabon at Tysons, said. “Specifically trying to finish my A-day homework on A days and my B-day homework on B days is the time management [skill I use].”

Despite the tricky juggling between work and school, many students agree that working encourages them to improve essential skills.

“Balancing work and school is definitely challenging, but it’s taught me time management well. I do my school work right when I get home and take an assignment to work on when I’m on break,” Sy said. “I only work two days during the school week, so it’s not that bad, and I have a regular schedule, so if I know I have any big tests or assignments, I prioritize that and try to get it done the weekend before.”

However, students have varying views depending on their work schedules and how often they work each week.

“I don’t think work adds to my stress,” Marciello said. “It gives me less time to procrastinate and makes me get stuff done earlier.”

Other students still get stressed out even after managing their time, as it may seem they have to work harder than their classmates to balance responsibilities.

“Work does add more stress sometimes and if I didn’t work, I would have a lot more time to do my homework and would get more rest,” Sy said. “Work itself is stressful when I’m overwhelmed with customers; [however], I still hang out with my friends a lot outside of school and work.”

Students who work take on an extra responsibility outside of school commitments, sports and extracurriculars. Numerous working students believe that work teaches them life lessons and also improves time management skills, which come in handy in the future. By working, students not only have another leadership role to put on their resume, but they also gain experience that can help when they eventually obtain a career in the future.