It’s More Than Just a Paycheck


Logan Hanekamp

To many students, having a job in high school is more than just a paycheck. As much as students love working and reaping the benefits of hard hours worked, there are many positives that come out of having a job in high school’ it’s not always just about the money. Although money is the general reason to begin working, there are a plethora of valuable aspects that come from working a job as a high school student. I never really thought about having a job in high school until I kind of stumbled upon it. My good friend who works as a server at a restaurant asked me if I wanted to work as a hostess because they were hiring. I didn’t really think twice about it. I said sure; I applied, and I got the job. I knew I needed a job for this summer to prepare for the financial toll being a college student takes, but I have gained so much more than just money in my bank account. To this day, I am glad I made this quick decision because working as a high school student has taught me so many valuable lessons.

I may not have a passion for seating people at their tables and taking “To Go” orders over the phone, but it is a humbling experience where I have gained many new perspectives on things. Having a job has taught me about work ethic and the value of money. If you work hard, you will reap the benefits. Now that I have my own cash supply, I have a strong understanding of its value. Since I spend time working for that money, I appreciate that it is earned, and I understand it is not granted. As nice as it would feel to go on a shopping spree every time I get a paycheck, I have learned to take care of the money I earned because I value the work I put into it. I second guess buying that $40 shirt because, to me, that shirt equates to four hours of work. Having a job has also helped me manage my time. A big part of my life is having a schedule and following it. As playing club field hockey took up much of my time due to a tight schedule, having a job requires the same type of management skills. I have a strict schedule which has helped me plan and do my homework as well as work a decent amount during the school week. There are so many great things to gain from having a job as a high school student. I reached out to other LFHS students to ask them about their jobs.

“As a lifeguard, I have learned how to be more assertive, and I have learned how to help injured people. For me, I like to lifeguard because I have learned how to communicate with difficult people,” senior Ashley Bufe adds about her job as a lifeguard.

There are only a few places which hire people under the age of 18, or even if you are 18, it can become difficult to find a job. Since high school students are inexperienced in the workforce, finding a full-time or even part-time job can be a difficult task. For most high school students, many begin working around their sophomore or junior year casually over the summer. There are some great jobs and experiences that many students have. The majority of my friends work during the summertime. Jobs that are popular among high school students are babysitting, lifeguarding, hostessing, summer-camp counseling, restaurant work, caddying, and so much more.

“I was a camp counselor in Maine over the summer, and it taught me that as hard as manual labor is, I have learned that the work is worth the benefits. I have learned leadership skills and how to organize myself and the things around me better. I have gained a better work ethic by having a job,” senior Thomas Dixon said.

Although you may just be a high school student, the possibilities are truly endless and the benefits are much more than just a paycheck.