Life of a Working Teenager


Jocelyn Leal, Editor-in-Chief

Sitting under the hot sun at an outdoor cafe after a long day of school, functioning off six hours of sleep and still tons of homework to do is just one day in the life of a working teenager. It is hard, tiring work that students do that doesn’t get as much credit as participating in a school club or sport. Nevertheless, these students are making money for car insurance, gas and other wants and needs. Here are their stories.

Grace Diggins (11)

Last year (as a sophomore), junior Grace Diggins started working at Bella Mia during her high school lacrosse season, and she was constantly busy.

“I’d get out of practice at 4:30 and had to be at work by 5, so I was always rushing,” stated Diggins.

She also worked until nine three nights a week, so by the time she got home, it was already late, and on top of that, she had to stay up even later each night to finish any homework she had. This meant sometimes assignments were left incomplete that she had to finish the next day.

“It was super hard trying to get into a good routine to get everything done!”

Working Hard or Hardly Working?- Junior Destin Gollamudi restocks the fridge during his shift at Publix. Gollamudi wants to continue working at Publix.

Destin Gollamudi (11)

Another junior, Destin Gollamudi, also recounts a stressful time while working at Publix, saying, “One day I was stacked on homework, and I had to work from three to ten and then come home and stay up until like 12 to do my work.”

Gollamudi may recount this one stressful activity, but other than that he believes that working during high school is an exellent experience because you can make memories. It gives high schoolers some independence regarding their money.

Jackie Reilly (11)

Reilly talks about balancing school, her job at Bella Mia, and participating in a service club event this past weekend as a time she was most stressed out.

“Usually, in this situation, I would make sure to get all of my homework and studying done during the day, but this weekend I just so happened to have a Mam’Selles event on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday. This situation became very stressful quite quickly as I realized I had a test in my AP Chemistry class that Monday.”

Luckily, Reilly is good at balancing her workloads, so she got everything done on time, even if it meant spending every free moment doing homework. Despite weekends like these, she feels that working in high school is beneficial if it is done correctly.

“Working teaches people things they wouldn’t know unless they experienced them, like in customer service. I believe that developing these skills early on really helps teens out in the long run,” said Reilly.

Whether students work because they need to or just want to, balancing school, clubs and other activities on top of it is not an easy task, and the students who do choose to work in high school deserve more recognition than they receive.