May 18, 2022
However, teenagers already have a lot on their plates. Grades, social life, sports, and other extracurriculars, to name a few. For many, fitting in a job is simply not possible, and that’s okay!
But for those with less of a choice, the importance of a strong work-life balance comes into play.
“I handle it by taking guided study so I can finish all my schoolwork during that class and don’t have to worry about it on the weekend,” sophomore Roxanne Stewart said.
There are many ways to balance life inside and outside of school, and the process is different for each student.
“Planning and understanding priorities are so crucial. They both go hand and hand,” Fan said. “Students need to consider what is actually important to them in the long run, but I think most people only focus on the short term. You have to be very intentional with your time.”
Even with these things in mind, it can still be difficult to keep up with school with the extra time a job needs. Knowing when to take a break is crucial.
“I had a little bit of trouble adjusting back when we went full-time to school,” Hegenderfer said. “I did end up taking a month off to get on top of things and rediscover how to do ‘normal’ school again.”
There’s no harm in taking some time off to focus on school or on oneself. Sometimes it’s better in the long run, and can help avoid burnout.
“If you’re unhappy, then make a change. Be bold and talk to your managers.” Hegenderfer said. “Managing your time to prioritize things that matter will get you far.”
And, if worse comes to worst, sometimes it’s best to decrease availability or even quit. Some teenagers do this after summer, once school starts. Others do this once they know their school and personal lives will be picking up.
“I knew I had several things on my plate. The first thing I did was try to reduce my hours by talking to my boss,” junior Thomas Dawson said. “When that wasn’t enough, I put in my two weeks and was content with that being the right choice for my mental and physical health.”
Setting boundaries with managers can be scary, but it’s always a good step. Each person needs to learn what works best for them, and most managers will understand that.