Balancing School and Work

Amber Hubenschmidt, Staff Writer

In high school, you hit a couple of important landmarks in your life. Usually most people start with their driving permit, then their 16th birthday, and then a car and their full license but what comes after that? You can legally get a job.

The most common type of jobs students get in high school are fast food positions starting with minimum wage. When I turned 16, that’s exactly what I did. I worked at Dunkin Donuts for 5 months, working part time while going to school full time. The most frequent question I get is, “How did you do it?” and honestly, there were times when I didn’t think I could do it. Having a job and going to school can be very stressful and time consuming. It’s not impossible, but it can be challenging.

An average day for me during the week would look like this; I’d wake up and go to school for 7 hours then go home and have about an hour to do homework and then get ready for work. Once I got to work I’d usually be there for about 5 hours and wouldn’t get home until close to 11 some nights. I’d then take a shower (because I wreaked of coffee) and finish any homework I had. Lastly, I’d go to bed just to wake up the next day to do it all over again.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are some perks of working at Dunkin Donuts. You get free drinks on shift (depending on the manager), you get free donuts at the end of the night, and you create a bond with the “regulars” that come in. You also form friendships with the other workers since you spend so much time together. At times it feels less like a job and more like a family.

Working teaches you important life lessons, like how to save money at a young age. I would save my paychecks and only use some for gas money. It was tempting, but rewarding for when I really needed the money. Student Jack Getty said, “You learn to have appreciation for restaurant workers because you know what they have to go through.” You also learn responsibility and independence by not having to depend on your parents for everything. These are great skills to have because it will impact you for the rest of your life.

If you’re thinking about getting a job in high school, I strongly recommend it. Don’t ever be afraid to try new things, and get new experiences, because they will help you in your future endeavors.