Rams Weigh in on Having a Job

Is the Spending Power Worth the Hours Spent?

As a high-school junior, I’ve always pondered getting a job. College costs are ridiculously high, after all, and I would love the freedom to spend money I’ve earned instead of having to ask my parents for spending money. Last year, I had a few senior friends who had jobs, and after completing a wonderful summer internship, I am still curious about what it would be like to earn money through a job while in high school. So I asked several students at Robinson what it’s like working while balancing academic work.

Jackson Cohen is a junior who works about 20 hours a week at Noodles & Company. “It’s harder to get assignments done,” he said when asked about balancing academics with a job. “A lot of the homework I do gets done during RAISE and on weekends.” Therefore, his job has taught him time management, as he works late and regularly needs to strategize for how and when to take care of the workload.

Similarly, junior Carlee Gaboury works 10 hours a week as a waitress. She said having a job is “worth it but it’s hard” because she has soccer every day, excluding the two days on which she works. “I have to stay after a lot,” she answered when asked about how she handles schoolwork. But it can be challenging and tiring because she has soccer practice for up to 2 hours in the evening.

On the contrary, senior Matilda Lukacs, who gives swimming lessons to children of various ages, only works about 1-3 hours a week. She said her job makes her work harder to maintain her performance in school. “It holes me to a higher expectation because my parents say that if I don’t do well in school, my work privileges will be suspended.”

However, overall, the students I spoke with agree that having a job is worth the extra effort. “I really love working with kids,” Lukacs said. The regular reception of a paycheck also allows for financial freedom and even allows some to give back. “I [like to] take my family out for dinner,” explained junior Tiffany Pham, who also added that her job at a country club greatly improved her communication skills. “I [amass] money to give to my friend [so he] can go to college,” said junior John Choi.

As for Gaboury, despite how busy having a job makes her, it is still worth the extra time spent. She told me that having a paycheck allows her to contribute to her mom’s family plan, so she is essentially paying for her own cell-phone bill, a responsibility I would love to have as well.

So if there are any Rams out there who are asking themselves if a job is a good idea, most students have said it is, as long as you know how to manage your time effectively. Be confident, and know that having a job is one of many options in taking control of your future.