Central students talk about working minimum wage
May 18, 2021
Many high school students work minimum wage jobs for a steady disposable income, but because of this accepted societal norm, these people are hardly ever noticed. Students like Maia David and Luca Di Ruocco open up about their experience of working a minimum wage job in high school.
Working minimum wage often makes doing school work all the more difficult. Luca Di Ruocco states, “Whenever I have a day off it must be homework or I will get behind too easily… If you work till 10, that means no homework finished until 12.” School can become much more stressful while balancing a job.
One positive aspect of having a job is being able to spend money regularly. Maid David states, “Minimum wage is substantial enough for me, I mainly spend it on gas and college savings.” Di Ruocco adds, “I can pay for a car that I love, give gifts to family, pay for things myself and generally make my life better.”
Along with being able to spend regularly, having a job also provides financial security and independence. Di Ruocco claims, “To have financial freedom at such a young age is a blessing in my opinion. It allows me to learn skills that will be much more important when I am an adult.” Having to manage finances teaches many real world skills that would be beneficial throughout life.
Although the rewards for having a job are nice, one major dilemma is balancing time. Di Ruocco states, “Exercise, relationships, school, work and recreational time all become a give and take. If you want to do homework, then you can forget about hanging out with friends or playing video games.” David adds, “Balancing work, school, relationships, and extracurriculars if you do them is pretty difficult. The more I work, the more my grades slip.”
When all the pros and cons are weighed, is having a minimum wage job in high school worth it? David states, “I think it’s worth it. I don’t have to do any difficult tasks, so I think I’m compensated fairly for it.” Di Ruocco answers, “Yes, but only if you are willing to work hard… You can really learn to enjoy the people you meet and can even make work fun. The stress is something that will be different for everyone. You should only do enough that you are not sacrificing your social or school life.”
Although the general consensus is that working a minimum wage is worth it, raising the minimum wage should still be considered. David says, “Raising minimum wage would help people who rely on that job. The argument comes in that you’re getting paid for the level of effort your job requires, but it may be the only job someone can get.” Di Ruocco follows, “I think raising the minimum wage is a very important thing for our generation to encourage. Besides making the lives of teenagers easier by allowing them to save money for college, many people that are working minimum wage have a family to support. It is tragic but the truth is people cannot survive at the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.”
Working a minimum wage job has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, high schoolers believe that having a job is worth it. According to these students, despite its worth, minimum wage should be raised to accommodate for the people that have to live off minimum wage.