Issue 5: Students juggle work and school

Working a weekend shift, senior Valerie Schulz makes a sandwich at Jimmy Johns. Schulz balances three part-time jobs, while still in high school. Photo by Ashley Hocking
Working a weekend shift, senior Valerie Schulz makes a sandwich at Jimmy Johns. Schulz balances three part-time jobs, while still in high school. Photo by Ashley Hocking

By Ashley Hocking

Working part time, squeezing in time to study, and trying to maintain a social life are difficult tasks to manage.

This balancing of a high school education and a part-time job can induce stress for students who make the decision to juggle both.

Junior Sarah Kucza, who is a courtesy clerk at Dillons, often finds herself sacrificing free time on weekends.

“[When you have a job], you have to work a lot on weekends,” Kucza said. “And you don’t get to do as much stuff with your friends.”

Junior Matt Dominguez also finds himself often having to adjust his daily schedule for work. Dominguez is balancing his part time job as a sous chef at Lawrence Country Club and being a member of the wrestling team.

“Usually I don’t sleep,” Dominguez said. “It definitely takes a lot of work to get homework done after a long shift or waking up early.”

Some students opt out of participating in extra curriculars in order to balance work and school, like senior Valerie Schulz.

Schulz juggles her school work and not just one part-time job but three. She is a sandwich maker and cashier at Jimmy Johns, representative at Vector, and a babysitter.

“I can’t do extracurriculars because I don’t have time to do work and school and extracurriculars, so I do work and school, but that’s it,” Schulz said.

For many of these students, finding time to study doesn’t always happen.

Senior Marshall Bonham, a waiter at Macelis and a referee for little league basketball games, found himself in this predicament last year.

“I used to work at Hy-vee, and I was working like 25 hours [a week and]. I never had time for homework,” Bonham said. “Now I just work on the weekends, so it’s not that hard.”

Some students stray from getting a part-time job for fear they won’t have time to balance it with the studying they need to do for their classes, extracurriculars that they are a part of, and a social life that they wish to uphold.

But Kucza doesn’t think this should stop a student from getting a job.

“Don’t be afraid to get a job because you think you won’t have time because most employers are really nice about it,” Kucza said. “If you ask off when you need off, then they won’t schedule you.”

According to Dominguez, most employers in Lawrence are understanding about scheduling conflicts that overlap with school.

“It’s important to let your employer know that school is important to you and that it comes first in whatever you do,” Dominguez said. “So school is first, and then work is second.”

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