Tight Schedules for High School Students


Autumn Pagel, Hour 1

You probably know at least one person who has a job in highschool, maybe it’s you or a friend. It’s probably hard to find time to spend time with your friends when you and/or they are working a part-time job in school. Some may think it’s “preparing you for the real world” or teaching time management, but that’s not always the truth. 

SPASH Student Experience 

Here at SPASH, a very large amount of students have a job.  According to a survey of 26 journalism students, almost ¾ of students have a job, 73.1% to be exact. Compared to the national percentage of students with jobs (17%) this is a lot. When asked about how many hours they work, 65% said that they work more than 20 hours a week, and a little less than a quarter of those students (20%) work 30+ hours a week. For the students who have jobs, this is a lot of time they are losing to do other things like homework and having time to themselves. Students often want to work the most amount of hours possible so they can make as much money as possible. According to the survey, 50% of students make $12-13 an hour, which is a good starting wage for a student, but may not satisfy their needs and wants. Only 30% of students make more than $13 an hour. With inflation and high gas prices, students feel pressured to work longer hours to make up for the increase in prices. Students who want to go to college may also work tirelessly to save for their future education. The average in-state tuition for a public 4-year school in Wisconsin is $8,764, but can easily increase depending on the major, location, or school. So it’s no surprise so many students work so many hours. 

Students Lack of Freetime

Working a job obviously takes time out of your day, but for students it’s much more than an adult loses working. According to timecamp.com, most adults work 8-9 hours a day. That’s almost the same as a student is in school. But students who works don’t just have school, they work as well. Meaning students are busy for 12-14 hours a day, depending on their work hours. This leaves little time for anything else. 69.5% of students have less than 15 hours of free time a week. And 39.1% of students report having 10 hours or less of free time a week. Having very little free time as a teen can greatly affect one’s overall health. For example, if a student spends every second of the day at school, work, and doing homework, this leaves no room for personal activities. With no time for hobbies, socializing, self-care, and a lack of sleep, the student’s mental and/or physical health can slip. 

What Students Should do

With that in mind, it’s important to leave some time for yourself by ensuring you have plenty of time off. In an article written by Mental Health America [an American mental health advocate and research site], the author writes, “School administrators recommend that students ideally work 10-15 hours per week.” This is a great piece of advice that comes straight from a school administrator. It’s an ideal amount of time for a high schooler to work a week because it leaves plenty of time for activities outside of work and school. Its also a good idea to work fewer days a week, working 3-5 days of the 7 days a week allows for more free time for students.  Although this may not bring in much money, it gives teens the time to live out their teenage years, after all, you’re only a teen once. In a quote from Jaden B. [A student with a job], she ends with, “You get all wrapped up in life when at the end of the day your just a kid.”