Why working is well worth your while
BY PATRICK UHLMAN ON APRIL 17, 2014
High school is a time of great change; from our days as young and innocent freshman, to one of our biggest life transitions as grown and ultimately wiser seniors. Throughout those four years, we learn some of the most important, life-altering lessons, teaching us how to interact with the world and become responsible and intelligent adults. In my personal experience, one part stands out from the rest.
My freshman and sophomore years were quite typical of the average student. Upon turning 16, I got my license and a car, which brought a whole new array of opportunities and liabilities. Among the opportunities of having reliable transportation is that of working a job. Now that I could easily get anywhere without relying on someone else, it was a plausible option.
I got my first job over the summer of 2012, between my sophomore and junior year. I worked in a warehouse filling and shipping orders to our customers. It was the first time I had that much responsibility. Customers depended on my co-workers and I to get the supplies they needed, and my employers counted on us to make the customers happy. Though I gained a lot from my first job, my next job really made a difference.
At the beginning of my junior year, after spending the summer working in a warehouse, I was in need of a job that I could work while attending school simultaneously. An opportunity presented itself and I took it without hesitation; I was now working a part-time minimum wage job as a customer service representative at Domino’s Pizza. Seeing the food service industry in action was eye-opening. It was a completely new experience for me having to deal with customers directly, as well as being responsible for correctly taking orders and maintaining a clean work environment. I quickly found that these conditions can be stressful, which explains why waiters and waitresses don’t always seem too happy.
Through having all of these new experiences, I changed as a person. Having a job not only teaches you responsibility and diligence, it also affects you socially. You have to learn to work well with your fellow employees and by doing so you establish connections with various new and sometimes very different people. The social side of working has arguably been what has influenced me the most. I now have an entirely separate social network of co-workers; completely new people outside of the social bubble of my family and friends I’ve always been around.
Having a job in high school is something I think everybody should do because the experience has been so influential in my life. It teaches responsibility, time-management skills and forces you to be open and friendly to interactions with other people, making you a better person overall.