The life of a student worker

Junior describes what it’s like to be a high schooler with a job

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Photo by Bethany Arnold

Junior Anastazia Gross stands in her work uniform.

Story by Brynne Chandler, Staff Writer

In her dark blue jeans and the standard “Nowhere Else but Texas Roadhouse” shirt, junior Anastazia Gross stands outside the doors of the restaurant as she pins her nametag to her shirt. She prepares to end a long day of both school and band with an even longer night of working as a hostess. Taking a deep breath, Gross opens the door and goes to clock in.  

“I’m working during school because I’m now responsible for getting gas and buying myself school supplies,” Gross said. “I also think now that I’m 16, I’m well enough along to be able to rely more on myself independently [more] than ask my parents for things constantly.”

During the summer, Gross had plenty of time to work and have downtime to hang out with friends. However, that has changed since Aug. 11. In the summer, Gross would come when the restaurant opened. Now that school has started, that’s become an impossibility, and often she is now one of the last hosts to leave.

“When I started school again, I had to restructure my entire work schedule to be primarily closing shift and on weekends,” Gross said. “It isn’t the most convenient thing considering I get home at 10 most nights and have to wake up at 6 the next morning, but it gets me through the monthly funds.” 

Working and going to school at the same time can be hard. Like many student workers, Gross has to keep her grades up in order to be able to continue working. Luckily, she feels that working isn’t really affecting how well she does in school. 

“Work isn’t really affecting school too much,” Gross said. “It does prohibit me from completing some work cause of lack of free time, but I’m able to finish it.” 

Besides just being in school, Gross is also in the band, an extracurricular that takes up just as much time and effort as any job would. Like high school, being in band has greatly affected her work schedule, and now she has to take off on days that she used to be able to work, such as Fridays and Sundays. 

“Since I’m in band, work does interfere with some events such as pep rallies and after-school practices, but I’m lucky enough to have [an] establishment that’s willing to work around my schedule,” Gross said.

Though continuing to work even when school started can be a hard decision, Gross decided to keep working through the stress and tiredness.

“I do plan on working as long as I can,” Gross said. “If it does start causing my grades to slip, then I will have to cut my hours or just stop working.”

Though her days get longer and longer the more she works, Gross would say that all things considered, her workplace accommodates her packed schedule.

“My advice to anyone wanting to work is to find a place willing to work around your schedule,” Gross said. “Many people have extracurricular activities that they’re required to go to. If your job doesn’t work with you and rather works against you, then find a different one that will.”