High school newspaper story:

Coming from someone who has had a job since my junior year in high school, I have become a responsible young adult who has learned how to appreciate the little experiences in life. In order for people to reach their full potential, they must accept a certain level of responsibility, whether they want to or not. This applies to high school students not only in academics and extracurricular activities, but outside of school as well. The constant debate as to whether teenagers should work and go to school at the same time is a fight that only has one true champion. Having a job while going to school is a beneficial experience. And that is coming from the girl who didn’t know how to properly sweep before having a job.

Education experts Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts answered the question: Is it a good idea to have a part-time job before graduating from high school? They claim all of the research done on this question shows that having a part-time job while in high school is “usually a very productive experience.” Students grow and learn important life skills out of high school.

Since my very first day of working in a restaurant I have faced the ultimate test. Customers who are hungry aren’t necessarily the nicest people in the world. I have learned to take customers out of their “I’m hungry it’s the end of the world” stage, and help them enjoy the restaurant experience. Through the experiences I’ve had at my job, my communication skills have gone above and beyond what Bellevue West teaches me.

Have you ever talked to someone who thought they were a dog? Thanks to my part-time gig, I’m proud to say I know how to handle myself in that situation, dog collar and all. I’ve taken people to tables who are from England, asking them questions about their culture and listening to them marvel over our menu in a cool accent. I’ve also noticed changes in our culture, because when I clean out the ashtrays at work I find a total of cigarette bud, thank goodness for e-cigarettes.

Having a job while in high school teaches you details that the “spoiled brats” of the student body will never know. An advantage to working is learning how to handle responsibility. Other skills students will develop is learning how to correctly manage their time with a task other than homework. If I am late to my job, I will get reprimanded. If I don’t show up for a shift, I get fired. School lets students off the hook a lot of the time; your boss will not.

As students get paid, they will learn how to manage their money which isn’t necessarily something a school can teach. I realized just how important the value of $7.25 is when I had to work for an hour to make that much money. Going to Walgreens to buy a tube of mascara definitely made me think twice after I got my first paycheck. If students just get money handed to them until they graduate, how are they supposed to know how valuable money really is?

Teenagers who are busy are usually the people who stay out of trouble. According to Gisler and Eberts, high school students cannot be employed more than twenty hours a week in most cases. This gives students time for homework, a job, and a couple days of hanging out with friends, with no time for illegal activities.

Having the responsibility of a job is something every teenager needs to experience. The skills a part-time job will teach you can be just as rewarding as a Trigonometry lesson. I have learned how to communicate with deaf customers, and I know the best way of getting peanuts out of my shoes. I have learned how to deal with my boss’ different sense of humor, and I can line dance like no other. Students need to be able to mold themselves into a young adult, that is the point of high school. High school isn’t an outlet for teenagers to be lazy and rely on their parents. Students: applications are normally online now, so you don’t even have to get up to better your future.

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