The challenge of student work-school balance


Mya Vo

Balancing work and school can be incredibly difficult and stressful during the school year. But how do students handle the pressures of managing both?

Mya Vo , Reporter

According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22.8% of high school students have jobs, which can make balancing the workload with school a struggle. 

Junior Aliana Taylor has worked as a restaurant cashier since July for about four hours during school week and six to eight hours on the weekend. Taylor is also a part of Black Student Union, runs the Anime Club and participates in a science program outside of school. She said that balancing her school work and job requires good time management, so she chooses to work on days with less homework. 

“There are times where I kind of wish I had the free time on the weekend to do more homework or go hang out with friends, but I kind of need the money to pay for my car,” Taylor said. 

Junior IB student Lucy Kolde works at a tutoring center, and is also a part of DECA and the Seattle Youth Symphony.

“I find it’s good to have a balance. I use cello as an outlet for my creativity and also competitiveness,” Kolde said. “So I think it’s good to have a balanced lifestyle…it’s good to remind myself that there’s a life outside of school.” 

Kolde said she works an average of four to eight hours a week and that balancing school and work is tough, but getting schoolwork done is a priority for her.

“I just need to make sure that I actually do the homework, no matter how tired I am. The problem I usually have [is that] there are usually two days where I don’t have extracurriculars, and I don’t work or do anything. And those are the two days where I just grind out all of my homework as much as I can,” said Kolde.

Junior IB student Mary Poole works as an ice cream scooper and cashier. She is a part of Scandia and said that the heavy workload of being an IB student has impacted her priorities regarding working on the school yearbook. 

“I always procrastinate [working on] the yearbook, which is really hard, because I don’t view it as a priority when I used to before going into junior year,” Poole said. 

Poole said balancing her school work and job takes planning ahead and has taught her to prioritize what is important to her. 

“I was working 20 hours at the start of the school year, but it was just too much for me with IB. Right now I’m working five to 10 hours,” Poole said. 

Poole said a positive work environment and being able to develop different skills has helped her enjoy being at her job. 

Having both a job and academic commitments is a difficult task for many students; it requires planning ahead and prioritizing activities well. Students balance their lives in different ways and find a good balance by scheduling well. 

“I’m working because I want to build experience. Make sure your boss is flexible, so they don’t impose a bunch of random hours on you. With IB, you’re going to need the extra time and homework,” Kolde said.