Students balance busy schedules

Involved high schoolers work jobs


Photo by Emma Harper

Courtney Morrison, junior, has worked at Noodles and Co. for a year and enjoys her job, she said. She enjoys interacting with her coworkers and getting free food at the end of her shifts.

High school students work a variety of jobs; the majority work in food service or retail.

Having a job as a high schooler can be stressful according to Courtney Morrison,  junior, who has worked at Noodles & Co. for a year. However, she believes that it is worth it for students to work and that having a job can give one valuable experience.

“It opens your eyes to just so many different people because you get into your little white suburban Lake Zurich life and [at work] you get to see all sorts of people. I’ve got coworkers who are literally paying their way through college and have grown up in less privileged circumstances than I did. It’s just nice to see actual life and not your sheltered little version of it,” Morrison said.

Besides seeing other walks of life and different types of people, Morrison also believes working provides certain life skills and helpful resources.

“[High school students should work to] get money, [be able to] pay for your own stuff and not make your parents pay for you. It will help you pay for college, that’s a nice thing too. You don’t want to be the person who just goes around causing trouble all summer long. [It’s nice to] have a schedule,” Morrison said.

Nathan Kowitt, sophomore, has found that during his eight months working at Culver’s he has learned the importance of some other skills.

“[I’ve learned to] show up on time and be able to stay through [my entire shift]. I’ve definitely learned [to put] in work because there isn’t downtime when you’re working,” Kowitt said.

Working hard provides helpful life skills and 36.5% of students believe they have a very good balance between school and work, according to an August Bear Facts Student Media survey of 319 people. Kowitt is one of these students and has found a way to balance his schedule.

“It’s not terrible. I mean, most of the time, I’m working over the weekends, and so I have during the week, after school, to do schoolwork. I also have my study hall and lunch period where I can do schoolwork,” Kowitt said.

Morrison has also found a good system for managing her workload.

“I only work on the weekends during the school year because I know I’ll be staying after school most days and I also want time to do other things. I know a lot of people who work after school struggle with it. Because if you have a project due and you’re already scheduled two weeks in advance, it can become problematic. You need to know what works with you and your course load and your extracurriculars,” Morrison said.

Carl Krause, the college and career counselor, agrees that you need to be conscious of your schedule before getting a job.
“Sometimes I think [students] spread themselves too thin. If you’re doing too many things, you’re not gonna do any of them very well. So I think for kids that do a lot of extracurriculars and work a lot of hours, [that] may not be the healthiest thing for them, because they’re probably not getting the rest they need or being able to work on their schoolwork when they need to,” Krause said.

However, for students that do not have a lot going on, Krause said getting a job may be beneficial, even doing something like taking care of your younger siblings is helpful.

“Any time that you can stay busy and do something useful with your time makes you a better student. You are getting some benefit out of it,” Krause said. “So if you are not doing anything co-curricular in the school, get a job outside of school and make some money.”

High schoolers are involved in a multitude of activities, like Morrison, who is an officer in Technical Theatre Club, a member of Drama Club, NHS, French Club and Kowitt who participates in Color Guard and E-sports. Students participate in clubs and activities like these and many others.

“Some people want to be extremely busy and do very well when they’re extremely busy and are very scheduled. Other students need more time to do things. So I think it’s really an individual thing. There’s not a formula for what [working in high school] should look like,” Krause said.