Balancing School and Work

Tips for underclassmen looking to find their first job


Jell Marie Militante, Staff Writer

Not all students work, but for those who do, balancing work and school can be challenging.

If half your day is dedicated to school and the other half is dedicated to work, it may seem impossible to handle, but it can be done. 

“I think the biggest thing for me is that I don’t feel like I have much free time,” said senior Howl Bates. “I’m either at school, doing homework, or at work. It makes it hard to make plans with people or even make time for myself.” 

Bates works 15 hours a week at Starbucks. Senior Chandler Wyatt works around 18 hours a week at Harris Teeter and faces a similar issue. 

Senior Macee Dippery works at Costal Edge. (Photo submitted by: M. Dippery)

“As a working high schooler you are expected to work two ‘jobs’ (school and work) in one day, so it is especially important to make sure you are well rested, so that you may perform well by the time you leave for work,” said Wyatt

Junior Tatijiana Copeland works at Chic-fil-a and faces the same challenge. 

“Make sure you take the time to relax and properly rest because you don’t want to wear yourself out to the point where it has a major effect on your health,” said Copeland

Of all the students interviewed for this story, one piece of advice for handling work and school without burning out stood out: use your study block wiseley. 

“The biggest challenge would probably be having the energy to even go to work, said senior Soni McMillian. “My advice to people new to this journey is to take full advantage of your study block. Get as much as you can done or get your work done as soon as you get it because that saves a lot of time” 

Senior Adrianna Savage works around 20 hours a week at Kung Fu Tea and could not agree more.

“I think the biggest challenge for me is getting proper sleep and still having time to hang out with friends and attend school events,” said Savage. “I get off at 9 pm on weekdays. Then, I go home and do homework/study before I am getting ready for bed. I consistently go to sleep around midnight. Since it’s the off-season, shifts are kind of scarce. This means I am mainly put on weekends. So, I either miss events or end up having to rush to work right after them, leaving me exhausted. My best advice would be to have a study block to keep up with your work.”

If implementing a study block into your schedule is not an available option, the next best thing can be doing an internal wellness check with yourself when necessary. 

Senior Katilyn Sweeny found it extremely difficult to balance work, school, and a social life while getting the rest she needed. It was to the point where she found it most effective to take a break from working in the midst of a school year. 

Sweeny ended up returning to her job at Baker’s Crust that summer, making it now, two years since she was first employed there. She brought with her a new mentality she has kept throughout her senior year. It has helped her have a better working experience.

“The best advice I can give new workers who are trying to juggle school and a job is to know your limits,” said Sweeny.  “Know when you need to rest and recharge. Make sure to keep an updated calendar/planner. Get schoolwork done early and before deadlines. And make sure you’re making time to eat at least one decent meal everyday.”

Needless to say, although beneficial, working while in school is not for everyone. Getting an education should always be your top priority.

“I would say always respect your time first,” said Bates. “If you’re getting stressed from working too much and you have the option to do so, you can always quit. A lot of businesses guilt younger workers into staying, but at the end of the day it’s not your fault if you hate your job.” 

Another way to balance school and work is to only work during the summer. Working and going to school is a balancing act. Take advantage of your study block time and don’t forget to take care of yourself.