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South students reflect on rigorous part-time jobs

Danielle Arvanitis & Erin Sullivan, staff reporters

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 A student walks into their house with significantly noticeable bags under their eyes. The student checks the clock: 12:30 a.m. Finally, they run upstairs to complete an essay and project. At 4:30 a.m., they complete a project due the next day.

Many students at South, such as junior Chris Rodriguez, go to school and face a schedule like this due to their commitment to working a part time job. According to Rodriguez, he is expected to work since he comes from a household where extra money is needed.

“I might not find having to get out of work at 12:30 at night very satisfying, but it’s what I have to do, so I try to find the good in it,” Rodriguez said. “It’s expected from my family and you need to help support, you need to help anyway you can as soon as you can because we don’t have that privilege to not work.”

While a non-scientific Oracle survey shows that only 30 percent of South students have jobs, junior Julia Jakubiak falls into this small percentage that requires many hours of labor. Jakubiak explained how having a part time job has created an outlet for her to pay for her hobbies and provide for herself.

“I don’t have an allowance, so anytime I want to go to a concert, go out for open lunch with friends that has to come out of my pocket,” Jakubiak said. “In order to be able to do that I have to provide the income to do so.”

According to counselor Socorro Rogers, some students work up to 20-30 hours a week which can take a toll on them. Rogers says that managing both school and work can be difficult for students.

“As long as I’ve been here we’ve had students here that pretty much work full time,” Rogers said. “But not only is there an emotional toll [on the students], [there is their] sheer exhaustion.”

According to Rogers, students who work these long hours seem to carry more responsibility with their academic schedules and the struggle to manage time with their job as well. Rogers explained how she sees a very different change in a student’s lifestyle when a job becomes another priority for them, so some students might not have the opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities.

“You may pick up on a couple of kids that you know are good at basketball or soccer or what have you, but they’re not gonna try out for the team because they got some other commitment which is usually work,” Rogers said.

Rodriguez explained how students with rigorous jobs also face the challenge of balancing their time with friends and family along with their work. According to Rodriguez, he has learned to assimilate to the lifestyle of long work hours during the school week.

“There are times where I wish I had more time on my hands to do other things,” Rodriguez said. “There are times when friends go out, and you work from 4:30 to 12:30 in the afternoon, you don’t really have a lot of time to hang out with your friends after school. But I have to find that time whether it’s taking my homework to work so when I have a break I can do my homework then, but if not it is what it is.”

Drained from a full day of work and school, Rodriguez says coming home to do homework at night adds to that exhaustion. The nightly routine, according to Rodriguez, can become lengthy and difficult to manage.

“Some things that are just a little more difficult are finding time to do stuff, and of course after working like a 6 hour shift or 7 hour shift, you’re tired, and having to stay up until 4:30 to finish an English essay, which procrastination isn’t the best thing, but sometimes it’s necessary,” Rodriguez said. “I just think overall, it is a challenge, but so is life, so you kind of just have to learn it a little earlier.”

Being in high-level classes, Jakubiak finds working many hours and managing homework to be difficult as well.

“Saturday is my only day to do homework, but I’m exhausted from working on Friday, so I kind of want to take the day off to rest,” Jakubiak said. “It’s really pushing yourself to get your homework done. Managing your time, [such as] working and also keeping up with your academics especially when they’re at such a high level, is very time consuming and takes a lot of your energy and sleep out of you too.”

Because the survey shows that less than half of the student body does not work, students at South without jobs might not recognize or know what it is like to have the lifestyle like Jakubiak and Rodriguez. For Rodriguez, he says he has to work towards what other people might already have, and that is something he wants students at South to realize.

“Just understand that your birthright might be something I have to work my entire life for,” Rodriguez said.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School
South students reflect on rigorous part-time jobs