Students With Jobs: Global Pandemic Edition


Photo/Quinn Colburn

Masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, any and all of the above have become the standard protocols at almost any job now. Wearing masks in any public establishment has become a social norm as well.

Quinn Colburn, Staff Writer

Juggling high school and extracurriculars with a part-time job is already difficult enough. With COVID-19 brought into the mix, student workers are now forced to face new and uncharted adversities. However, the pandemic has brought out several resilient and hard-working qualities in many student workers. 

Sophomore Alex Kononchuk has been working at a local McDonald’s since July of this year, though he has had a few jobs before COVID-19 as well. He commented on his feelings about an increase of stress because of the many COVID-19 precautions. 

“I think [working during the pandemic] is a little bit more stressful just because you have to make sure you’re being clean, your mask is on correctly, and you’re wearing gloves when you need to,” Kononchuk explained. 

Many workplaces are doing their best to ensure that their employees and customers feel safe inside their establishment by taking precautions similar to those previously stated: wearing masks, wearing gloves when handling food, maintaining a safe distance, etc. Workplaces have been emphasizing, in addition to adherence to safety precautions, that employees remain aware of their surroundings. 

Sophomore Sage Newman worked her first job at Science Park Recreation Association (SPRA) pool over the majority of this past summer. 

“I loved working at SPRA, it was a lot of fun.” Newman explained, “I loved the environment…COVID didn’t affect it that much because we were outside the whole time.” 

Newman initially worked the front desk at SPRA, then transitioned into a position as a lifeguard. 

“I think that COVID did make [lifeguarding] a little more stressful,” Newman explained, “just because I, personally, was always worried about having to save someone because there could be a chance that I was sick or they were sick.” 

As for precautions regarding COVID safety, SPRA was diligent about social distancing.

“When I was interacting with patrons at the front desk I always had my mask on,” Newman explained, “we stayed apart when we were outside the pool, too.” Additionally, Newman detailed that SPRA set up more swimming lanes limited to one family per lane, and group swimming lessons were changed to one on one lessons to keep people separate. 

Junior Ada Hendrickson has been working at Doggie’s Pizza since June of this year. Having started working during the pandemic, her experience has differed a bit from the standard. 

 “I do enjoy my job despite starting during COVID,” Hendrickson said. “My coworkers are all amazing, which made the experience easy.” 

Doggie’s takes several precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while on the job. 

“We wear masks at all times.” Hendrickson explained, “We continually wash our hands while we work. People making the pizzas also do not come in close contact with customers often.” Because of this and her employees’ mindfulness of COVID-19, Hendrickson feels safer in her workplace. 

COVID-19 has impacted every facet of life during the past several months, including the workplace. The daily lives of student workers have been shaped by the pandemic, and they’ve overcome a number of unique adversities as a result.