Out with the schoolwork and in with the jobs

Do students prefer to have fun in the sun or earn money in the workplace?

As students enter high school, many responsibilities come their ways. They begin to realize how quickly college is approaching, and some decide they will need to learn how to start earning their own money. As much as they may wish to spend their entire summers with Netflix and their couch, many students use this time to join the workforce for the first time, but not everyone has the same mindset.

Considering that in 2018 the number of students taking on jobs has significantly plummeted, it’s no surprise that opinions on the matter are mixed. According to The Atlantic, as of the summer of 1976, 60% of teens were working. Meanwhile, as of last year, that number was an estimated 35%. Some teens believe that working is a learning experience, while others know they have their whole lives ahead of them to work–or simply just do not like the idea of it. Summer is a break from the school work put on students for 10 months, and they deserve to spend it how they choose. “[Summer is about] learning new things instead of having to go to school,” Freshman Clare Evanella said.

For the most part, students get jobs for one reason: to earn money. Sophomore Ciara Leddy is one of those who puts this idea into effect. “I am a lifeguard at Palisades Country Day Camp, and get to teach swim lessons to kids ranging from 3-8,” she mentioned. “I truly love my job; I would hate to sit on a couch all day, it would become painfully boring for me. I am someone who likes to stay active, and working during the summer lets me buy personal things and extra necessities.”

Senior Lauren Santoro also follows this philosophy, and has been working since she was 14. Her first job was at Paragon gymnastics and it taught her “to be a lot more mature and responsible”. Santoro also thinks that beginning to work as early as she did is a good idea. “It teaches people how to handle the money responsibly and also have experience with working with other people in a professional environment.”

However, some students believe that that joining the workforce is not necessary right now. There are other options of summer activities, a popular one being sleepaway camp. Freshman Kayla Drucker believes that “camp has so many fun activities that you wouldn’t be able to do at home”. Drucker also believes it’s too early to have a job. “I have my whole life ahead of me to work,” she said. “I want to enjoy my childhood while I have it.”

Some students have also tried working and did not like it in the end. “I had a job as a summer camp counselor last summer, which wasn’t really my strong suit.” Evanella stated. “I had to get up early every morning and go sit outside all day in the humidity. And the fact that I could be at doing something else at that time, but instead I had to be at work was something that I really didn’t like.” She was also in agreement with Drucker when it came to whether or not high school students need to work a summer job. “You should be taking this time to be with your friends and family,” as she mentioned, “I think working in high school is kind of early.”