Part-time Jobs Impact Academic Success

According to the 2013 U.

S. Census, one in every four high school students in the U.S. sixteen-years-old and older has a part-time job. The main two reasons high school students obtain a part time job is to save up money for college and to have extra spending money. But does having a part-time job come at a cost to students school work? “I got a job so I could pay for gas and have some extra spending money,” says Megan Block, an AHS junior and employee of Culver’s.

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Sarah Smith, a junior in high school who works at Panera Bread, said, “[My stress level] increased with the time I have to put in, but decreased as I know I’m getting experience that will help me in the future.” Olivia Keidel, who is also an AHS junior, started her first job two weeks ago at Noodles and Company. Since starting work two weeks ago, Keidel says her stress has increased slightly. “However,” says Keidel, “my efficiency in completing school work has also increased because I now have to effectively manage my time.” According to the College Board, students who are considering obtaining a part-time job should consider how effective they are at getting their school work completed. The School Board recommends students who feel stressed out about school without a working wait to obtain a job until they can figure out how to manage their stress level.

The College Board also recommends students starting a part-time job start off slowly, working only a 5-10 hours a week until they feel as though they can effectively use their time outside of work to complete school assignments. But work is not the only thing impacting a student’s academic success. Recent research by psychologist Jennifer Peszka shows that students who sleep 41 minutes less than the recommended amount of hours (on average), have a 0.3 lower GPA than those who get the recommended eight hours of sleep. Since having a part time job can lead to students not getting enough sleep, and getting less sleep leads to a lower GPA, some scientists have concluded that having a part time job may negatively affect a student’s GPA. Part-time Panera Bread employee and full time AHS student Leah Stapleton says if you are organized and don’t procrastinate, you can get your school work done while still getting the required amount of sleep. “I would recommend trying to get as much homework done as possible before you go to work, because after work it will be late and you will not feel like completing it, and you probably won’t,” Stapleton says.