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Students in the workforce

Behind the doors of Batavia High School, alongside the academics and extracurricular activities, there’s a group of students that roam the halls. This group of students hold more on their shoulders than the other students. This small army of teens hold the responsibility of having a job. Apart from getting small amounts of money, these students also have the luxury of having experience in the workforce. These individuals who have jobs have responsibilities that other students don’t, allowing the student to have a head start on the world they want to call theirs.

Recently many students in BHS have been finding jobs. It’s not uncommon to see 14-18 year old people behind the counters of where we buy our food or groceries. According to a recent poll done here at BHS, 55.6 percent of students say they have a job during the school year. Students have jobs for different reasons. 

“I work my job to save money for gas,” said Emmerson Pierce, a sophomore at BHS who works as a cashier. 

This is very understandable as students want and sometimes need money to do the things they want to do. Some students do not have a ride to school and have to drive themselves. Having money for gas is essential for many students in high school. The poll also provides how much students work per week. 37.5 percent say they work 4-8 hours a week, 43.8 percent say they work 9-15 hours per week, 12.5 percent say they work 16-20 hours, and lastly, 6.3 percent of the students said they work 20+ hours a week. One may spend their whole weekend working, while others may work after school everyday.

Jobs can also be stressful for students as they have another responsibility to worry about during the school year. Time management between school, work, and other activities in the student’s life can fall apart if the student cannot handle it. Oftentimes students may have to sacrifice their free time or extracurricular activities for their job. 

“I do like my job, though I don’t get paid very much. It’s a good opportunity for my future and I learn a lot,” said Joshua Patterson, a sophomore who works at a repair shop not far from the high school. Patterson is a busy student who works long and hard for his money. He also goes to the gym after school most days. It wouldn’t be surprising if Patterson is stressed doing so much in his everyday life. 

“Yes I like my job. It’s a bit stressful sometimes because we get a lot of orders and it’s usually just me making them. I started working in order to save up money for a car and buy little things I want instead of having to ask my parents for money.” said Jose Perez, who prepares and makes food at a local restaurant. 

Perez’s work environment is stressful as he takes the responsibility of pleasing many customers with food. Working in stressful environments, having bad co-workers, bad management, and many other factors are contributing to the stress that these students have.

While these jobs give the irresistible money that most students work for, they also obtain other skills other than their paycheck. 

“I have learned to be more social and hard working. I enjoy these skills because they definitely help me out in real life. I am able to talk to people with ease. Because my job is hardworking, now I do everything more thoroughly and exactly, which is different for me because I used to only half try,” explained Maksim Rykalin, a freshman at BHS who works in the food industry. Young students are finding jobs and learning a lot from them. Beyond the money that Maksim gets, he learns the importance of having to put in effort into the things he prepares for the customer. Using the skills that Makim has learned from having a job can be applied to things like school and sports and are really influential for his growth.

While many students have jobs, many don’t. This is very understandable as everyone is in a different situation and has a different mindset, which isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact it has some benefits. 

“I don’t have a job because of sports, school and other responsibilities outside of those two. I spend a lot of my free time doing school work. I like having the freetime because I don’t have the stress of limited time, but I do like the idea of having a job to save up for a car and other things” explained Ruby, a sophomore at BHS who does many extracurriculars. Ruby is a hardworking student who has great grades and an even better reputation around the school. For her, not having a job is the best option because it allows her to have the freetime to work on the things she is passionate about.

At the end of the day, students want to do what is best for them. Many students choose to have jobs to get ahead in this big world, while others choose to simply live their lives as kids for as long as they can. Many benefits come out of having a job, the money, the experience, the life skills. But there are also benefits to not having a job. Not having a job is less stressful and allows you to focus on things you are passionate about, not just money. Students have many paths to go down, having a job or not is just scratching the surface of a students life. These students remind their peers and adults alike the power of working, giving the person inspiration. As these kids are busy with school and other activities, they convey something to the people around them: the future is bright for the young students of Batavia as they advance through the world that will one day be in their very hands.

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