Students Juggle Jobs and School

By Kyon Dardar and Sam Rautins 
Staff Writers

School, a job, and free time?! Often, this seems like an impossibility to a high school student. However, many students at Jamesville-DeWitt High School face the challenge of having a job. By developing their own methods, these students still manage to balance their time, school work and extra curriculars with their job.

A good way sophomore Ally Lowery, who works four hour shifts at Carvel, manages her time is that she does her homework on the first day it is assigned in order to not feel overwhelmed. Senior Albania Mitchell, who works at the Wegmans Pharmacy, said she faces this challenge by prioritizing. Sophomore Dylan McGee, another employee at Wegmans Pharmacy, also uses the same strategy, as does another Wegmans employee, junior Austin Philleo. Philleo does “work and school first, then the rest of the stuff comes second.”

Also, students find the balance by sculpting work hours around their school schedules. Senior Maggie Austin, who works eight hours a week at Carvel, said she only works on weekends so that it doesn’t conflict with soccer. Junior Sam Griffiths, who works at Temple Concord, says he only works on Sundays in order to keep up with homework and other obligations. Sophomore Nia Nelson, an employee at Bruegger's Bagels, but only on the weekends, works from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is because she is 15 and so only works seven to 11 hours a week. Senior Chase Hornstein, who works at his father’s company Redman Enterprizes, works 2 a.m to noon when he wants to. “I work when I want to work,” he said. Max Havens, a Robbie T’s employee, also only works weekends. “You get to pick and choose your hours for the most part. I work Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 7p.m. on Sundays,” says Havens. Robbie T also works around Tom Canfield’s school and sports schedule to make his work schedule.

However, some students’ jobs are not as flexible and they have to do homework whenever they get the chance. Junior Avery Reale, an employee at Scotch ’n’ Sirloin, works five hours a night, Thursday through Sunday. He said he manages his time by starting his homework before work, then finishing it after work if it isn’t done. Junior Erica Siegel uses this same strategy as Reale because she works 20 hours a week at the Carrier Dome. Junior Patrice Martin, an employee at JC Penny’s, works 30 hours a week and uses the same strategy as Reale; “I do my homework before work, so then I could just work the rest of the time.” Junior Mac Palin, who works at the Onondaga Country Club, works around 20 hours a week. Palin manages his time by doing whatever his boss tells him to do first. He’ll do his homework on the first day he gets it so that he has more time when he’s off work.

Some students struggle when finding that balance. Junior Nate Shapiro, an employee at the Onondaga Country Club, works 15 hours a week. “It’s very hard to manage my time; work is very overwhelming because of school.” Palin is also not in love with his job at the Onondaga Country Club; “I don't really like it because the hours are too taxing.”

Some students luck out in their job, like senior Ryan Adleberg, who works 20 hours a week at Rite-Aid. “The way I manage my time is by doing my homework while I’m at work, which is really convenient,” says Adelberg. Junior Andre Polukhin, an employee at Marshalls, works 20 hours a week. Polukhin says, “I work first, before my homework.” Chase Hornstein says; “It’s easy managing your time when you're a senior, you don't really get that much homework so you don't have to worry about that, and usually I just make time.” 

So, why do students want to add yet another obligation? Junior Maddy Frank, who’s a lifeguard at JCC likes her job “because it looks good on resumes. I like to save people and it kind of teaches you leadership.” Griffiths enjoys his job at Temple Concord because “it’s fun.” Martin enjoys the fact that her job gives her her “own money.”

Some enjoy their bosses, like senior Adam Doss. He works at Robbie T’s, and says he is fortunate to have a boss like Robbie T. Robbie T’s is a big employer of J-DHS students. Doss said,“ In order to work there, you have to be a friendly, hard-working person who is willing to dedicate your time.” Freshman Matt Paul is currently the youngest employee at Robbie T’s. “I work six hours a week because I’m too young to work 10,” says Paul.

These students prove that it is possible to manage your time while both having to work and to take care of your priorities with school. But, it can be a challenge.