Not Worth the Extra Cash

All parents want their child to succeed to the best of their abilities in school. So, why do parents allow kids to work part-time jobs during the school year; distracting them from their studies? Endless studies and articles exist describing the negative effects that part-time jobs have on teenagers. Although teens may experience some benefits from an after-school job, no teenager should work a part-time during the school year because it prohibits them from performing in school at their fullest potential, a crucial element to getting accepted into an excellent college or university.

Teenagers who work part-time jobs during the school year statistically struggle more and have lower success rates in school. Students who stay up late working often sit comatosed in their classes rather than striving for success in school. According to Stuart Riddile, principal of Stuart High School in Falls Church, “For every hour over 11 that students spend working, their grades go down a quarter. High school students already have a full-time job – their schoolwork” (Hunker). When students spend too much time focusing on their jobs, their grades reflect that negatively. In addition, students who work part-time jobs tend to have an increased chance of dropping out of school altogether.

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Students become discouraged when their grades fall, and many develop an opinion that school only negatively affects them; so why go to school at all? Something to consider. A research study, performed by Lyn Robinson, on the effects of part time work on school students proves that “extensive work involvement was associated with an increased rate of dropping out of school for some groups of students” (Robinson 19). Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics prove that high school students who drop out of school have a more difficult time finding and maintaining jobs than a person with a higher level of education (Consequences). Less people working directly corresponds to a higher unemployment rate, and this negatively affects the country’s economy. Finally, the more that students work during school, the more that the likelihood of poor decision making increases. Students under a substantial amount of stress from school often resort to actions that can compromise their learning ability, as well as minimize their chances of success in college.

According to a study posted in The Washington Times, “teens who work more than 20 hours a week during the school year are more prone to minor delinquency, smoking, drugs, drinking, bad eating habits and bad grades” (Hunker). No child should have to struggle in life just because they feel the need to earn a little extra money, no matter what they need it for. Working during the school year is like a death sentence; at least as far as grades and physical well being are concerned. Despite all of the damaging effects of adolescent employment, many people still insist that having a part-time job during the school year promotes a sense of responsibility and discipline in high school students. True, the many tasks of a job might magnify and enhance a student’s sense of responsibility; nevertheless, all of the negative aspects of working during the school year cause far more harm to teenagers than benefits.

According to an article on the effects of student employment, “As students work longer hours, they achieve at lower levels academically, are more likely to engage in negative behaviors, have lower academic and career aspirations, and are less likely to hold leadership positions, engage in extracurricular activities, and attend or stay in college” (Membership). High school plays an important role in a person’s future, and students must work to their fullest potential, with no unnecessary distractions, to achieve academic excellence and to eventually attend a reputable college or university. The supposed benefits of a part-time job during the school year simply do not outweigh the plethora of negative aspects. With all of the studies and articles on the subject, why do students still have to work during the school year? Whether or not the student needs money or life experience, attempting to tackle a part-time job and school simultaneously cannot be done without negative consequences. Maintaining exemplary grades needs to take top priority for high schoolers trying to get into college. These students should not have to worry about failing to reach their personal goals just because they have to work a part-time job.