Students should not get a job during high school

69.2% of students hold part-time jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Should that number be higher?

Philip Tate, Staff writer

Students should not have a job during high school because it can lead to fatigue, give them negative views of working, take away personal time, and hurt them academically.

Most high schoolers work tiresome jobs and then go home, still having homework or studying to do, leaving students very little time to sleep. This can lead to fatigue, which greatly impacts one’s health and overall well-being. A study from the Journal of Adolescent Health, a peer-reviewed medical journal covering adolescent health and medicine, found that two-thirds of students get less than seven hours of sleep nightly. If a student does not get the recommended nine to nine and a half hours of sleep every night, it can lead to a student experiencing weariness.

Many students looking to work in high school are limited to tedious or underpaying jobs, for example in the fast-food industry, however, these experiences may impart negative views of working that can be unmotivating for students’ future careers. Students may not be able to handle the added responsibility of working at a young age, making them dread going to work. Additionally, negative interactions with older coworkers can lead students to stereotype every older coworker in the same way, possibly causing fear of older coworkers for the future. 

Getting a job while in high school almost completely eliminates a student’s personal time, especially if one does not have their priorities straight. Adding work into a schedule where one has six hours of school and multiple hours of homework every day leaves almost no free time. Most high school students seek out job opportunities so they have more money for a social life, but the added time commitment required to uphold their work-related responsibilities essentially defeats the purpose, since they no longer have the time for a social life. 

While working in high school is not ideal, working part-time is understandably unavoidable for some. Many students have expenses such as saving for college, paying for their cars, helping their families financially, etc., but, if possible, a student should prioritize their schoolwork. 

A University of Washington study shows that working during the school year can impede one’s high school performance. Having a job means less time for sleep and a personal life, and means that one will have less time and energy to devote to school. With all this time being taken up by a job, it is a given that a job hurts students academically. If a student is experiencing fatigue it is just going to hurt the student academically, more than a student who is not. 

The best argument for why kids should work is that students need to learn the value of a dollar and that they will not learn that from their parents giving them money. Summer jobs would be the perfect way for students to learn the value of a dollar, but not have it negatively affect their school studies. School would be out opening a lot of free time that can be taken up by a job and they would not have to worry about grades, getting enough sleep, or not having enough personal time.