The impact holding a job has on high schoolers

A high school student who also finds time to work a job interacts with her customers.

A high school student who also finds time to work a job interacts with her customers.

Hannah Prentice, Memorial Co-Editor-in-Chief

High school is a busy time for any student, between balancing homework, ACT and SAT preparation, extracurriculars and social lives, it seems as though there would be no free time left. However, 20 percent of high school students still find a way to work a job into what little free time they have. Edmond Memorial senior Samantha Thompson is one such student.

“I work at Old Navy, as a sales associate and lead of women’s activewear as well as at Abbey Road Catering, as a member of the service staff,” Thompson said. “I really wanted to have a little extra money so I could have more freedom and not rely so much on my parents financially. I also wanted to start saving up for the future.”

Thompson is an AP student, enrolled in three AP classes this year alone, as well as a member of the Memorial DECA chapter, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, an athlete who competes with both the track and cross country teams as well as filling the role of 2019 Senior Class President.

“It can really be stressful balancing out everything; like I said I have to keep a very organized, detailed schedule to make sure I’m not wasting a single spare moment of my time,” Thomson said. “It can also be really hard to wake up the next morning after being up so late. I also work on weekends quite often so I really have to schedule out the time I have to work on my homework.”

Thompson is currently working toward a savings goal to use for her college tuition which she hopes to achieve by the end of summer 2019.

Another Memorial student who has made an effort to incorporate a job into her busy schedule is senior Amanda Gonzales. Unlike Thompson, Gonzales utilizes the money she makes at work for a myriad of things, such as gas, insurance, food and her college savings fund.

“I work at Fish City Grill as a hostess,” Gonzales said. “Having a job makes life a lot harder, especially on test days when I really need to study because I have to work after school at night, which is usually a long shift.”

Gonzales is also highly involved in life at Memorial; she is also an AP student as well as an avid member of the vocal music program at the school, participating in the varsity women’s choir, mixed choir and the members-only show choir, known as Act II. She is also involved with the drama department at the school, recently participating in the spring musical, Mary Poppins, and will soon be auditioning for Memorial’s annual talent showcase, known as “Follies.”

“Balancing school, working and extracurriculars is really hard, especially during things like the musical or Follies because my grades slip,” Gonzales said. “I feel like it is really common for highly involved students to struggle with that, especially for the ones who work too.”

Though having a job as a high school student can be difficult, both Thompson and Gonzales agree that it is not impossible and is an important learning experience.

“I think it is good to have a job because it teaches you the importance of starting at the bottom and working your way up,” Thompson said. “It also shows a desire to have a better career, but I think you have to find a balance with something that is flexible and isn’t super demanding because otherwise it might interfere with your schooling.”