Is getting a job in high school worth it?

Is getting a job in high school worth it?

Callie Weishaar, Reporter

As a graduating senior I would say that I am relatively aware of what comes after high school and all of the expenses that come with my diploma.  Even if I go to a cheaper college and I earn multiple scholarships and my parents help with my tuition, I will inevitably have to pay for something that will cost a lot of money.  Luckily, I have had a job working for the Elmbrook Schools IT Department for the past two years and I have been saving the majority of what I make.

If we break it all down, whatever you make at a job is bound to help in your future endeavors.  Suppose that, like many BC students from the past few years, you decide to go to the University of Wisconsin Madison for continued education.  There, the average tuition rate per year is $27,418 before financial aid.  After aid, the average cost per year is $17,234.

Currently, I work nine hours per week.  If I received the minimum wage for Wisconsin of $7.25 per hour, I would make $65.25 each week, $261 in a month, and $2,349 in a school year.  That doesn’t account for the extra money you can make over the summer, the fact that most people receive pay above the minimum wage, and the fact that 9 hours is not that much!  Imagine what I could make in this scenario if I worked twelve-hour weekends instead.  If the majority of this money is kept safe in a bank vault until it’s time to cash it all in for higher education, I can put a pretty decent-sized dent in that tuition.

Getting a job isn’t just good for college expenses, though, it can also teach you good life skills.  Every adult will tell you that having a job will teach you time management, money management, etc..  I think the most important thing that my job has taught me is self-confidence.  In school, we don’t have much freedom when it comes to making our own decisions.  We are told where to go and what to do at all times.  As much as everyone might wish, this routine doesn’t prepare us for everything there is to come with being an adult.  While I’ve had my job, I have been given tasks that I had to complete all by myself.  I would be given simple instructions for the day and be left alone, trying to complete the tasks by myself with little resources and instruction. These were the experiences that taught me to be confident in my own abilities and my own decisions.  Whatever happened at the end of the day, whatever my boss told me, I had to know that I tried my best and I made the best decisions that I could.

Getting a job might seem like a lot right now but it will be worth it in the long run.  Not only are you making your own money but you are learning important skills that will help you in your future endeavors.