Students taking on jobs: the good and the bad


Camila Reyes

Highschool students working at a local ice cream shop during the school year.

Camila Reyes, Staff Writer

As summer comes to an end, students’ lives have begun to change. With even less free time during the long school year, students are forced to cut down on their favorite things. Less sunny picnics with friends, less vacation trips with families and less walks on the warm sand. Lying in bed binge watching favorite shows becomes more difficult. No more late nights staying up till 4 am or staying in bed till noon. And for some teens, the necessity of that random summer job is questioned. School is back.

But how many students stick to their summer routine?  What a student’s life looks like during the 9 month school year depends on each teen. Besides the time spent in school, some work passionately on sports and clubs, while others make the decision of joining new activities or focusing on difficult classes. 

There are also numerous teenagers in the working field, serving families at fast food restaurants or stocking up and checking out customers in retail stores. School life is busy, which begs the question, is working during such studious times a good or bad thing? Some may argue that school should be a priority or that teens should be allowed to enjoy their youth. While others believe that it’s great for teens to learn these life skills and experience. 

But what do students themselves think? Neuqua junior high school student Sophia Zisterer stated “I wanted to work…this summer but I had to travel” which is a reality for various teens. She also expressed that “during school I just feel like I’d be too stressed, especially because junior year. Plus I don’t have a car to get there.” For many students, jobs aren’t always a priority and would rather spend their time on their studies, sports, clubs and time with family and friends: being regular teens. This also depends on the age and classes of every student and if a job is convenient in their day to day schedule. Zisterer also added “we have all our life to work.” In the eyes of many, students should choose to enjoy highschool and stray from missing all of life’s moments before going off to college and into adulthood.

Neuqua students focus on their school work during class (Camila Reyes)


One other Neuqua junior, Austin Pham, made the decision to get a job this summer “for [the] experience and money”. He further explained “I needed something for my resume and maybe applications. School and work do interfere but you can make it work. If you are busy with classes and studying for the SAT, I would recommend quitting. That’s why I quit.” When it comes to working as a teen, there are some great influences for students’ futures, but that doesn’t stop the pressure of school and deciding what’s more personally important to pursue. Focusing on a job could be hard to balance and possibly disrupt aspects of a teens life, with students having a heavy school workload, activities, and important tests, such as the SAT and ACT.

In another perspective, one Neuqua senior, Miriam Rodriquez, stated, “I got a job to save money and to have my own money to spend” which is similar to the main reason most teens opt for getting jobs. She also added, “I wish I didn’t have school and work but I do. I’m not thinking of quitting. I think it is a good opportunity to earn your own money and go make friends.” For some, focusing on a job can have many positive benefits and build on skills not always found or fully grown at school, such as work-life experience, social skills, and a greater personality growth. Also, students are able to discover and pursue other interests for future career paths, including that of making their own money and discovering about the economy and spending.

One entrepreneur senior, Sara Marston, has created her own type of business and made it into something great in her life. Marston explained “I started cleaning cars in September of 2021. I clean over 100 cars. But it’s great because I make my own schedule so I can balance the amount of school work I have to do with the amount of times I work per week.” As this teen has found a positive school and life balance, it brings a good thought of what working could really contribute for many teens. Some could be introduced into important real life experiences and lessons for the future, such as managing, accounting and profiting. Some jobs can create a great environment and perspective for how the business world functions and what to expect. As entrepreneurs, it can also encourage students to continue to pursue a similar career path and influence others on what they themselves can do.

Whether students working during the school year is a good thing or bad thing can be debated, but there are negatives and positives to both sides. In the end, it is not for others to decide. Teens have their own thoughts and opinions and while some make it work, others choose to focus on other parts of their lives, one of them being school. Everyone is unique and makes different choices on what paths to follow in life, with some having a bit extra money along the way.