Goodberries is an ice cream shop near Leesville. It is one of many job opportunities available for high school students. (Photo Courtesy of Ellie Thompson)
Imagine you are a high school student and you want to go out with your friends. You plan an extravagant day, full of big spending and fun. The only problem is you’re out of money.
Finance is a major problem for all ages. High schoolers are at an age where they desire independence, but true independence requires making your own money. This can be a major problem for students. Balancing school and sports is tough by itself, then trying to add a job onto that balance can be challenging. But there’s hope for students; you are not the first.
Many students already have jobs in order to make money. Babysitting, tutoring, lifeguarding, and food service jobs are just a few of the options out there. Having a job in high school has value–you are able to support yourself and prove that you have experience for future jobs. “[Having a job is] an introduction to life after highschool/college,” said Kharis Greear, a Leesville student who tutors younger kids in math.
For anyone who enjoys working with younger children, tutoring is one way to learn to teach kids to understand a subject. “The best part [of tutoring] is seeing someone understand something,” said Greear. Tutoring pays well and gives opportunities to connect on a basic level by helping others.
Another job that highlights working with kids is babysitting. Offering your time to watch someone’s family while they are out of the house is a way to serve parents as well as spend time with kids. Ashlyn Watkins, a sophomore at Leesville, makes money through babysitting. It offers her freedom. She gets to set her hours and choose who she works for.
Food service jobs are another way many students make money. One of these jobs near Leesville is at Goodberries, an ice cream shop. “You make a good amount of money for just making ice cream,” said Zane Naftolin, a student who works at Goodberries. He grew up going to Goodberries, so a job there seemed to make sense.
Positions are available to students at many grocery stores, including Publix, which opened last year, so the rush for new hires was on. “It’s a good first job,” said Luke Holloway, a former employee at Publix. Publix offers high schoolers a chance to prove their responsibility in a large scale business.
All students should get a job at some point. Jobs provide a taste of the world after high school. “I think high school students should have jobs because its a level of responsibility outside of school,” said Holloway. While balancing school and a job is hard, the reward is worth the work.