Yes- Jason Silverman, Editor in Chief
Having an after school job can be one of the most rewarding experiences a student can have in high school. The benefits are numerous and students can learn valuable life lessons through work.
One benefit of having a job is the need to follow a strictly regimented schedule. A student who struggles to plan can easily fall victim to procrastination on class assignments or even forgetting when assignments are due. An after school job, however, requires that students follow a specific schedule each day. Students therefore learn valuable time management skills that allow them to approach both school and work more efficiently.
The need for working students to follow a strict schedule is very helpful to some students. Senior Zan Hussain worked as a medical intern and found it to be both rewarding and helpful to his time management skills. “Before I got a job, I had a tough time completing all of my work, but after I got a job, the schedule really helped me to manage my time and complete all of my work,” Hussain said. “I realized that I really needed to focus what little time I had on my school work, rather than on other things I might have done instead.”
Along with the help developing a better work schedule, jobs provide students a source of income and a sense of responsibility. Working students learn how to manage money, a critical life skill. Getting a job while in high school also makes it easier to ask teachers or counselors for their thoughts and recommendations on managing money. Plus, extra money from a job never hurt anyone and may allow students to do things that they otherwise couldn’t afford to do. “My job allowed me to pursue more of my expensive hobbies,” senior Gavin Kiener said about his job working as an intern at an IT company. “Along with this, I also learned the importance of saving money.”
Students who work after school jobs also develop important skills dealing with stress, interacting with adults and dealing with people/customers, especially if students work in the service industry. Ask any student who’s ever had to serve a dissatisfied customer and they’ll tell you that they learned all three of these valuable lessons.
Some students, however, have other reasons for getting a job after school. “To be honest with you, I don’t really care about the money or how it helps me plan. I just have one to help pad my college applications,” senior Jack Bryan said.
Whatever the reason (and whatever the job), working is an excellent way to get a taste of the future and allows students to get a head start in life, both in terms of experience and money.
No- Julia Stern, Reviews Editor
Gaining work experience through a part-time job can be an important and influential process in a high-school student’s life. However, working during the school year detracts one from their schoolwork and social life.
Over the summer, I worked as a lifeguard and as a hostess at Sugo Osteria in Potomac. Even though I had a lot of downtime during school break, I was stressed.
Now, I play field hockey and continue to work as a hostess at Sugo. I go to practice right after school until 4:30, then have to go home and get ready for my 5 p.m. shift.
While I do enjoy being able to provide for myself with a little extra cash in my pocket, I do not think that the stress I take on is worth it. For student athletes, balancing a job with schoolwork and a sport is almost impossible. There is little time to study when I return home at 10 p.m.
One may argue that students can work on the weekends without the worry of stressing about their workloads. “I just started working at My Best Friend’s Closet,” senior Jamie Glaser said. “I also play field hockey, so even working on the weekends seems to feel like a burden. I have Saturday morning practices and then have to race to get to work on time. I also want to finish my college applications. I feel like there’s so much on my plate and not enough time in the day.”
Having a job allows students to become more responsible and independent, but being a student is a job in itself. On average, a student here has around three to four hours a night of homework, almost as long as one of my hostess shifts.
While seniors are just about done with standardized testing, juniors have just begun the SAT and ACT preparation process. “I just started working at Woodmont Country Club in Potomac,” junior Jesse Lotenberg said. “But, I stress a lot about managing my time. I have to study for the ACT and my AP classes. When I’m at work, I can hardly concentrate on anything except all the work I have to do when I get home.”
It is important for all high school students to work, but that the summer is the right time for students do so, because the school year is a much too stressful time to add in work. “I worked as a lifeguard this summer at Westleigh Pool,” sophomore Evan Mclaughlin said. “I feel like if I had to work during the school year, I’d be stressed out of my mind. Having to balance lacrosse, schoolwork and a job would be crazy.”
Students must prioritize their schoolwork in order to be successful in their classes and it is difficult to make schoolwork a priority while they are working.
Personally, I believe if you want to make money during the school year, babysit once or twice a week. Wait until summer to work.