One Teen’s Advice for Balancing Homework with an After-school Job

  |  Topic: Advice, Money
By Toyin Williams
Afterschool job

One hard thing about being a 16-year old is that I never seem to have enough money, and I don’t want to keep begging my parents for cash. To get my own cash, I decided to get a job during the summer at a pizza place. The job was pretty easy. I was a cashier, and all I had to do was smile and take orders. Since I had so much free time, I worked 25 hours per week. However, when I started school I didn’t have as much spare time. It became very difficult to balance school and work. I was always tired at school, not completing assignments. I was also getting to work late.  

I’m sure I’m not the only teen who has had this problem. There are also plenty of teens who are considering getting an after-school job this semester. So, I created a few tips for teens like me who want to maintain a job and stay focused on school work.

Start Slow

Since this is a brand-new experience, you don’t want to overload yourself with something you can’t handle. You will work evening shifts since you go to school, so try working a two- to three-hour shift. When you feel like you are ready, you can always ask your supervisor for more hours.

Know Your Schedule

Always know the days you work so you know what to expect for the week ahead. Crosscheck your work schedule with your school schedule so you can always be aware of the days you have to turn in homework. If you don’t, you could get deductions on your assignments.

Don’t Overthink the Process

I know you probably think that this defeats rules one and two, but if you overthink how to accomplish everything then neither school work nor work will get done, so like Nike says, “just do it.”

SLEEP!

This has to be my most important rule of all. When school first began, I was always tired from going to school then going to work right after. Since you have responsibilities now, you can’t stay up all night, and I recommend going to sleep one hour after you get home from work (two hours if you have homework). On nights you don’t have to go to work. I recommend going to sleep by at least 10 p.m. so you can still have energy to run off for the next day.

Remember What’s Important

Honestly, when it comes down to it, you must remember that you are still a kid with responsibilities and a job might not be the best fit for you right now. If it becomes too much for you, the best decision may be to quit.

Talk To Your Superiors

When starting your after-school job, inform your boss that you are still in school so they can keep that in mind when making the next schedule.

Always Be Prepared and Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes you might not have means of transportation to get to work. In this case, you should call a parent, grandparent or even take the bus. Not having a ride to work is no excuse.

Realize Things Do Happen

Sometimes life throws you curve balls, like getting sick or a death in the family. In both of these cases, bosses can be really understanding and give you some time off if needed.

Make Sure the Job You Have Is the Job You Like

Like I stated before you are still a teen so you don’t need an afterschool job , but if you have one make sure you enjoy it.

I hope that this article helped you if you have or are considering getting an after-school job while you are still in school. These tips have helped me with time management and procrastination. In my opinion, getting a job just brings me one step closer to adulting so I hope that my tips can get you one step closer too.


Toyin, 16, attends Tri-Cities High School. She also created the art for this story. 

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