Finding a Balance


Carlie Peters

A clock in the journalism room. An Instrument used to tell time.

Elise Eisenmann, Contributing Writer

   With late nights and early mornings, going to work and school can be a difficult challenge for students at Nixa High School. When students first start working, they may need extra help and tips from people who have more experience. 

   The manager at Andy’s Frozen Custard, Nanette Haenig, said she considers a variety of factors in student’s lives when hiring them.

   “Availability is huge. I try to see what hours they are available, how many functions they have or after school activities that might take up too much of their time, and a lot of time they don’t even realize how much time they have or not have,” Haenig said. 

   Employers will often work around the high school schedule.

   “Someone not in school will definitely get more day shifts because they are available, so high schoolers will tend to work more evenings and weekends,” Haenig said. 

   Senior Jaklyn Montgomery, who works at Andy’s, has her schedule planned out in order to effectively manage her time with work and school.

   “I like to plan stuff out in a calendar, like I’ll need to study these times or I have a test on this day so I probably will need to get all these things done. And then you just set out allotted times that you can do that,” Montgomery said.

   While working, students must use different skill sets to keep up their grades while balancing their work schedule. 

   “Time management is huge I think, because school is a full time job then if you add a part time job on top of that then you’ve got double,” Haenig said. 

   When scheduling working hours for students, jobs can adjust their schedule based on how they are doing in school.

   “Usually we talk about hours and if they need to cut back, they need to cut back for a little bit. If they are doing better then we can add more hours. So we are definitely flexible with the amount of hours that they work,” Haenig said. 

   On top of school and going to work, sometimes students have to fit other important activities like extracurriculars into their schedules. From this they can learn valuable life skills. 

   “It can be kinda hard at times. It could be a lot because you’re trying to do everything at once and it gets kinda tiring but it also helps develop stamina to keep pushing through,” Montgomery said. 

   Part time jobs can help students learn how to plan ahead for things that they have to do. 

   “Time management and making sure that everything can fit into a schedule and coming up with a schedule that works for you,” Montgomery said.

   Students that work must be responsible with times they know they need off, exceptions can be made for the students if they are on top of it. 

   “If they have not asked off and they are on the schedule it’s their responsibility to work. So we discuss that usually during the interview process that this is key. We can make it work but it definitely goes two ways. You’ve got to make sure you get your days off and I’ll try to be flexible. If we get to the point that you are scheduled and something pops up you have to make a choice,” Haenig said.

   Although students may have other things they want to do, students must be prepared to sacrifice a lot of their time to working. 

   “There’s certain things like you have to go to work other than hanging out with your friends, but usually jobs are pretty lenient,” Montgomery said. 

   Despite the many challenges high school students may go through while balancing their school life with work, there are many benefits that can be applied in other ways.

   “Working there has really helped me to multitask and become more willing to do stuff that gets out of your comfort zone, so you’re more willing to do stuff. It helps with working in groups of people because you have to work as a team,” Montgomery said.