by Peyton Wilson
With the decline of the economy over the past decade, teenagers all across America have been forced to earn their spending money by working after school. Some St. Thomas students have also been forced to work after school. Being the college preparatory school that it is, St. Thomas presents an extremely heavy academic workload for its students. For those of us that do not work during the school year, it is hard to imagine how some of our peers are able to balance school work while holding a job.
Senior Straton Gill has worked at Achilles Express Cafe since July. “All I really do is make the pizza,” said Gill. “It’s pretty chill.” Gill has maintained a high B or low A grade-point average while he has been at St. Thomas, and plans on keeping it that way. ” I can see how kids could get a little overwhelmed trying to balance school and a job,” said Gill. “But I’ve learned that really taking advantage of your free time at school to get homework done really helps keeping that work load down.”
Senior Nick Witkowski has worked at his neighborhood Whataburger for the past two years. “My skills range from doing the easily manageable front counter to the strenuous and taxing grill,” said Witkowski. Witkowski is keeping himself busy, working as much as he can. “I’ve been working there for about two years now, and I usually work Mondays, Wednesdays from 5-10, sometimes 10:30 if the next shift doesn’t show up, and on Saturdays from 2-10m,” said Witkowski. Even though he is working full time, Witkowski keeps his academics as his main priority, maintaining an A average for all four years he has been at St. Thomas. Witkowski has also won numerous academic awards and scholarships for his accomplishments in the classroom. “I mostly get by through doing all my homework in class,” said Witkowski. “Even though some teachers may frown upon this, I do it at every opportunity I can, so as not to be disrespectful, but get it done as well. It has proven to be effective, as I have maintained my high grades and still have been able to purchase my 08′ mustang.” Even with a workload like Witkowski’s, he firmly believes that the benefits gained from working in high school far outweigh the costs. “It is difficult at times such as when you have both a Calculus test and AP timed write to complete tomorrow in class, but I’m convinced that the benefits of working far outweigh the costs,” said Witkowski.
It is not easy balancing the life that St. Thomas students live, and when you throw a job into the mix it is nearly impossible. Students who do not work and complain about the amount of homework each night should try to imagine how hard it is to stay on top of school work with a job. It is difficultly to maintain a steady job throughout the school year and academically succeed at St. Thomas, however students like Seniors Straton Gill and Nick Witkowski have displayed that it is very doable.