Spring means high school students are job hunting


courtesy of Mel Jackman

Juliet Jackman smiles on her shift at Rita’s, located in Mount Airy.

by Kaylee Henry, Reporter

Time in high school is commonly referred to as “the best four years of our lives.” It comes with the opportunity to have a license, a car, relationships and a job.

Many high school students take the challenge of holding down a part-time job while managing school. Having a part-time job teaches one a sense of responsibility, time management, and how to manage finances. The downside is increased stress, less free time, and sometimes poor choices.

In a recent poll conducted by Lancer Media, 64% students currently have a part-time job, 19% do not, and the other 17% are searching for one.

A part-time job consumes the majority of a person’s free time. With having the responsibility of working, the time usually spent studying and/or socializing is reduced.

Linganore graduate Sami Phelps, who worked at Bright Eyes Daycare in New Market her senior year, said, “It was stressful trying to balance good grades and going to work. I went from school straight to work every day. By that time, I didn’t have a lot of time for friends, except for on the weekends.”

In a survey, conducted by the Institute for Social Research between 1991-2010, found that students who work more than 15 hours a week began to drop in academic success. According to author Jerald Bachman, the students who work 15+ hours not only had lowering grades but began using drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes and other illegal substances at a higher rate than those who work fewer than 15 hours, or none at all.

Despite these negatives, getting a job in many ways can be a win-win situation. The money earned from the job can go towards college expenses, gas money, and late night stops for fast food. A sense of responsibility is gained from now acknowledging the hard work it takes to make one’s own money, and not to borrow from parents.

The 64% of high school students who have and are managing to balance out their life with a job on average work 1-8 hours a week, with the exception of some working 11-16+ hours. On average the student also makes approx. $8-$10 an hour, plus tips.

The 17% of students who are searching for jobs are in luck, taking into consideration that summer is coming close.

Employers will generally start hiring around spring-summer because public schools begin their summer break in June and students are now capable of working throughout the day, instead of just taking the shifts after school.

Companies such as IHOP (Mount Airy), Burger King (New Market), Adventure Park (New Market), McDonald’s (New Market), Pizza Hut (Mount Airy), and multiple others are now hiring.

Senior Jordan Albowicz recently began working at the IHOP located in Mount Airy and she said, “I get paid at least $50 every night in tips. The people who work here are like family to me, and I love it here, so apply!”