Why I think everyone should get a job in high school


A BeReal of Shea Parker at work with friends visiting her.

Shea Parker, Staff Writer

I believe getting a job has been one of my best decisions I’ve made in high school so far. Since my freshman year I’ve been telling myself and my parents that I was going to get a job, but I didn’t actually get employed until my junior year.
Before my junior year I would always come up with excuses for not getting a job. When I was a freshman and sophomore my excuse was that I was busy, but in reality all I had was school and sports. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have a ton of free time, but all I had to do was make time to work. Another one of my excuses was that my parents would have to drive me, and that seemed inconvenient, but looking back I could’ve carpooled or just asked my parents and seen if they were willing to.
Finally when I turned 16 and got my license I decided to stop making excuses. My only problem at the time was I could only work once a week. I mentioned this to my friend, and lucky enough she works at a place where they hire people who have limited availability. When she told me that she only worked once a week, and that they were hiring, I took it as a sign and applied immediately.
I was hired and working my first shift by the next week. I started off only working Sunday nights, because due to school softball that was the only day that I was consistently available. It was very easy to transition into the job because thankfully Sundays happened to be the one day a week my friend who told me about the job worked.
Working with a friend who already knew all of our co-workers helped a lot because it helped me meet everyone quicker.
Quickly I picked up that everyone is pretty friendly, and willing to help you. In my opinion, getting a job is a responsibility, yet it didn’t add a lot of stress to my life. Sure, some of my shifts are stressful at times, but I look forward to work because of my co-workers and the environment, and people are always willing to help. Although I know this might not be true at other jobs. I just think I chose a job that really fits in with my life. Also having the extra money is a huge benefit.
Working at a restaurant specifically exposes you to so many different types of people with different lifestyles. The fact that I’m a 16-year-old student working a few days a week just to have some extra money seems crazy sometimes, considering that the majority of my co-workers are adults who work almost everyday alongside me and a bunch of teenagers as the income they use to pay their bills. A ton of my co-workers have been in the restaurant industry for 15+ years while I’ve only worked at a restaurant for a little over six months.
Getting a job in high school teaches you so much about the real world. It teaches you to be more considerate of other people’s situations, while also teaching you social skills that you can use later in life, and maybe in your future career. If you ever have the opportunity to get a job in high school I highly recommend you take it because getting a job at The Mad Italian has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I’ve met so many amazing people in the past six months, from my co-workers, to the regulars.