Work stress

Bill vs. will to juggle jobs with school and sports


As seventeen-year-old senior Chase Howes struggles with the difficulties of finding a job on top of balancing between sports and school, he learns the important life skill of time management.

Howes has a bright future ahead of him, with his desire to go to college, to get a high paying job to support his future family, and serving a full-time two year mission to teach others about Christ.

Many students look for a job out of necessity to help out their families; others work to earn spending money or contribute to a college fund.

“I was pretty low on money so I wanted to earn some more money to save for things in the future, such as college,” senior Howes said.

The number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, making it harder for students to find a job in the past two decades.

“ I applied to about three different places and I researched others too but never got applications,” junior Lauren Angelo said.

It takes the average high school student approximately two months of searching and filling out applications to finally get hired.

“The process took a month, and when I applied to Chick-Fil-A they told me to come in the following Monday for an open interview… I was called back for a second and was hired at that one,” Angelo said.

When the management is positive about their decision of hiring an employee, it takes a while for them to finally get the new recruiter to actually begin working there through a process of training.

“After my second interview, they handed me the paperwork to fill out and I came back for a walk through and to get my uniform. Then it took about two weeks until they called me to start training,” Angelo said.

Students with jobs may experience stress due to pressure to perform well in work, school settings, and on the athletic field.

“Once school started, employment started to interfere with my grades and work hours conflicted with how much sleep I was getting,” Angelo said.

Studies show that students who work more than 20 hours a week may have lower grade point averages, perform worse in sports, and are more likely to drop out of school than those who work fewer hours or a part-time job.

“I usually work like 12-15 hours during the school week,” Howes said.

Being organized is always the main goal, especially having to juggle so many conflicts at a time.

“Time management is huge since I never have lots of time to balance homework, sports, and work. I began to take time off work so I’d have more time to focus on school, soccer, and still get sleep,” Angelo said.

Communicating with  managers is very important, since that plays a key role in how to cope between both a sport and work schedules.

“My employers at Rita’s are, luckily,  pretty flexible with scheduling, so they just schedule me to work after practice or when I didn’t have sports that day,” Howes said.

According to the National Center of Education for Statistics, only 16 percent of high school teens hold jobs, which has declined since the 1990s of 32 percent.

The low percentage of athletes not having a job affects students in which they are not able to save up for college or help pay for other expenses that causes stress on parents.

“I’ve had students in the past that were employed but we have made it work. One student was a senior and she missed a few practices to leave early for work,” cross country coach Kehoe said.

There are ways to work around every situation, and jobs where there are solutions to solve availability issues.

“We have a few morning practices so she would go home after school and work. I can work around it as long as they do not miss practice and they make the effort and communicate around it,” Kehoe said.

If that is not the case, then this athlete may have to be cut from the team, which is the only fair thing to do.

“If they are missing practices, then it’s not to their benefit. Missing out on training will not just effect them but their teammates and isn’t fair to the other athletes when they go every day to practice and work hard,” Kehoe said.

Managers and owners of workplaces understand that there are other things that go on in life besides just working, however, they expect responsibility from their employees always.

“I want to find someone who wants to work. Unfortunately, that is not always easy to figure out. Sometimes it takes time for someone working for you before you figure that out,” Rita’s manager Alex Evans said.

Proper dress and mature behavior plays a big role in who managers lean towards in hiring someone enough to trust them to help run their business.

“Other things I definitely look for is a person or student with a good personality and social skills. If they ask you questions in return and carry on a normal conversation or hardly speak at all,” Evans said.

A good personality is hard to come by these days, since more teenagers every year lose social communication skills in interacting with others.

“Since there will be many different personalities you will have to encounter and have challenges with, be it with the customers or other employees, I like to lean towards those with visible leadership skills,” Evans said.

Higher numbers of student athletes get jobs outside of fast food companies or restaurants, such as working for a family member.

“I wish I worked somewhere else so that I wasn’t paid minimum wage. I was able to work for my dad, who owns a roofing company which paid me higher than minimum,” Howes said.

Parents of students who have a job many times are proud of their child becoming more independent and facing reality.

“It teaches good management skills, the value of money, and not the bank of mom and dad all the time. Working has changed that about him,” parent of Chase, Ward Howes said.

There are only more positive advances to working while during high school and on top of sports, such as having a better understanding of what it takes in order to buy things and learning to save for future goals.

“Having a job through school and sports is worth it. Even though most days are a struggle with time management, you can earn money so you can prepare for the future, but also play the sport you love,” Howes said.