To Work or Not to Work?

Katelynn Nagelmiller, Staff Writer

Should students be able to work at sixteen years old? Yes, under the right circumstances, I think they should. Some people think otherwise. They think it could bring down their grades or stress them out because they have too much on their plates. Students would have to sacrifice fun for work, but that’s how life works.

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.”

— Sammuel Ullman

It teaches the working students character and social skills, as well as what it’s like to be a working adult. If teens don’t work at sixteen they won’t understand the working world when they are at college, and it will be much harder to keep up grades, work, and a social life during the college years. Sadly, the percentage of teens with jobs has dropped since the 1980s and 1990s. The percentage use to be some where from 40-50 percent. It has currently dropped down to around 25 percent, and that is because parents are not allowing their children to get jobs. Many parents are worried their children won’t stay focused on their academics. Why let your teenager be in extracurricular’s? That surely can distract them from school, so why is a job any different?

“The pressure for a teenager to work is great,” Roxanne Bradshaw, Secretary Treasurer of the National Education Association says, “and not just because of the economic plight in the world today. Much of it is peer pressure to have a little bit of freedom and independence, to have their own spending money. The concern we have is when that part-time work becomes the primary focus.” trust that these teens can take a part-time job seriously.

Work teaches teenagers how to be independent and confident. It teaches them to take care of themselves. It teaches teens the value of money. Your parents might pay for your food and gas and clothes now, but they might stop once you move out. You need to learn how to manage your funds, track what you spend, and even what you spend it on.

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.” This is an interesting and inspiring quote by Sammuel Ullman. He is right when he says youth is “not a time of life…” that “it is a state of mind…”  A lot of teens take advantage of their childhood, and don’t act like adults when they need to. Having a job as a teen can help them do just that.

Teens need time to learn their work skills early, so they aren’t having to learn them while learning new skills in college. If I were a parent I would have my kids find a job at sixteen so they can have those life skills under their belts and be prepared for the life ahead. All adults have to do is  give teens a chance to prove themselves.