Photo by Alyssa Kift

Story by Autumn Golden, staff writer

The students are in AP classes with hours of homework every night, but not able to start homework until ten o’clock. These same students still wake up at six or seven every morning to start their days all over again. Balancing school work, extracurricular activities, work and a social life can be draining both physically and mentally.

Starting at 16, sometimes even 15, high school students all over the country begin to look for jobs during the summer and during the school year.

“I was tired of bumming money off my mom,” junior Elaina Robertson said. “I just kind of wanted that responsibility and to have my own account.”

While some kids get jobs for their own money, others need to work to support themselves.

“I pay for everything,” senior Channing Miller said. “The only thing I don’t pay for is rent, tests for school and insurance for my car. I have to buy my own gas, clothes, food, makeup and even pay for my phone bill.”

Having this huge responsibility will better help to prepare these students for life in college. But with this responsibility comes a few setbacks.

“I have band, theater and other clubs that call meetings and it’s really stressful to try and find someone to cover my shift,” senior Damien Hamilton said. “It’s embarrassing to have to call my manager and tell him I can’t come in.”

During the summer when there isn’t the pressure of school or extracurricular activities, many people pick up another job just because they have the extra time.

“I applied for Sears because I knew people who already worked there so I knew it was easy to get in,” senior Steven Geiger said. “When I heard they would be closing down soon I went and applied for JC Penny’s too as a back up. One week when I worked at both stores I woke up to one thousand dollars in the bank.”

When balancing work, school and extracurriculars become too much for students, they have to make a choice. Quit working and go back to relying on someone else for money, or give up doing activities that you love.

“This is my last year at school, so I decided to quit,” senior Marqualon Roach said. “I wanted to focus more on my academics and I wasn’t going to fail over a job.”