Balancing School and Work


In high school, it’s difficult to find a peaceful balance between maintaining a part-time job and good grades in your assigned classes. Before even looking for a job, there are a few things you should consider.

First, think about what kind of job industry would you like to work in. Would you want to work in the food industry, like a pizza shop or McDonalds? Or would you prefer retail, working at a store like Modell’s or H&M? Or maybe you would prefer to pump gas at your local gas station. There are various options but you also have to consider your age. Most places prefer to hire someone 17 and up, others preferring their employees to be 18 already.

Speak to your family. It is a much easier transition from just being a student to balancing out your working life and school life if you have a strong support system from your family.

When applying for a job, speak to the manager about the hours and days you will be available to work. If you participate in after school activities like track or soccer, make sure your schedules don’t clash so you won’t have to miss practice or call out of work. If you have practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it would be best to get a job on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

When you are accepted for a job the first thing you have to get into the habit of doing is planning out your daily activities. Getting a planner at your local CVS or Shoprite would definitely help, as well as a calendar that you can see when waking up to remind you of the things you have to do that day. A week in advance, take some time to write out your plans like what time you have to be at work and the time you have to leave, what time practice is, when you’re going to get that homework that you dread so much done, and when you’re going to spend some time with your friends and family. Keeping yourself on a schedule is a good way to keep from overwhelming yourself with all of the things you know you need to get done.

Finally, to help keep your stress low, familiarize yourself with the word NO. As my boss always says, don’t be a hero. Don’t take on too many responsibilities at once if you have a doubt that you’ll be able to accomplish everything you’ve set yourself up to do. Remember, school comes first, not work. If you feel like you’re taking on too many hours at work, have a talk with your manager and figure out a schedule that works for the both of you and compromise on the amount of hours you’re working. If you feel like you really want to work but you have too many extracurriculars, talk to the teacher in charge of that club or sport and try to compromise with them on when you’ll be able to attend. Don’t be afraid to speak up about any concerns you have with your schedule.  There’s almost always a way to fix it so that you’ll do better!