Opinion: I’m going to work till the day I die, why start now?


Feature Photo by: Joslyn Bowman- A student looks at a job application form on her computer. Many teens at Rangeview are in search of jobs to start making some extra cash.

Joslyn Bowman, Opinion Reporter

I’ve been on this earth for sixteen years. I’ve been in school for eleven years. I will go to college for at least four years. I will then go on to work for at least twenty tears. My life will be an endless cycle of working. Why start now?

I recently turned sixteen, which in our society is considered a milestone. With this came an abundance of new responsibilities: getting my license, focusing on my school work, college searching, and getting a job. For many students at Rangeview, getting a car means that they have to take care of payments, such as insurance and gas and the only way to do so is by getting a job.

Sophomore Kylie Hopper, who works at Central Rec, said, “I wanted to get a job so I can get my own income so I don’t have to rely on my family.”

A group of hydro flasks sit on the lunch table. Luxuries such as shoes, air pods, and hydro flasks are purchased with the money that students make with their jobs (Bowman).

For many teens around RHS, this is what getting a job is about. This means luxuries such as shoes, clothes, and technology can be purchased. Societal pressures and expectations lead to students wanting more and more of these items, but the question is when does this lead to being overworked?

Colorado labor laws state that minors under the age of sixteen can’t work more than 18 hours during a school week, preventing any distractions or issues with their school life; however, those who are sixteen and older can work up to forty hours a week, and have no restrictions on how late they may be out working.

The most common job for teens include working at fast food restaurants. Many teens here at Rangeview work at McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and the new Canes that just opened up. With this being true, many of these restaurants are open until the early AM on school nights. Without late hour restrictions, this may be hurting the teens who decide to pick up late shifts.

For some, this may be be troubling. 9th Grade English teacher Ms. Myers said, “If you prioritize work and getting hours in and that takes precedence over getting your school work done, then I mean that’s a personal choice.” So how many students actually prioritize work over school?

Sophomore Maisol Nava, who works at Chick-fil-A, stated, “Work is an extra, so I can have some extra money; it’s not a need like school is.”

What a teen may not realize, however, is that working may still affect their school life. A study in 2017 indicated that students who worked more than 20 hours a week had an average GPA of 2.95. Seeming as students over the age of sixteen can work up to a forty hour week, the odds of a student with a low GPA are quite high, affecting their grades as well as college opportunities in the future. Along with this, working a large amount of hours can take away from time for test prep and studying.

A student’s car keys sit on their lanyard. At Rangeview, many juniors and seniors drive to school and have to find ways to pay for their gas (Bowman).

Not only does work take away from the school, it limits free time. 

Hopper also said, “I have school, work, and swimming everyday after school and I want to hangout with friends after that so a job just limits that time altogether.” 

While a job allows for luxuries such as clothes and expensive items—it takes away from time spent with loved ones. Between school and working, it would be near impossible for a student to find time to themselves and to make plans with their friends especially when a teen can work up to forty hours a week—a tremendous amount.

However, for some, having a job is inevitable. Students may need to provide for themselves, siblings, and even parents; therefore they work rigorous jobs. 

As my driving test creeps up on me, I’m expected to find a job to begin paying for my own things, so I’ve put a list together of a few solutions to keep in mind:

  • Try to find a summer job because that way one does not have to worry about school work and they can still make time for themselves. 
  • Start a savings account, so when you might need some money during the school year, you can tap into it.
  • If you want to have a job during the school year, make sure you have a plan to balance school work, your hours, and time for self care because you’re important too.
  • Even though you’re a teen, try to get a job that you like and make it enjoyable.

Soon, I’m going to need money to pay for my own gas and car insurance, but I occasionally fear the chunk of time having a job is going to take away from me. While a job is going to teach me responsibility, time management, and prepare for my future, it’s also going to restrict me from having fun. It’s going to add onto the stress of school and take away my free time as well. 

In America, retirement is common in ages sixty six to seventy. That’s over fifty years of work and stress, which is something I don’t want to do. If I’m going to be working for the rest of my life, I’m not going to start now.