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Handling a Job and Homework a Juggling Act That Pays Dividends

Bobby Burt, Staff Reporter

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A 17-year-old high school student, busy working at his part-time job that pays minimum wage, has pencil in hand doing homework while on a break.

Unfortunately, this scene is quite common for working teens.  Some teachers and students provided tales and lessons on ways to handle school and a job. 

My manager (at Cinemark) understands that my school work comes first, and I appreciate that from her.”

— Trinity senior Jon Mattingly

Mr. Alan Wilson, a French and art teacher at Trinity, recalls his first time making money.

“I mowed lawns when I was 12 years old, but my dad didn’t allow me to have an actual job with a company until I was a senior in high school,” Wilson said.

When he was in college, he worked about 25-30 hours a week to pay off certain expenses while also going to classes 30 hours a week. How did he deal with a 60-hour work week?

“I pulled off a lot of late nights and all-nighters working on homework,” Wilson said.

He also didn’t take much time off work because of the expenses he needed to pay. “I didn’t even go on spring break,” he said.

Wilson said he would have enjoyed college much more if he hadn’t had to work all the time, but he still found time to take a break. “You can have a job, but also make sure to take time off to just relax,” Wilson said.

Trinity senior Jon Mattingly currently has a job and is a decent student in school. He stays on top of his homework, especially this year.

“I make sure to get my homework done either in advising (class) or as soon as I get home, just so I don’t have to worry about it later,” Mattingly said. “My manager (at Cinemark) understands that my school work comes first, and I appreciate that from her.”

It’s often hard for working students to remember to do their homework, but Mattingly has a system that really works for him. He makes sure to write down everything assigned in his school planner and on a calendar in his family’s office.

With this system, Mattingly only stays up late working on homework when he stays late at work. “I hardly ever stay up late. I make sure to get to bed so I won’t be tired the next day,” he said.

Mattingly’s advice to struggling students: “Manage your time. You want to make sure you have enough time to get your homework done so stress doesn’t cover you.”

Sometimes a job after school isn’t for pay, but it still requires managing time.

Because Trinity senior Bryce Jones had duties that ranged from a job that paid him in money and a job that paid in experience, he quit Panera Bread so he could focus more on homework and his managerial duties for the Trinity football team.

Juggling athletics, school, and work during his junior year got to be too much so he made a choice.

“Being a manager for the football team is basically a job where I don’t get paid, but the experience that it gives me is much more than any money,” Jones said. “I don’t really miss having a job because it just added a lot more work to do, work that I didn’t really want to do.”

Nothing changed in his homework routine after Jones quit Panera. He spent the same amount of time after practice to do his homework. “I just power through my homework to get it done sooner,” Jones said.

Learning to get homework finished has made Jones feel like he will be able to succeed in college.


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Handling a Job and Homework a Juggling Act That Pays Dividends