Benefits Of Student Jobs

Photo of a Playa Bowl taken at Their Store Downtown.
Photo of a Playa Bowl taken at Their Store Downtown.
Esme Brandt

Managing school work in high school can be challenging enough, let alone having a paying job outside of school too. Students all over State High have many kinds of jobs, and their experiences and goals can be inspiring. Let’s take a look at some students with after school jobs and see what they have to say about them. 

State High Senior Sawyer McLaughlin has had a consistent job for a little over two years. He shares more about what he does.

 “I work at a grocery store called Wegmans as a front end employee which entails being a cashier and a cart puller although most frequently I am a cart puller, or “lot attendant” as they like to call it,” McLaughlin said. 

When starting to work a job in high school, options are limited. The importance of having a job is less about the exact job that students have, and more so about the experiences and knowledge they will gain from working. 

McLaughlin explains his previous working experiences and why he works his current job.

 “I first worked at Chick-fil-A before this,” McLaughlin said. “During my 8th grade summer, my parents told me I needed to get a job and Chick-fil-A was the only place that hired 14 year olds. I started working there and got $8.45 an hour which was bad pay. I hated my manager. Hate is a strong word and I don’t hate a lot of people but I did not like him and he didn’t like me. I don’t go to Chick-fil-A a lot now because I have bad memories.” 

McLaughlin continues.

 “Anyway, once I turned 15, I could start working at Wegmans and I had a couple friends who worked there, ” McLaughlin said. “I currently get paid $17 an hour there now, which is insane. I started at $14, and they give me a 50 cent raise every 6 months. I also got a 50 cent raise because I was being a good employee and a 50 cent raise because of covid. I get paid $18 an hour on Sunday because they treat it like a holiday.”

McLaughlin getting these raises at his job is a good demonstration of how giving effort and commitment to something is beneficial, and is a valuable learning experience.

State High Junior Lily Corvin has had a job since February of 2023. She explained what she does and why having a job is important to her. 

“I work at a store called Playa Bowls downtown,” Corvin said. “I have the role of a shift leader, so I basically make sure the shift runs, and I’m in charge of opening or closing the store.”

Corvin explains more about why she wanted to have a job from a young age. 

“My friend recommended the job to me,” Corvin said. “She said that it was a nice and lighthearted place to work that didn’t leave a lot of stress. It’s always been very important to me to have a job, I grew up working for things. I like having my own income so I am able to buy things for myself, like my car.” 

Setting a goal to save up enough money to buy a car is impressive at the age of 16, and is an example of how hardworking high school students benefit from having a job and earning their own things. 

Despite how rewarding this is, finding a job that works for students can be tricky. McLaughlin shared how satisfied he is with his job so far. 

“I am satisfied with my job,” McLaughlin said. “Not for the rest of my life, but maybe for while I’m in college. There are times when I kinda hate it, like working late on a school night or when it gets super busy there because so many people love Wegmans. Other than that, managers are relatively nice and the pay is great.”

While McLaughlin is very satisfied with his job and his pay, Corvin shared how she feels about hers. 

“I am mostly satisfied with my job because I love the people that I work with and it’s a relatively easy job to have,” Corvin said. “I make $10 an hour. Low paying jobs are hard for high school students because they can’t work as much during the school week.”

Taking on school work and also having a job seems stressful. McLaughlin explains how he deals with these challenges that come along with having a job. 

“Sometimes when I work on school nights I don’t really get work done,” McLaughlin said. “When I work until close, I get off at around 10 and by the time I get home, I usually want to go to sleep. Sometimes I will bring school work to my job and try to get some done, but I have to make money and I have to go to college. Sometimes you have to sacrifice things.”

Corvin feels similar about the situation, but also as ways she keeps up with her responsibilities.

 “Sometimes it is hard going right from school to work and then getting home late and not having any time to do homework,” said Corvin. “You just have to plan ahead and figure out when you’re gonna get it done revolving around your work schedule.” 

High school students’ schedules are already so busy. Although by dealing with challenges like this, people are set up to be able to handle a lot in a working environment at an older age. 

No matter if students enjoy working or last a long time at their job, any type of working experience can reward them with valuable life lessons.

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