Fatigue seeps into their veins, each step lowering their defenses to the blackness taking over as they grab their phone to send a quick text to a friend. ‘Sorry, I can’t do it’. Soon they reach their bed not even hesitating a moment to collapse on it, hardly having to will sleep to take over.
This is a common scene for high schoolers with jobs. They balance work, extra curricular activities and school projects all in a meager 24 hours. Often times their schedule allows no time for friends or sleep, however the students you commonly see behind the counter of Taco Bell or at the window of McDonalds have chosen this path and now face the challenge of juggling and choosing their priorities.
“At times it could be hard to balance all of that because I do have a lot on my plate,” Jackie Rodriguez, 12, said. “But I am a very organized person and my planner helps me a lot.”
Rodriguez is employed at Bill Millers, earning a job after making sure to remain thorough and professional throughout the consideration process. She had recently been cast as La Beau in the October production of As You Like It.
“I have had to adjust my activities,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t get to attend rehearsals for the play as much as I’d like, which is a set back to me because I always have to ask what I missed.”
Despite the list of disadvantages, students also receive a benefit from pushing their schedules, and stretching their time to the last seconds.
“Just having money in the middle of the school year,” employee at GameStop, Anastacia Islas, 12, said. “Throughout the school year, especially being a senior, there’s a lot of expenses. Being able to have that extra money, to be secure enough that it’s not all on my parents, it’s put on me. Knowing that I have money to go hang out with my friends and not have to ask my parents is a huge benefit.”
While the ultimate decision to have a job and the responsibility to do what is required for said job is up to the student, money is a driving factor and time is a resource that can be manipulated. Those working now may not regret it, but they do warn as well as share some advice to those looking to get a job in the middle of the school year.
“Take everything one step at a time,” Islas said. ”Think of the next thing you’re doing as a break from what you were previously doing. Even if it’s ‘I just got off of work I’m going to do my homework’, well at least you aren’t working.”