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A Balancing Act

Students learn importance of time management

You just finished hours of school work and you are finally able to stand up and stretch after the exhaustion. Your
entire body is aching and your hand is sore from all the writing. While you may feel relieved you finished your school work, it is now time to report to your job. As you throw on your work shirt, jeans and name tag, you begin to wonder
how to manage your time, while also having time for friends, family and extracurricular activities.

Many students struggle with finding the balance between school and work. Learning what to prioritize and focus on can be a challenge. With such little time and life moving quickly, into “adulting” years, the footing may be hard to find. Senior Megan Gordon shares her experience as a working student.

“Sometimes I work a closing shift immediately after school, so it’s frustrating to get up early and be at school all day then go straight to work with no break. I also typically lack motivation to do school work after coming home from my job. It’s just harder to get things done on a day that I work,” she said.

Senior Aidan Kelly works a fast food job, and further extends the obstacle of working late hours with a tight school schedule. With late nights at work, and early mornings at school, finding time to rest can feel impossible.

“I usually work evenings so sometimes on school nights I may get home at like ten thirty/eleven and still have to study for a test or do homework,” he said.

Maintaining a job as a high school student is even more difficult as an honors student. Advanced courses may include
more homework, studying, and eff ort. However, there are benefits to this challenge. Junior Carter Russell discusses his encounters with taking college classes.

“I am taking classes on campus, so I get out of school at ten thirty on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This allows me more time to both work and get my homework done. If I took all classes at the high school until one thirty, I would not be able to work nearly as much because I would have less time to finish my homework after school,” he said.

Gordon, expands on the advantages that college classes provide, and explains how she believes that the extra work pays
off in the long run.

“I think last year and this year the workload has increased a fair amount. Working on top of having work for college level classes just forces me to get things done and actually put forth my best effort for the sake of my grade,” she said.

A majority of students toggling work and school are learning skills they may not be aware of. Time management skills are crucial and all three students discuss how their job has helped them with this.

“While working and managing school at the same time I have learned to manage my time and decide what needs to be done first over other things,” Kelly said.

Russell agrees, and elongates how work has taught him planning, scheduling, and organization, and how this improved his balance.

“My time management has gotten better from balancing work and school. I am also driving myself everywhere, not just
taking a bus home, so I always need to be aware of when I have work and when I get to go home. This has helped me to develop a better time management system in my head,” he said.

Gordon then talked about how her job has taught her to efficiently begin her work, instead of procrastinating and waiting until the eleventh hour.

“Sometimes when you have so much to do you don’t want to start because you don’t even know where to start; doing that only wastes time, so I am getting better at just starting any work I have to do at school or at my job. I also feel encouraged to start things ahead of time [closing shift tasks, homework, etc.] to avoid scrambling at the last minute to get things done,” she said.

Not only do students gain time management skills but information learned at work can be applied to school, and vice
versa. Connections such as team working abilities, responsibility, and problem solving are seen between work and school.

“My boss and coworkers at my job are akin to my teachers and classmates at school. I have used all of the social skills I
have learned in school to create relationships with my boss and coworkers. Just like in school, if the group I am working with all like each other, it goes significantly smoother,” Russell said.

Gordon extends this point by saying that many of her job requirements are used not only at school but while she is at
home.

“The tasks I do at work are similar to things one would do at home [cleaning, dishes, etc.] I feel like my job prepares me
for when I’m on my own and I will be responsible for keeping my space clean and keeping up on chores/tasks. I also have strengthened my social skills talking with customers and communicating with coworkers,” she said.

While all of these skills can give you guidance, if you do not take action yourself, you will only drown in school work. Gordon shares some of his methods to stay on track.

“I regularly check the app that my work schedule is on to see what days I’m working and what days I’m not and I accordingly plan what days I will have time to do homework. I keep track of my homework and due dates on my phone,” she said.

Russell then shares how his job also helps with his planning by communicating through a calendar. While a job can add
stress, he shows organization is pivotal.

“My boss makes a calendar with every employee’s schedule for the week and then sends it to me in a text. Whenever I am unsure of what days I have to work, I can just look at my phone and it’s right there,” he said.

Benefits and disadvantages of working are unavoidable, but learning financial responsibility as a young adult is something you will use for the rest of your life.

“I feel like it has benefited me money wise and made me able to hang out with friends, but on the other hand it has given less time to focus on school work specifically,” Kelly said.

If work and school is constantly overwhelming you, keeping a routine and planner may help. While the balance is hard to find, the assets learned are eminent. `

“I feel that working while being in school has benefited me; I enjoy my job and my coworkers and having some form of income is nice,” Gordon said.

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About the Contributor
Savannah Carroll
Savannah Carroll, Managing Editor
My name is Savannah, and I am thrilled for my fourth year on staff! I am a senior this year, and spend most of my time working at The Dairy Queen, playing softball, and listening to Taylor Swift. Let's make this year the best!