Students Balance Work and School


Courtesy of Alex Maley

Senior Nathan Colna restocks drinks at Weiss in Pottsville during his shift. Colna has been working at Weiss since December 28 of last year.

Some students at Pottsville Area High school have to manage all of their time with school, sports, work, and other responsibilities. There is a big range of students working across the community of Pottsville to make our community thrive. Getting a job as a high school student can introduce you to different experiences, saving up cash for your future, or even spending money.

“Working for me is important because it prepares you for the real world.” senior Alyssa Goodman said. “Responsibility has a huge impact on working and I feel like I gain responsibility for myself. Although it also impacts my schedule, I always find ways to fit everything in it.”

“You have to be on a tight schedule and when you have any free time,” senior Nathan Colna said. “I always study and think ahead with a plan when it comes to school work.”

Kathryn Monahan, a researcher from the University of Washington, warns students working more than 20 hours a week in high school can harm grades. Working sometimes is unavoidable, but working during the school year can cause poor school performance with behavior issues. Monahan collected data over the last two years from about 1,800 sophomores and juniors. Research showed that students working under 20 hours a week had the same school performance as students who did not work. Students who did work more than 20 hours had a decline in interest at school.

In Pennsylvania, students under the age of 18, who are attending school and are employed are not allowed more than 40 hours a week if attending a school that week. The Child Labor Law (CLL) was passed in the 1900s to ensure kids’ safety, well health, and education do not get jeopardized while having a job. The Child Labor Law requires students under the age of 18 to provide work permits before working. The CLL does not apply to farm work or domestic service in a private home.

“I think working and having a job helped with my time management when it comes to school work,” senior Ava Jefferson said. “I am thankful to have worked all through high school because it will help me in the future.”

“While working at Marlin Markets, I sometimes think about what I have to accomplish before school the next day,” junior Ethen George said. “Having a job and focusing on schoolwork can be challenging. I think working and having different responsibilities at the same time will prepare me for the real world.”