Vandegrift students balance work and school

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Vandegrift students balance work and school

Laura Figi, Spotlight Editor

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The average day at school for most students is a busy one. After the final bell rings, junior Emma Haigh-Hutchinson can be found rushing back and forth between drivers-ed, work at HEB, and finally home. With so much to do, it’s a miracle that it can all be accomplished in just one day, though there isn’t any time to spare. Balancing school work on its own can be a challenge and with the added pressure of having duties outside of school, it is an achievement to handle both at the same time.
“It’s made me step to the plate a lot more,” Haigh-Hutchison said. “It really gives you a sense of the value of things.”
The teenage workforce is a relatively small one, though not unrecognized. Many students work to learn a sense of responsibility, balance their own finances or because they have an obligation to have one.
“I’ve made a lot of friends and I get to be social [at work],” Freebirds employee and senior Ryan Silvia said. “And I have money.”
Having a job, in most cases, is time consuming. After an eight hour day at school and possibly another few hours at work, student workers are left with little time for homework and even less time to themselves. Across the board, homework have proven to be a predicament for student workers.
“I’ve given up on sleep,” Haigh-Hutchinson said. “I stay up late [and] I don’t have much of a social life but I know it’s going to pay off.”
While it may be busy, it’s also a new experience for those who have never had a job before and can be quite a change. However, there are similarities such as reporting on-time and having tasks to complete that are not unfamiliar in the school setting.
“If I’m not at work I’m usually at home doing something school related,” Freddy’s employee and junior Alex Helm said. “It just depends on what is requiring the most attention at the time.”
Each person has a different reason to work and a different experience, although many of the repercussions are the same and possibly even relatable to those who don’t work. Regardless, work is something that everyone experiences at one time or another.
“I think it’s beneficial to everybody to experience what it’s like to go out there and earn money,” Haigh-Hutchinson said. “You learn what’s it’s like to be on the other side of things.”

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