Can South Students Work and Go to School?

Photo by Jillian Stern

Simone Lassar

News Reporter

The final bell at school signals the end of a strenuous for some students; however, for many more, their day has only begun as these South students strive to maintain steady working jobs.

Amid schoolwork, extracurriculars, clubs, and sports, students’ extra time available to a job remains limited, yet a plethora of students do work.

Senior Caitlin Connell currently works at Broken Grounds, a cafe in Newton Highlands, but has had previous work experience before her current job. Connell remarks on the rarity for her friends to be employed.

“A few of my friends do [have jobs],” Connell said, “while the majority of them babysit to earn extra cash. But not a lot of people I know are officially employed.”

Senior Victor Lau disagrees with Connell and finds that by senior year, most of his friends have jobs, either over the school year or during the summer.

Lau works at Create-A-Cook as a chef’s assistant and says that the extra time he spends at work helps him be more productive.

“I procrastinate often, and I find it beneficial to put those hours in good use. I also believe it’s important for students to have job experiences earlier in their life to build social connections,” Lau said.

College and Career Counselor Kathleen Sabet agrees with Lau about the advantages of having a job, as she finds that for certain students, like Lau, it provides needed structure, as well as introducing important life skills.

“For students that need to work, they actually do tend to do a good job of trying to make the most of the time that they have available,” Sabet said. “In some ways, jobs allow students to have more structure so it maximizes their free time.”

In addition, Sabet comments on the collegiate benefit, as colleges remain interested in the activities students participate inside the school community and outside of it as well.

“Not as many kids have jobs nowadays, because of academics or extracurriculars etc., so [colleges] do pay attention to kids who have consistently worked through high school. It really emphasizes accountability and responsibility, so colleges are interested in those types of skills,” Sabet said.

Senior Carol Zhang remains less interested in the experience aspect of the job, and is focused more on the monetary aspect. Jobs are a great source of income, and Zhang takes full advantage of this advantage in her job at Mathnasium.

“I thought it was my responsibility to make some money for my family. Also, college tuition is a major financial burden, and I’m trying to do the best I can in helping relieve that burden,” Zhang said.

While maintaining a job can present a burden on students, Zhang, Lau, and Connell all express the monetary value and life skills learned during their work experiences.

Adding on, Sabet stresses that though South remains a college-focused environment, students should not underestimate the benefits of working.

“I think in terms of future plans after high school, Newton South is very much college oriented; your traditional four-year school or two-year school. We’re more focused on continuing education, rather than picking a vocation. But before graduation, there’s a fair number of kids who are looking for jobs. So there is some relevance in being competent in a job,” Sabet said.