Whether you are helping with family expenses, saving money for college, a car, or a new pair of shoes, juggling school, work, and a social life is not easy. Being a teenager is not cheap and having money in your pocket gives you sense of independence. A part time job can be rewarding and teaches you important life skills, if you manage it well. I have had a job for most of my high school career and here are a few tips I have compiled a few tips to help you tackle the hectic lifestyle that can come with after-school jobs.
Have a planner. Trust me, this will save you so much stress. When academic and work responsibilities start piling up, it will pay off to have some sort of planner or calendar to help you prioritize what tasks to finish first. Know what assignments will be due throughout the semester. If a teacher gives you a syllabus with a list of due dates for the semester, write them down in a planner and work ahead when you have days off from work. If not, talk to your teachers and find out what assignments, such as final projects, you can start working on. This will allow you to work on class assignments periodically instead of facing a time crunch and rushing to complete several assignments in one night.
“Organize, don’t agonize.” Organization is perhaps the most vital habit to develop to reduce stress. Life is a lot easier when you are not spending too much time scavenging a messy room or backpack searching for an assignment after a long day. Having things in order will make maintaining a clear schedule much easier.
Balance your time between school, work, and social life. Set aside time to work on school assignments; you may have time to complete assignments before going to work or after completing your shift. You may even have time to do assignments while working your shift. I used to work at a grocery store as a cashier and when things were slow, I had time to finish some homework while I waited for another customer to check out. Also, do not forget to give yourself time to de-stress. Having a job doesn’t mean you have to eliminate fun from your life.
Talk to your boss:
Bosses are human and, believe it or not, they were once teenagers in high school too. If your current hours are becoming too stressful, let them know and they can help you reschedule. As advised by D’Arcy Lyness, “approach them directly, calmly, and honestly.” Many jobs will work around your schedule to give you the hours that work best for you. Ask for regular hours, whether it’s five hours a day three times a week or the weekends, a steady work schedule will help you manage your time wisely.
Always take care of yourself!
Having a job can cause you to forget to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Know your limits and do only what you can handle. Get enough sleep, eat healthy, and talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. If balancing several responsibilities is becoming too much to handle, do not be afraid to take a day off and rejuvenate. Hang out with family and friends, and enjoy a relaxing day.
Whenever you first start working, work a few hours the first week. This way you can assess how many hours you can handle and ease into your new job.