New perspectives on familiar grounds: teens and work

With the school year underway, it’s undeniable there will be a lot of busy students balancing out school life and work life.

Edgar Flores , contributor

Walking through the doors of our humbled Santa Maria high school you wouldn’t expect there to be students who work and maintain good grades at the same time. It seems too stressful; however, there are plenty of students who test their limits and challenge the odds for a greater future. I’ve had the luxury to interview someone who put themselves through more work than necessary but also the responses they give are something to take into consideration for those who are planning to get jobs. The student has a unique and new perspective on how they handle both accordingly.

The person I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing is none other than my classmate, Aida Perez, who is also a junior at Santa Maria Highschool. She is a very sweet, kind person to talk to and interview although she may be a little shy it hasn’t stopped her from connecting with people and creating great bonds. At the beginning of the interview, I started off with the most direct question, which was, “how do you balance work and school life without too much stress?” Her response was neutral and stated, “they give us a schedule of when we’ll work and since I have school it gives me time to study or do my schoolwork.” She certainly does know when to prioritize her school life over work and takes into consideration what she values before money; a humbled idea.

For those who are currently planning to get a job, take the advice of a person who started working near the end of their sophomore year and has had experience with the first week of working while also having school at the same time. Aida stated that, “at the end of sophomore year I was already applying beforehand so just in case I’m not looking for a job over summer and wasting my time.” She clearly has a sense of self-awareness by looking for a job before the summer break which I might add is a great idea. That way you can look and decide which job you’ll take.

I asked Aida what her first week was like getting a job and the answer is something to prepare for, she stated “since it’s your first time, it’s really stressful so you really don’t know what’s going to happen and as for me, I was really nervous because you know how am I gonna learn? how am I going to work?” Getting a job during school is really stressful and you have to worry about many things since getting a job, but also to be prepared for more work that comes your way because of school. Her advice for those who want to get a job during school was “honestly if you wanna apply during school I wouldn’t recommend it because of all the stress but maybe during summer or winter break? But if you are good at multitasking then yea you should apply” she states those who are capable of doing more work at the same time should apply and those who can’t should wait until we have a break in between school, that way you can work without much stress or responsibilities.

My friends want to hang out, I usually say no because I have work.”

— Aida Perez-Lopez

If you’re wondering what you’re going to do about your friends and relationships since getting a job, be prepared for the harsh truth about work and personal lives. I asked, “would you say work and school has gotten in the way of your relationships or friendships?” Her response was something I was prepared to hear which was “yes, yes it has because when my friends want to hang out, I usually say no because I have work, but it’s also a good thing because this is the reality, and it shows you how it’s going to be like later on in life and you won’t have time for your friendships or relationships.” For those who have strong bonds or very close friends this truth may hurt a little since you won’t be able to spend as much time as you did before.

Getting a job is never easy and with it comes a lot of responsibilities and a tight schedule because you’ll need to balance your grades and keep them that way, that’s the most stressful part about having both, which is keeping up with your grades, because as soon as you’re home, you instantly need to get ready for work, which can take a toll on people, but Aida has shown me anyone can do it so long as you have the will and motivation to do so.