Juggling School and Life

Trelisa Harris

trelisa

By: Trelisa Harris/ Staff Reporter

Finding balance between school and a job

Being an average student takes a little effort. It takes a lot to be great. But having a job and trying to at least stay afloat in your studies is even harder. And if you want to remain close to the top, like I do, it is the most difficult. Juggling those two, not even including extracurricular activities, is a recipe for stress. It’s finding a balance and time for it all that is the true definition of the word struggle.
I work in restaurant food service and my managers forget sometimes that I am still in high school, scheduling me five to six days a week. I consider myself a good student who cares about the grades I receive and what my transcript reflects about me to colleges potentially willing to accept me. There is little to no time for homework, studying (granted I was never big on studying), sleep, free time and my extra-curriculum activities that include DECA, FBLA, Pep Club, and most importantly, wrestling managing.
Not being able to fully participate in these activities and have fun in my free time makes going to work and even making money not enjoyable and sometimes frustrating. It can alter friendships and your general attitude towards people. I began to care less about what I should’ve cared more about – school.
When my grades began to fall and class time became naptime, I realized that something needed to change. Enough was enough.
So instead, I would like to work three to four days a week, leaving room for fun and just enough time to keep my grades high enough to my standards. I began taking my classes more serious and putting it before all other affairs.
My grades are rising and my general attitude is more positive and optimistic. I am handling my schoolwork a lot better, finding more time and drive to complete assignments and projects. I’m even finding time for my own personal pleasures.
If you have a job, take in consideration of how it is affecting your attitude towards schooling, therefore impacting your grades. If you have experienced a lot of what I’ve experienced with having a lot on your plate, maybe you too should rethink your priorities.
If you sleep during school and don’t get enough rest, see a gradual or rapid negative change in your grades, notice indifferent feelings toward school, and find yourself not being able to participate in the activities you wish, maybe working only two or three days a week is doable.
It is in your best interest to leave the stress alone until it is inevitable and enjoy your high school years while giving school your all.
Here’s the moral of the story. There’s nothing wrong with having a job during your high school years. How much you work is your business, as long as you can handle it. But school should always come first. If you care what college you will attend and how bright your future is, you will evaluate your priorities and realize that your education comes first and your job, second. Keep in mind that you are a full-time student and a part-time employee, and you won’t go wrong.