Delicate balance of school, work

March 21, 2012 • Kaitlyn Guillen, Sports Editor  
Filed under Opinion

Jobs are often hard to come by in America. Teenagers are usually obsessed with the idea of filling out every application they can get their hands on from their favorite stores when they turn the big one-six.  Earning money and responsibility at a young age can be fine but, some may find the struggle to balance school and work.

“Yes it hard to keep up with school and work and really with work and school you barely have any personal time,” said seventeen year old Genesis Silva, she’s a prime example of a student worker who can find it hard to balance her life. For nine months now, Silva has been employed at Carl’s Jr. and her typical work week is between four to six days. When she is not working she takes that time to catch up with school work. During breaks she takes the time to try to complete homework and finishes the rest after her shift. “I don’t think teenagers should work, they should focus more on school and being involved in sports and clubs. Too many teenagers let money get to their head and end up leaving school.”

Robert Saldivar, who has been employed at Chili’s since August, believes teens should work. “I believe that if it’s for the right intentions, like saving up for college students should get jobs. It prepares you for the experience that’s coming for college and allows you to test your abilities.” One of the main reasons he seeked employment was to save up for college and practice time management.

Jazmine Baker, who works at Coldstone Creamery, also believes that working at this age is a good thing. “I think teenagers should be getting jobs because it teaches you responsibility and college is right around the corner. It prepares you for that and it’s a fun experience. You meet new friends and if you aren’t involved in much, it gets you out of the house. It also teaches you how to manage your own money, how to save up for something important.” There are times where Baker finds it hard to wake up early in the morning for school when she closes at work, but tries to manage that. On an average week she has band, church, school and of course: work.

“If you want some extra cash and can balance between school and work , I don’t see why not but the only downside is that you don’t get to hang out with your friends as much,” said senior Alejandro Villapudua who is in between the two. One upside to having a job for himself was being able to buy a car and not depend on his parents. However, there has been a time or two where he has fallen behind in a class.

The work force has been seeing a steady decline in young teenage faces. Teen unemployment rate was around 28% in October of 2009.  And what’s to blame: the economy. Economic writers, Steven Pearlstein and Robert Samuelson wrote in the pages of the Washington Post,  declared on June 13, 2007 the official start of the crash of the economy. Many employees were being laid off and this trend is still continuing. Those who did lose their jobs looked towards fast food places which were normally a teens place to work.

       When school work builds up, you fall behind and we can get to far back it can take time to work yourself back up. Saldivar, Baker and Villapudua  usually work an average of three to four days a week and are mainly on the weekends. With Silva, she is averaging a four to six day week. The more a teen works it becomes apparent as to why some may find it hard to take on school and work. High school is one of the few places where you can discover new interests and be actively involved in school life. Exploring colleges is a big perk to high school students as well as the opportunity to apply to several scholarships. It’s good that teenagers want to be independent, earn money,  and be one of the few that can say that but education is huge and can help advance an individual in the future.

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