Torn teens: Teenagers feel pressure maintaining jobs and school


As a teenager in high school, you are either pressured to have good grades in school, to do good in sports, or to be involved with clubs and activities. However, a lot of teenagers are forced to worry about life outside of school: Many students’ primary worry is having a job. Whether it is to save money up for life after graduation, to pay or help pay bills, or to even just to have some personal spending money, most students have a reason to gain employment while in high school. 

I interviewed my peers and asked multiple questions about their opinions on whether jobs can affecting teenagers’ mental and social life.  I asked one of my good friends, Pazia Brown, if she agreed that jobs can have a big effect on a teenager’s life as well as asking why she has a job. She agreed, “Having a job affects your school life because most people have to go right after school, after work home, and then repeat the next day, it  can easily get overwhelming and exhausting.” You go to school for about 7-8 hours a day and then when you finally get out, you instantly have to go stand on your feet for another 4-5 hours. I definitely would not blame anyone if they said it is tiring. Even though it takes a lot of energy, most of the time it is for a good reason. Pazia tells me, “My reasoning for a job is because I need saved money for college and I also have to help my mom with the bills.” Not every teenager has a job just to finally be able to buy their own things, but some teenagers get jobs to help their parents and their future selves out. 

Although having a job might be stressful as you are trying to have fun as a teenager, you need to take the time to find a way to balance everything on your schedule that works for you. Aiden Willamson, who is also a staff member of The Red and Gray, says, “While I’m on the clock, I realize how much quality time I spend with my friends outside of work, so I feel pretty confident about my social life. Additionally, when you find a balance between working and personal time, you can achieve a lot with your grades and GPA.” When I asked for his reasoning on having a job at his age he tells me, “Even though my parents make me have a job, I would’ve always chosen to get a job because managing bills and purchasing things I want is a lot easier with my own paycheck.” Some parents believe it is important for their children to get a job as soon as they can, 15 or 16, so a lot of students do not get a choice on having a job or not. 

A lot of the times with any industry — fast food, restaurant, grocery store, retail, and the like — managers often are a lot more difficult and unfair to teenagers or high schoolers rather than the older people who work there. Aiden Williamson and Hayden Cooper both told me it mostly matters who is managing. Hayden said, “In my experience, it really matters who is managing. I believe the line between adults and teenagers is heavily blended in the workplace for the most part, I often feel equal to my coworkers.” Aiden stating similar answers with, “It really depends on the manager. I’ve had managers that treated me as a friend and genuinely cared about my well-being compared to my other co-workers. Others will treat older workers fairly because they relate with them more.”

A lot of people like having the feeling of getting something accomplished, such as a shift at work, getting good outcomes on the work you put in, such as Hayden Cooper. I asked Hayden if he had the option would he still choose to have a job and he told me, “Of course. I find great pride in working personally. Having a job constantly reminds me a very important life lesson, In order to get the things you want, you have to put in the effort, so yes, if I had the choice I would have a job.” Out of all the people I interviewed, when I got to that question all of them told me they would have a job, if they had the choice or not. Even though having a job as a student can get stressful and tiring, you end up getting a lot out of it at the end of the road.