Employment and enrollment take their toll on high school students
For many students, homework and stress take over their lives into the late, eerie hours of the night.
For a few, these hours become even later as the commitment to employment begins to control their already packed schedules.
Day after day, I watch as exhausted students force their dreary eyes awake and stumble into first hour. Their bodies are becoming used to the sleep deprivation, but the effects still clearly show.
Despite their best efforts to organize their daily duties into a cohesive routine, the spontaneity of their jobs can throw their efforts out the window.
For many students, jobs are a necessity; they provide the necessary profit needed to fund their daily lives. Just like school, these jobs are demanding and slowly can wither away at a student’s mental health.
School concludes at 2:45, but jobs may begin at 3:30. After hours of often grueling work, the shift ends at nine in the evening, dinner is at ten, homework follows, and bedtime is suddenly at three in the morning.
This painful schedule is handled by so many students who are currently employed and enrolled in high school as well. These students can be picked from the crowd like wildflowers as the purple bags under their eyes are prominent on their dragging faces.
These students may be gaining profit, but they often feel they are losing much more. Time, friends, grades, and health are often put on hold in order to please demanding managers and difficult coworkers. The money most students make is simply not enough to replace these aspects that surround their daily lives.
Although those putting themselves through this daily struggle often find themselves cramming activities into the slipping hours of the day, they are learning so much more about what their futures may hold.
While sleep deprivation and stress certainly will not be left behind as high school concludes, these students are learning how to deal with these difficulties much earlier than their peers. When the time comes, those who went through it once in high school will have an advantage over those who were lucky enough to eat dinner by seven and slip into bed by ten o’clock each night of adolescence.
Employed high schoolers are also gaining one major head start as compared to those around them: experience. Learning to deal with customers and coworkers are important skills that simply can not be taught within a school’s environment. But those who throw themselves into a job throughout their four years of high school are able to pick up on these skills early on in order to prepare for their futures.
Working in high school is demanding. It entails a dreadful and exhausting schedule, and it requires determination from prepared, driven students.
But alongside all of the sacrifices students must make, they will, in turn, receive lessons about the workplace that those who overturn the opportunity may not find well into their future years.