EDITORIAL: The reality of working a nine to five

Two dollars over minimum wage is not worth our time


Southwest Shadow

Jobs are good for several reasons. Besides earning our own money to splurge on whatever we want, working can teach life lessons and give us something to do that doesn’t involve binge-watching Netflix shows every day. However, working part-time can impact our lives academically and socially–and some of us aren’t ready for that strain.

Despite the impressive skill of being able to balance life, school and work, busy schedules impact work performance. At any moment while talking to a customer, we’ll suddenly remember that there’s an essay due in two hours and we’re barely past the first paragraph. Teachers and managers notice this behavior as student workers get less hours of sleep than non-student employees.

Having a job in high school can even drop our grades significantly. Since increasing time on homework improves grades, working only cuts off the time we can use to excel. On days that we work, we spend 49 minutes less on homework, but it’s not that serious, right? Turns out, a solid A can drop to a C before we get the chance to blink. 

Is watching the drop of our GPAs on Infinite Campus really worth $10 an hour? Although work pays us in cash and schools reward us with percentages and pats on the back, earning $10 an hour won’t sound so great once we reach 25 years-old and have more than just In-N-Out to pay for.

Think about it–if we cash a check of $200 biweekly and spend it until our bank accounts reach 1/5 of what we initially earned before our next paycheck, we shouldn’t expect ourselves to do well as adults. With $400 a month, we can afford a pair of nice shoes or go on a small shopping spree, but it certainly will not be enough in the long run.

So, lets be smart. As much as we don’t want to admit it, grades determine our success more than money ever could. As you grow older, managers won’t be asking about your last pay raise, but your GPA. Think about what it will feel like when filling out your college applications and realizing you’re GPA is not up to par.

A job can wait–we need to do well in school before looking for a way to earn money. While we all have different reasons for working, we still need to understand that being employed also means time and commitment. Before filling out an application for a part-time job, be sure you are ready to earn paychecks—school and work.