Should High Schoolers be getting jobs in the middle of a Pandemic?


Tessa Pauls, Editor in Chief

As every person on the planet knows by now, there is a world pandemic happening; however, this doesn’t stop the constant grind of school and worry of being able to afford college. Most students in high school get a job either their sophomore or junior year of high school. In Waunakee many people work at places like the Pig, Milios, or McDonalds. The pandemic however, has caused working at places like this to become very high risk and not necessarily better than not having a job. So that brings the question, is working and earning money more important than the safety of your health.

For many people like myself that isn’t a question, a job is necessary. I will have to pay for my college entirely on my own and that happens to cost around $30,000 a year so in order to not be $120,000 in debt, I got a job as a lifeguard at the school pool as soon as I could. I started working the day after I turned 16, but I recently made the decision to graduate a year early which means I have a year less to make money. This means that even though there is a pandemic happening and it could be dangerous I immediately went back to work right when the pool opened back up in September. I even got a second job as a nanny.

It may sound crazy to some people that a 17 year old in high school with a full class schedule, 4 college level classes (AP and CAPP), and in the middle of a pandemic has two jobs. But the thing that many people forget is that even though we are students and minors, many of us have to stress about money as much as adults. Many of us don’t have to worry about our food, bills, or clothes, but we do have to worry about our futures. As a senior your life is spent researching the college you want to go to and if it is worth the amount of debt you will get, and the rest is filled with scholarships in hope that you won’t be in as much debt.

Having one or two jobs is necessary for some high schoolers and the pandemic doesn’t change that. If a person’s parents will be paying for their college or future with plans then there is no point to putting your life in danger right now. However for many teenagers they don’t get this luxury and they have to risk getting sick just so that they can afford even a little bit of their future.