The struggle of balancing school and work

Should students have jobs?


Photo courtesy of Anshul Rajwanshi

As students grow throughout their high school journey, many of them may take an interest in exploring a temporary career to make use of their free time or to make extra money. However, multiple studies have proven that the added responsibility inevitably makes students’ lives a bit more hectic. Issues such as time to study and eat right, as well as lack of sleep are recognized as the main concerns for adolescents in these conditions. According to The Atlantic, students can also lack the time to attend classes, which often leads to a downward spiral of poor grades and mental health. 

             Lack of sleep, as stated previously, is one of the leading reasons as to why it becomes difficult to maintain both school and work. Not only is the student simply exhausted, it can drastically affect their grades and how they retain information. Dr. Cindy Gellner, a board-certified physician, states, “Overtired kids work more slowly because it is hard for them to remember what the teacher had just told them or what they read. When kids are sleep-deprived their brains actually lapse into sleep-like brainwave patterns, which is why tired kids space out in class.” If a student reaches this point of sleep deprivation, even attending their classes may not benefit them if their brain can legitimately not function in the way it should. 

           Secondly, mental health is a major concern when working as a full time student. Kailey Garrett, a senior at Battlefield, states, “I’m definitely more stressed now that I have a job and am a student, and I have noticed that it is harder to maintain good grades.” Garrett is not alone in her battle with stress, however, as it seems to be a popular claim among teenagers and young adults working during the school year. 

             Junior at Battlefield, Olivia Mitchell, is one of the many that agree with Garrett’s statement. “Keeping a job and school takes a toll on your mental health which then impacts your grades. Finding a balance between them causes a ripple effect of stress which then makes us students unhappy.” Not only does the overbearing workload place unnecessary stress on students, it also leads to unhappiness and in some cases, depression. If these feelings of sadness continue, and do unfortunately develop into depression, the student often refuses to complete tasks they find overwhelming or too difficult. This only leads to an inaccurate self-perception of being dumb or incapable of doing well in school, according to Quartz News

             Overall, attempting to balance a job as a full time student is extremely difficult and leads to many other devastating situations. However, the unfortunate truth is that many young adults have no choice but to work in order to pay off their future college debt. Ultimately, whether or not a student should have a job depends on if they truly believe they can manage their time well or if it is vital to their future.