A week in a life of a high school student can be very busy, consumed by multiple responsibilities concerning schoolwork, family, and friendships. But many students at St. Martin’s Episcopal School also have a job on top of all their other priorities, which can seem like quite the challenge.
However, Junior Gabby Killett finds that having a job in high school has been more of a blessing than an obstacle in her life.
“It’s convenient as far as going to work,” Killett said. “I can usually leave school and go to work very easily because it’s close to both school and my house.”
Killett works at Taste of Tokyo as a hostess for more than 10 hours a week, bringing customers to their seats, helping waiters bring food to tables, and organizing to-go orders.
“That sort of aspect of work has definitely helped me co-exist with the public,” Killett said. “We’re high school students, and we don’t really understand what’s out there and what we’re dealing with within a number of industries. So just being able to see how the public reacts to those working in a dining industry is really interesting. It’s definitely taught me valuable life skills as far as dealing with people who aren’t very forgiving because they’re the customer or consumer, and you are the staff. The whole rest of my life I’ve been on the opposite side and overreacted when the waiters didn’t bring my food fast enough or if they messed up my order, and I wasn’t patient. Now that I’m on the flip side, it allows me to empathize with those people.”
Junior Kyle Winkler works for his family’s catering company, Trinity Banquets and Reception Hall. Every other weekend he works a total of 10 hours between Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This can be time consuming and can take away valuable hours he needs to complete studying and homework, but he makes it work.
“If we have a lot of work on the weekend, I usually work Fridays and Saturdays so I can take Sunday off to do homework,” Winkler said. “Or if I have a (football) game on Friday, I’ll work Saturday and Sunday.”
Many St. Martin’s students who work agree that having a job in high school can teach students valuable life lessons and provide them with helpful skills before they go out into the real world.
“I am hoping that (my job) teaches me how to work better with kids,” said Junior Aidan Bonano. “I am trying to build up connections and a good work ethic for the future as well as to have enough money going into college to where I’m not broke.”
Bonano works at BooKoo Bounce for three to six hours, two to three days a week after school. Despite the amount of hours, Bonano feels having a job is a crucial step for him to be successful in his future.
Winkler has also learned beneficial skills that have helped him in his daily life working at his family’s reception hall.
“Time management is a big one,” Winkler said. “It’s more of deciding when to do my homework and knowing my schedule beforehand and not overworking myself.”
Not only does working give these students the skills they’ll need for their future, but it gives them the experience of saving up hard-earned money. Senior Evan McCollum works at Jefferson Indoor Gun Range and at his military camp as a range safety officer. He spends a lot of time at both of these jobs and even sleeps there overnight sometimes.
“It’s taught me that I can’t spend money on everything I want to because I have my own income,” McCollum said. “I have to budget myself and keep myself on check if there’s something really expensive I want to buy. It’s given me this real world job experience.”
Having a job in high school causes students to sacrifice some of their social life and time to earn money for themselves. It can be hard for a student to work, while also balancing all the other aspects of their life, such as homework and extracurricular activities, but all of these students have adjusted to this highly-structured lifestyle.
“It makes life more difficult, but it is a necessary evil,” Bonano said. “I make it work.”