Jobs create need for balance, maturity

Regina Flores

A new cell phone case, clothes, movies – there are so many things to spend money on, but to have money, you need a job. I have a job now, but when I didn’t, I felt like I was the only one who didn’t. I felt like an underachiever and that all my friends had a life except for me. Even though many students complain about working so much, this actually appealed to me because during the summer I had a lot of free time that I wanted to spend earning money. However, when the school year rolled around, this became a different story and a potential problem.

If students are unemployed and feel the way I did, they shouldn’t. Just because it seems like everyone else has a job, that doesn’t mean students have to have one. Some students may have more expenses to worry about than others, such as the upkeep of a car, paying for their own extracurricular activities, buying their own clothing, or even maintaining their own home. Of course it’s nice to have some spending money, but considering the pros and cons of having a job is definitely necessary before entering the workforce.

Having a job allows students to earn money, have something to do in their spare time, gain experience in the real world, and have something to add to their college resume. Now that I have a job, I feel much more grown-up and prepared for a bigger and better job in the future. It has taught me punctuality and time management and has made me feel mature and accomplished. However, having a job is a huge responsibility.

A job requires time, and accepting a job before realizing the time commitment can put students in a difficult situation. Thankfully, my job allows me to work only three days a week but, if it didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to keep it during the school year. A good way for students to ensure success with a job on top of school is to plan a schedule for their daily lives including homework, relaxing time, family time, hanging with friends, and participating in extracurricular activities. This year I actually started using a planner, and it has made all the difference – it’s the only way I can keep things straight.

If students think they’ll have enough time for a job, don’t forget to sleep! Getting enough rest is extremely important to do well in school as well as on the job. Students should see how much time they really have to devote to a job before committing to a schedule that will have them stressed and exhausted all year long.

If students have all this down and they still decide that they want a job, the next step is to search for a job that they might actually like. Sometimes a job students like is hard to find, but it’s worth it in the long run; and when they find their temporary “dream job”, students should make sure to keep their eyes set on their main long-term goals and not let it slip away by not having enough time to do the background work to get there.