top of page

Juggling a Job and School: How to Find a Balance / By: Giselle De Leon

There are many reasons why students want to work. Some help support their families and others want to achieve a short-term goal, like buying a car. And with many companies hiring youth as young as age 14 (with limitations) to help teens get work experience, there are lots of opportunities out there. Although working as a teen has many positive aspects, it can take a toll, not just on your schedule, but also on your school and personal life. Having a job is a lot of responsibility and the hours put into working on top of school obligations can be very exhausting for young people.

 In July 2023 of this year, 55.0% of young people from 16-24 years old were employed in the U.S. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023). Students in college who need to work because they have to pay for school and the expenses that come with school are also faced with the fear of being financially independent as an adult in college. “One study showed that 70% of college students are stressed about finances” (Mental Health America, 2024). This stress can be burdensome on students who have to work a lot of hours, come home late, and still have to fulfill the expectations of their classes and school.

There can be effects on your mental health if you are pulled between school or a job and deciding which one to prioritize can be stressful. Charlene Ashley, an AP Psychology teacher at Walter Payton College Prep, states that “the tricky balance between school work and a job can be a negative stressor for many students. This can trigger our body's stress response system and lead to increased levels of stress hormones. Michale Boyles, a writer for Harvard Business School, says, "School and work require a lot of time and energy, but balancing them is possible. Effective scheduling is vital.” (Boyles, 2023).  Adalberto Simental, a restaurant worker at East Bank Club, adds that teens that have school and work responsibilities benefit from developing solid time management strategies; creating a calendar and making sure they use their time effectively, both in and out of school.” 

Neither a job nor your school commitments should affect you negatively or create issues for your mental health or school performance. You may occasionally have to sacrifice one for the other but, in general, by managing your time and emotional well-being, you should be able to balance both.


Charlene Ashley 

Adalberto Simental 


bottom of page