Do High Schoolers Need After School Jobs?


Camie Peters, Journalist

I’m flat-out envious of students who don’t have after-school jobs. 

I would have so much less stress if only I had to focus on rowing and school. However, I’m aware of the invaluable information I learned from having a job. Aside from the fact that my parents don’t just give me money, working has taught me skills that school can’t. 

Time management: Although I’m still working on this one, I can — for the most part– manage my time whether it be at work, at practice, doing school work, or the free time that remains. When you have the set schedule of school, you aren’t learning how to deal with a changing agenda. Those who do not have an after school job will not learn quite as many time-management skills until they get to college or even after they graduate and enter the workforce.

Budgeting: As you start to make money and spend it, you inevitably get excited and spend too much, especially your first few paychecks. The resulting bankruptcy will help you learn to budget though. Soon, you’ll know that you need to buy shampoo and toothpaste before spending an unjustifiable amount of money on a clothing haul. On top of that, you learn the value of money because, at some point, you realize you’re not getting paid nearly enough for all the time you’re working, which is a feeling that may follow you into any job.

Work Ethic: As much as we would like to think that we work hard in school, the work ethic you develop in a job is different. Instead of working for grades that will carry you into your future, you are working for money to support yourself. In a job, you also learn other transferable skills, such as a sense of self-confidence (being able to speak to strangers and articulate your point) and other soft skills, such as: leadership skills, strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. A high school job will also help you start a resume for future employers and it shows colleges you’re a well-rounded student.

No matter how you spin it, high schoolers need to work. Hampton privilege will only get students so far once they’re out of the bubble. When parents pay for everything, we miss out on the things money can’t get us. And being “too busy” is not an excuse, plenty of students, myself included, work, play sports, participate in clubs, and take higher level classes. Not having a high school job is just lazy and entitled. Do well for your future and go get employed!