In high school, students gradually learn how to perfectly balance their academics, sports, clubs, and social life. This in itself may already be overwhelming for many students, seeing that there just doesn’t seem to be enough time during the day to get everything done. So what happens when you throw in a part-time job in that mix? When you get that phone call that you’ve been hired, and all of a sudden you have to completely rethink your entire schedule and find creative ways to make it all work?
Below is a set of tips for students at Yorba Linda High School who are starting a new job, apprehensive about applying for one, or have one, but just can’t seem to fit in all of their activities at once.
1. Start a calendar.
This may sound basic, but it helps. Keeping your schedule organized and written in words makes it easier to follow when it comes time for letting your boss know about your availability for the week. Although it could become a bit messy and stressful to look at, it will guarantee give you peace of mind when you’re able to glance at it with a moment’s notice rather than racking through your brain for some inkling of information about your schedule.
2. Be strict about your work schedule.
For the students who’ve had had a job, we’ve all been there. Having a boss who likes to occasionally extend your hours just a bit too far. And this is where I personally slipped up a lot. Never let yourself become so submissive to your boss that you’re either overworking yourself, working past the number of hours deemed legal for high school students, or canceling other commitments to work overtime. If you send your boss your hours of availability for the week, stick to that, and live by it religiously. Nothing is worse about having a job than feeling as though you’re only being taken advantage of.
3. Prioritize school work.
No matter what, put school first. Regardless of whether or not you want the extra money for a shopping spree, never let your job become your #1 priority. If you know you have other commitments, think about those first. Because in the long run, when we’re all adults, are we going to be thinking about our job performance? The answer is no, we’re going to be far more concerned with how we did academically and the “what-if” situations that might have been if we just would have prioritized our school work.
4. Do your homework as soon as you get home.
Never think about doing your homework after your shift, you’re never going to actually do it. Soma Shah (12) says, “One of the most important things I think of while having a job is doing my homework before I go to work, because after I’m too tired to do anything.” It’s faster doing it before work, and it gives you more time to relax after a labor-intensive shift.