We Can Work it Out


Eduardo Sobrino, Sports Editor

Stop me if you have heard this before: “Sorry, I can’t. I have to work tonight.” It appears that a large population of the Keller student body has chosen to undertake the daunting task of balancing a rigorous school schedule with the toils of a job. Now, some people would argue that this takes up too much time, that they do not want to cancel plans with friends to work at a fast food joint for minimum wage. This, sadly, is the case for most working high school students who are not sought after by many employers because of their limited availability.  The willingness to work for so little pay, however, does create some wiggle room for cooperation between employer and employee. Kids in high school might be asking, “Well, when should I start applying?” or “How does this process work?” Well, it all depends on the situation, but there are a few general guidelines to follow when looking for work.

The biggest thing to consider before making the decision to apply for jobs is transportation. I strongly recommend you wait until you have a car before applying anywhere. Most employers will ask about a reliable source of transportation to and from work. Working around a parent’s busy schedule to ensure a ride to work is also a major pain, so the trouble is not really worth it unless you absolutely need something to put on your resume or desperately need the money. It is not impossible, but it is terribly inconvenient and you will get sick and tired of the hassle of coordinating a ride.

Now when the car does come and the transportation aspect is taken care of, think about where you are from an educational standpoint. If you are taking six AP classes and play a sport, close this window right now, you are procrastinating and have more important things to do. Are they gone? Ok, now for everyone else, most will have cars sometime during sophomore year. The summer after sophomore year is the trendiest time for jobs. Everyone in your class is excited for the working force and gets a job within weeks. Some of these kids do not know what they are getting into and quit before the school year even begins. This is actually pretty smart of them, however. Junior year is tough. There is no argument against that. For most regular and AP students, it is the hardest year of high school.  I would advise avoiding this year, from a work perspective. Focus on your studies and get that GPA up for college applications next year. After or toward the tail end of junior year is the perfect time to work. Senior year can be as easy or hard as you want, but it can be balanced with a job.

Work can teach you valuable skills: how to work with others, how to manage your time wisely and it can show you a different side of the world that you never knew existed. The low wage working world is a place that can and should be explored, but there is a time and place for it. I see too many kids with bags under their eyes because they had to work until close, and had 4 hours of homework to top that off. Your brain and body cannot handle that kind of stress. Have some fun every once in a while. So do not kill yourself between work and school just for the money, believe me, it is not worth it.