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Are part-time jobs really worth it?

Submitted by on March 14, 2019 – 2:29 pm

“When I know that I have work after school, I’m usually more stressed and I typically get less sleep the night before because I know that I have so much to do that day,” Junior Joseph McDonald says. “I go to school for eight hours and then go to work for four hours. I usually don’t get home for the night until ten o’clock, and that’s before I even start my piles of homework.” High school students are expected to juggle so much, as this is essentially the first time they are exposed to real-world problems and deadlines. Certain students choose to have a part-time job while still going to school full-time. Some opt to work in restaurants, daycares, coffee shops, and farms, others strive to broaden their opportunities and take steps toward possible careers. Cali Cannon, a junior at PHS, has chosen the latter while while playing two high school sports, golf and softball.

After school jobs are important for adolescents while they are still in high school because they help develop a discipline in the students while facing them with real deadlines and real-world scenarios. In 1979, around 60 percent of teenagers were in the labor force while by 2015, only 35 percent were still involved in it, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As the years go by, the youth of this country seems to have less and less of an interest or want to have a part-time job while being a full-time student. Having a part-time job during the school year is more unlikely for teens during the past few decades than to have a summer job, although even that is no wildly popular. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, around 4 of every 10 teenagers held a summer job in 2016, compared to about 7 of every 10 teenagers in the summer of 1978. While having teenagers in the workforce is important for the growth of them as people, the desire within teens seems to be dwindling drastically in the last few decades.

Cali Cannon is involved in the HOSA, or Health Occupations Students of America, program at the high school and has developed a love for it. She has begun taking a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, class at the hospital in hopes of getting a foot in the door with the profession before she goes to college. “Taking the classes and learning about what the nurses do has definitely made me respect them so much more because their job is not easy” according to Cannon. Becoming a CNA in high school gives colleges and medical schools an idea that the person is really dedicated to their interests and that they have the initiative to do something about it. Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant requires weeks of training including an online class. Some of the duties that it entails is bathing, feeding, and dressing the patients, taking vitals, keep the rooms clean (i.e. make beds and clean up after the patient), and assist with some minimally invasive procedures, according to All Allied Health Schools.

While Cali is just one of many students involved in the HOSA program, she also has a part-time job working as a waitress at her family owned restaurant, The Pizza Cafe. “Working with nurses and working in the hospital is so different than working in a restaurant,” Cannon says, because you have someone’s life in your hands. At the restaurant, if you drop a plate, it’s just a mistake and it’s not a big deal but the stakes are so much higher when working at the hospital.” Cali Cannon is just an example of the all of the hard workers that walk the halls of PHS.

Teenagers are barely just beginning to come into themselves as people and it is important to teach them the impact that a good work ethic could have on their lives after they leave high school. Students that show that they are driven and motivated in high school are more likely to go on to some kind of post-secondary education and are then more likely to have a higher paying job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pros of having a part-time job in high school easily outweigh the cons. Just think of what you could do with all the extra cash.