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Employed students share truthful perspectives about balancing school and work

Senior Ashley Figueroa is an employee at In-n-Out. She is one of the many students who balance a working schedule with school work. Photo courtesy of Ashley Figueroa.

Senior Ashley Figueroa is an employee at In-n-Out. She is one of the many students who balance a working schedule with school work. Photo courtesy of Ashley Figueroa.

Priscilla Corona and Kaitlyn Valenzuela

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Although school can get difficult to manage with the excessive amount of work that comes with it, there are students who are driven to be employed. These students have different or similar reasons as to why they work ; some may be because of financial reasons and others can be because they want a head start in a career path. No matter what situation they are in, they all possess the same perseverance to balance both school and work.

For the graduating class of 2018, the college application process is right around the corner along with expenses that cover senior activities and graduation goodies. Senior year is an overwhelming school year for students and requires much of their free-time to apply for colleges and scholarships. However, some employed seniors seem to have a tight schedule that limits their time to fully focus on their applications and essays.

Not only is their time taken up by college applications, but they must also manage to complete school work they are given to them by their classes. Some students take challenging courses such as zero periods, Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Senior Janelle Fabela is one of the many students who work apart from going to school and says, “It doesn’t necessarily get in the way of school as much as it used to because I am able to change my work schedule so I try to work mostly on the weekends in order to make it easier for myself.”

Janelle has had a part-time job since her junior year and has travailed for so long to get used to her busy schedule. “I’m bad at managing my time so it gets difficult to balance both sometimes but I have improved on making my schedule more flexible,” she says. Whenever homework or school gets overwhelming, Janelle mentions that she sometimes calls off of work to go back on track with her school work.

However, she has the advantage of having a close relationship with her manager and is understanding of the hard work student must endure. “My boss knows one of the math teachers at school so she is willing to work around my schooling, especially since her daughter goes to college at UCLA so she understands how important school is,” she mentions. Although managing time is a tough technique to master, some students do not find it as difficult as others.

Employed senior Brandon Hernandez is one of the few who do not find it troubling to balance both school and a job. When asked if his job gets in the way, he simply stated, “Only sometimes; I call in to ask if one of my co-workers can cover my shift so I can use the day to work on school.” He also included that the way he manages his time has improved now that he has been working.

I want to work in college too so I think working now will prepare me for that.”

— Brandon Hernandez

Brandon had also mentioned that when he first started working during his junior year, he was given highly inflexible work schedules that were inconvenient for him. “I would get home around 10:30pm and start homework at 11pm which made my junior year really difficult,” he comments. He has now been able to receive a more flexible schedule which has benefited him to focus more on his school work and college applications.

Since these part-time jobs tend to take up the majority of a student’s school year, they have the option of getting a seasonal job. Junior Mia Godinez takes on a seasonal job at the annual LA Country Fair for several reasons. “I think working a seasonal job is perfect for our age and I actually find that one month I work very stressful, especially because I have a lot of school work and I’m involved with sports,” she says. Even though Mia only worked three days a week, she noticed that she would get more tired when she worked on a weekday.

“I did miss out on spending time with my friends during the time I worked on weekends and it was also hard to get my work done,” Mia comments. Not only were her social interactions limited, but her involvement in sports only added more pressure on her during the time she worked. Mia later stated that despite the difficulty that comes with working during the school year, she is considering to get a part-time job during her senior year, hoping that it will be easier to balance both.

Even though extra-curricular activities are popular among students, it does not stop them from having a job while being involved with such hobbies. Junior Alvin Lo is involved with cross-country, the Hip-Hop Team,  and track — all while working a part-time job as well. According to a majority of the student body,  junior year has been considered to be the most stressful high school year because of the incredible amount of pressure that students aren’t used to which leads people to think how some are able to work at the same time.

Alvin’s perspective on whether his job gets in the way of his schooling is different from the previous. “I make sure to put school first that way work doesn’t get in the way,” he adds. At times, balancing both a job and school can get overwhelming for him but he finds ways to manage it to make it easier for himself.

I work because I need to start taking on responsibilities for myself.”

— Alvin Lo

With the general responsibilities that students already must undertake, some are willing to take on a new challenge and expand their endurance. Each student has a unique reason as to why they choose to work but there is no difference in the perseverance they all acquire. Employed students will continue to impress their peers and other adults that can only add strong characteristics to themselves, benefitting them in the near future.

 

 

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Employed students share truthful perspectives about balancing school and work”

  1. Mau on November 1st, 2017 10:20 pm

    These kids are awesome and great examples of the type of students at Don Lugo. Another great story Kaitlyn!

    [Reply]

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"WE HEAR YOU!"
Employed students share truthful perspectives about balancing school and work