Is Managing School and Work Possible for Students?

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Allie Fandel

Today if you were to walk into your local Market Basket or pizza place it is unlikely that you won’t see a group of teenagers running the business. 


During the summer teens work hard at summer camps, country clubs, restaurants, and other various jobs, but what happens when school starts? When the summer months end and the school months start the number of teens working drops, but what is the reasoning behind this significant drop? 


Is it because some people can not manage to balance school as well as work? Is it because the job wasn’t flexible with them working during the school year? Or could it be because the school workload was too much to manage even without a job? 


After interviewing two Pentucket students about how they feel about working during the school year I got a few of many people’s questions answered. 


Madisyn Calkins, a junior at Pentucket was asked if she ever thought it would be easier to not work during the school year. She replied by saying yes, and when asked why she said “so I have time to do the things I need to do.” She was also asked what her biggest struggle was with having to balance school and work at the same time. Her answer was “having to rush off the bus and not be able to do my homework until I get home late at night. Especially if I have a big project, test, or essay.” Although Madisyn’s job is quite flexible with her working and being a full-time student she still struggles with doing both simultaneously. 


As well as Madisyn, Lauren Arnold a senior at Pentucket also works at Market Basket. Lauren has been working at Market Basket for over two years and has worked her way up to being an assistant manager. As well as going to school over 30 hours a week, she works on average 25 hours a week. The biggest struggle for Lauren while working during the school year is having to make her schedule in advance. She said, “it’s just like having to make my schedule in advance not knowing what my workload is going to be.” When I asked her if she ever thought it would be easier not to work during the school year her answer was yes for many other reasons Madisyn stated in her interview.  


School and work both present their struggles, but when you mix the two is it even manageable? Teens are being worked and worked to their breaking point. Having the responsibility of school and then going to work right when you get home can be unmanageable for some people.  


When students were asked how they could manage school and work better their answers varied. Avery Palermo, a junior at Pentucket said that having the teachers be more understanding of long work hours would be a big help. If teachers could understand that many students go right to work after school, and don’t get home till late at night, maybe they would be more lenient with due dates and workload. Another strategy to help manage school and work was suggested by Madisyn Calkins. Madisyn said that having a set schedule in place for her on the days she has to work could help her be productive with work and school at the same time.  


Something else that people including teachers, employers, and even students have to understand is a lot of people don’t have a choice whether to have a job or not. As sad as it is a lot of teenagers have to have jobs to support themselves, as well as their families. Whether you need to have a paycheck or want to have one student have to do what is best for them.  If that means taking a break from work during the school year that’s ok. Students need to not overwork and overwhelm themselves. Teachers need to understand their students’ struggles with a heavy workload, and employers need to be flexible with the hours they give their employees who are still in school.