Added Pressure

Students who work part-time have to learn to balance the demands of the real world with the obligations of school.


photo by Alyssa Bruce

Scout Miller cleans the deli counter at Soergel's. Like many students at NASH, Miller's part-time job is not always easy to manage alongside school work.

Carli Leonard, Staff Writer

Being a student at North Allegheny is difficult enough, with the competitive nature of the district and tremendous amount of responsibilities placed on students’ shoulders. But when teenage life also involves a part-time job during the week, the difficulty amplifies.

“You have a lot of pressure here at NA to be a great student, but working can make it very difficult to keep up,” said senior Scotty Fitzgerald, who works at a golf course.

A large number of NASH students work part-time jobs. Out of a random group of 91 students, 52 indicated that they hold part-time jobs after school hours.

Students who work part-time say that holding a job entails a similar time commitment to playing a sport, and it takes away time from being able to study or do homework in the evening. But in many cases, the paycheck is necessary.

Senior Gabbie Klinkner, who works at Burn Boot Camp, has to earn a paycheck in order to pay her car insurance.

“It’s one thing if you’re a student who has a job just because you have the time, but it’s another thing when you have a job because you have to pay for car insurance in order to have a car,” Klinkner said.

Students tend to get home after a school day before 3:00 pm. For students who do not work, the hours between then and the time to go to sleep can be dedicated to studies and extra-curriculars, if that is what they choose. For those who work after school, however, the window of available time is much more narrow.

Natalie Shoup, a senior that not only works one job but two at Burn Boot Camp and Pennsylvania Golf Academy, knows the added pressure that comes with working a job during the school year.

“It is extremely taxing to manage two jobs and get home late at night and then do hours of homework,” Shoup said. “It is a lot of stress and it becomes difficult to manage my time.”

Some may say that it is the students’ choice to take the time out of their evening to work a job instead of doing school work, but for some students it’s not a choice. Working a job is optional for some, but for others it is required by their parents or it is necessary for their chosen career path.

A lot of students know, by the time they reach their junior year, at least what they are interested in. Working a part-time job in a field of interest while in high school can help students figure out a career choice before reaching college. Although this may help them once they graduate high school, it does make life difficult while they are still teenagers.

“Trying to balance all the school work, plus college applications, along with work can cause time management issues in my life,” Klinkner jokingly added. “I’m just a student with zero hours of sleep, but hey, at least I have some money.”