Katie Walters, CFNN Editor/Reporter

Entering high school is a huge step in our lives, but there are also a few courageous students who choose to go into the workforce as well. Typically, it’s only juniors and seniors, but there are a few eager sophomores who join too. While our new-found freedom is nice, with it comes new responsibilities.

Having a part-time job while being in school can be a stressful combination, but it is very rewarding. I started working at Pierro’s Italian Bistro as a hostess about a month ago, and so far it’s going well. There are ups and downs, but in the end, I’m glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone to do this.

I’ve interviewed some students who have taken on this challenge to hear their thoughts about it.

Gabby Swenson is a junior here at Cape Fear. She has been working at Fox’s Pizza Den in Eastover since late May of last year.  “I love my job, it’s given me more responsibility and independence,” she said.

Gabby Swenson

This school year, Gabby is taking two online FTCC classes, giving her the ability to go home after 2nd period. She works 3 to 4 days a week. She uses the time in between getting home and going to work to start on homework. When she gets home, she finishes up anything left to do before going to bed.

“I do feel like I’m burning myself out sometimes,” she said when asked if she ever got overwhelmed. “It seems like there isn’t enough time in the day, but in the end, it all works out.”  Gabby also plays volleyball for our school, as well as a travel team. Some days can get pretty hectic, but she has learned that the best solution is to take off work whenever she has practice.

While it may seem to be too much to handle at times, the benefits that can come from having a job definitely outweigh this thought. “I’ve met so many new people that I wouldn’t meet just by being at school all day. I’ve also learned better time management skills, which I know will help me in college, and the rest of my life,” she stated.

Twins Morgan and Matthew Drake are also juniors at Cape Fear. They work at Burney’s Sweets & More in Fayetteville, and have been there since April of last year. 

“I like my job,” Morgan said. “At first I didn’t really want to work, but my parents wanted us to branch out, and I’m glad they did.” They only work 2 days out of the week, usually Fridays and Saturdays, in order to have time to do homework after school. Even though working on the weekend may not be ideal, Matthew says, “I’d rather be productive and making money than just laying around at home not doing anything.”

Matthew and Morgan Drake

As for time management, both Morgan and Matthew said that they, “Go with the flow.” Being able to handle things as they come is a great skill to have, especially with a full schedule. The unexpected can certainly happen, and the best way to handle it is by staying calm and doing one thing at a time.

Some things that are great to have when getting your first job are your license and preferably a car. This way, you’re able to drive yourself to and from work without having to wait on anyone else. 

Another thing you want to keep in mind is making sure that management is aware of your school hours and anything else that goes on in your life. They need to be flexible with you, as your priority should always be getting your education.

When asked if having a job is worth it, all 3 replied, “Yes!”

They collectively said that the greatest thing about it is getting your own paycheck and that it’s nice to have your own money instead of having to ask your parents whenever you need some, and I agree. We can also all agree that we like being apart of the workforce.

One of the best parts about it is getting to meet new people. Whether they’re your co-workers or customers, you’re able to make connections with them. It can be refreshing to see a new set of people after being in school all day. You also gain many social skills that can benefit you for the rest of your life, as Gabby had said. 

So if you’re considering getting a job while in school, or if you know you have to, we can assure you that it is possible to have one without getting completely engulfed in it. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before getting a job though, such as how far away it is, gas money, and the type of job you’ll be doing. 

It can be a lot to handle sometimes, but at the end of the day, having a job while in school really is worth it.