Students try to maintain work-life balance

Andrew Cornel, Staff Reporter

Much like getting your driver’s license or your first kiss, getting your first job is a rite of passage for teens. The reasons for wanting to work are varied. Students are willing to sacrifice personal time to show their independence while others simply want to put some spending money into their pockets.

Tuyet Tran is a crew member at Chipotle on Capitol Hill.  The junior wanted a job so she could contribute to her family’s finances.

“I needed money,” Tran said. “[I wanted to] help out at home.”

Balancing school and work can be a struggle, but senior Gerome Tabasan, who works as a lifeguard at the Rainier Beach pool sees the pros and cons of having a job.

“Work can always wait, but then again work will also help me out in the long run and also prepare me for life.”

Tabasan hasn’t always seen the positive side of working. There was a time when he chose work over school and his grades suffered.

“I would sometimes leave school early just to go to work,” Tabasan said. “That was really bad because I was not only missing school … my grades were dropping just because of work.”

To avoid the same pitfalls as Tabasan, Tran builds study time into her work day.

“My shift doesn’t usually start ‘til 5:30, so I would bus there early and work on homework and catch up,” she said.

Tran even works during her breaks.

Junior Ishawna Thompson works at Dairy Queen. She said work is most stressful when “multiple classes have projects at the same time.” But there are other things that make her job stressful that don’t involve school. Every so often, Thompson encounters an unruly customer.

“I try not to talk back, so I just start smiling try not to laugh,” she explained. “Or I ask my other friend to take care of it cause I’m not really good with the people.”

Despite the occasional bad client, Thompson suggests that other teenagers should consider getting a job early in high school.

“High school is expensive with upcoming senior year,” Thompson said.

Tabasan said for students who don’t have jobs, it’s okay to take your time before finding work.

“Don’t rush yourself; school is always first.”