COLUMN: Students Working Weekends: Therapy or Trauma?

Finding the balance between work and school can be difficult, especially when it's your first job.


Photo credit:

Lauren Ponzetti, Copy Chief

Sophomore year of high school is typically when summer and weekend jobs begin for most students, as they finally reach the age when they can participate in all kinds of new opportunities such as driving by themselves, joining the armed forces (with parental consent) and applying for a job. The experience of a first job is one that no one can forget, and it offers some valuable life lessons of working in the real world. Besides being stressful at times, having an after-school or weekend job gives some of the best satisfaction you can receive.

“I think that having a job to go to on the weekends is good for students because it is a source of income, they can broaden their horizons outside of school, and it distracts from school related stress,” said junior Lillian Holmes. Holmes works at Six Flags: Great America on the weekends and enjoys, “getting the opportunity to be in a different environment environment than school.”

At Six Flags: Great America, similar to many jobs targeted at teens, there is an extensive variety of awards and praise that employees get for doing a good job.

Although after-school or weekend jobs can be a nice escape from school, they can also cause negative effects on school. Having a job while being a student is extremely stressful and often leads to sleepless nights and busy weekends, and I speak from experience. I, like Holmes, work at Six Flags: Great America, and working ten hour days on the weekends and going to school for eight hours on the weekdays, it can be very stressful, busy and tiring.

“I think it is very useful [to have an after-school/weekend job] because then you’re not so packed busy during school days, plus you get some quick money from working,” said junior Sabrina Long. “But after school you just don’t have enough time for homework which is more important to focus on than a job,” Long continued.

If you are planning to get an after-school/weekend job or if you have one already, make sure you manage your time right. It is easy to fall behind in school if you don’t focus on it and it is easy to get in trouble at work if you do not focus on that either. Your first job is supposed to be a positive experience that teaches you valuable lessons, not something that ruins your life, and your grades.