When allowances just don’t cut it

From Issue 5

Juniors Mary Parker Plunkett, Emma Sapen, Henley Johnson posing for a quick picture at Squared Girl Photo by Mary Patton Murphy

“Work work work work work…” Many high schoolers are familiar with it. In addition to juggling  family matters, school work, church activities, and other events, a large percentage of high schoolers across the country have decided to take on yet another responsibility: a job.

From mowing lawns to serving up a nice cold brew coffee, job opportunities are endless, as are the reasons that high schoolers undertake them.

One notable reason that many students get jobs today is that jobs provide a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for students. Although many students may not address this reason as one of their driving factors towards making a little money, it is certainly a significant factor in the working world and significant contributor to a strong work ethic.

Another reason that high schoolers are interested in job opportunities is because they are eager for the ability to make their own decisions when it comes to money. Knowing that they labored for their own pocket change gives them more freedom and relieves them of the guilt (though its existence is dependent upon the student) associated with nagging a parent about providing this and that for this and whatnot.

Of course, many students’ parents make them work, desiring that their kids might get a taste of the “real world” before leaving for college.

So, what are the ideal circumstances for a student job? With some of their benefits in mind, when is the best time for a student to apply for one?

In recent years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the percentage of young, working people (i.e. youth 16 to 24 years old) increases with almost every new summer. Perhaps as school comes to a close this spring, one might consider calling her uncle with the restaurant downtown, seeing what opportunities are available within a certain mile radius from home, asking a parent for extra chores around the house, lifeguarding, or babysitting for families with working parents.

Another ideal time to work would be over the holidays. One Prep junior, Mary Price Montagnet, spoke about working at Bliss Gift and Home in Jackson. She said, “I go through waves of times when I work a lot then maybe every other week. During the summer and Christmas break, I worked about 4-5 times a week. I’ve always loved making money and staying busy.”

Because they are consistently on the go, many students will find it worthwhile to spend a few hours of their precious time earning an extra $20 to have in their pockets for later spending. A little pay goes a long way when a student is running from one practice to the next, needs gas or a quick snack, and forgot to grab some bills from his parents earlier that morning.

Kudos to young laborers, the future of the working world.