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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The Balance Between Work and Study


Money: The root of good and bad. A valuable item heavily sought after.

School: An institution dedicated to education. A requirement hated by some and loved by others.

Growing up, you know what money is but often don’t know its value. To a child, a twenty-dollar bill is just a portal to get more toys. Most don’t understand the value of money until they need to use their hard-earned cash to buy things they need. As students get older, they become more independent and spend more money. Speaking from personal experience, I could not do many of the things I do without a job. I just wouldn’t have any money. Some people are supported by their parents but only if they continue to excel academically. I decided to see other people’s perspectives on having a job and going to school at the same time.

I interviewed senior Cole Bamford, a determined LHS athlete who is graduating this spring. He also takes a variety of honors and AP classes. He works about 20 hours a week at a local grocery store. Cole says his job is low-stress and very easy. He gets out around 8 pm most of the time, so it keeps his sleep schedule healthy.

During the school year, he likes to “get things done first before I can relax and enjoy my day.” This is a great way to ensure you get all your work done and don’t build a habit of pushing it off until the last second. Cole didn’t seem to feel very challenged by school this year, saying, “I really had no challenges because I never had much homework to do.” Cole learned many valuable skills like communication, teamwork, and the value of money. When I asked Cole if he thinks it is a good idea to work in high school, he said, “Go for it, but don’t work a ton, just enough to see the money flowing into your account. It feels rewarding to see it coming in.” Cole says people with no job can just “go home without an extra thought,” while people working have to worry about their schedule for the rest of the day.

Cole was a varsity soccer player for all four years of high school and was one of the captains in his senior year. Juggling work, sports, and school assignments has never been easy, but he gets it done consistently. After he graduates, he will go on to college in Springfield.

I also interviewed senior Thomas “Tommy” Quiterio, another LHS athlete who is graduating this spring. Tommy does not have a job but stays busy in his free time. He takes a variety of AP and honors classes at school. He has lots of fun hobbies like soccer, video games, hanging out with friends, and going to the gym. Tommy appreciates being able to enjoy the simple things. He has lots of time to spend with his girlfriend, which is very important to him. When they are not together, he likes to go to the gym.

“I like to go to the gym about four to five days a week. Even if it’s just for an hour. It keeps me healthy and busy.” Tommy also spends a good portion of his week playing soccer. He loves to play soccer and has been involved in the sport since a young age. Tommy prefers to get his schoolwork done as soon as he can. He says it “makes the day run smoother. I don’t have to worry about completing my work at night because it is already done after school.” I asked Tommy if he thinks he would have gotten a job if he could go back a few years. He said, “No, I still would not have got a job in high school because I am going to be working my whole life, so I don’t want to start now. I would rather enjoy my free time while I’m young.” This is a very common opinion among kids. Some people decide they want to make the most out of their young years and take advantage of staying home while they can. I made sure to ask Tommy for his point of view on his friends who balance work and school.

Tommy said, “I see the effects as mostly positive on my friends having a job in high school. My friends can pay for their things without having to ask their parents for money, and they learn the value of money. One downside I see is that they lose a lot of their free time because they’re stuck at work.” Tommy will graduate high school in about one week and can’t wait to move on with his life. He played varsity soccer for three years and was a captain of his team in his senior year. All that hard work paid off because he will soon go on to play college soccer locally, an impressive accomplishment.

Lastly, I spoke with senior Hannah Goncalves. She is also an LHS athlete who has immersed herself in AP classes and ranked 10th in her class. She currently works at Starbucks about 35 hours a week and enjoys her job. She is a three-sport athlete and manages the wrestling team. Hannah said that she is definitely working in a “high-stress environment most of the time,” but it calms down at night. She also, unfortunately, noted that her sleep is heavily affected by the amount of work she puts in.

“Most days, I am exhausted from all the work I put in, so it negatively affects my energy.” When it comes to getting schoolwork done, she makes sure to get all of it done as soon as it can be completed. Sometimes she just wants to work and not even do school. “Sometimes I want to prioritize work over school because I want to make more money, but I also know that school is more important for my future, so it gets hard, but I make sure to focus on school and sports during the day and work at night and on weekends.” It seems like she just doesn’t stop. Although it seems like a good schedule (school during the day and work at night/weekends), it didn’t always work out as she hoped. Hannah would occasionally have to turn in work late and even miss out on studying for tests due to work and just being exhausted. With all this stress came lessons. Hannah has learned that it is “important to focus on the people around you and to build connections with them.” I would agree.

The people around you every single day are the people you spend the most time with and can elevate your environment. Hannah also pointed out that “working makes it harder to find the time to study and complete schoolwork, but it still has to get done, and you must always prioritize school over work.” Hannah said if she didn’t have to work, she would do better in school due to the increased time she would have to put towards school. Hannah said her dream and reason for working is to “go to Boston College, so I had to work to be able to afford my expensive dream college.” She will soon be graduating this spring and going on to her dream college in Boston. Even with all the stress and exhaustion, she still loves her job and is happy where she is.

After interviewing all these impressive people, I have learned a lot. I can even relate to many things they said. Working while going to school is possible and rewarding, but there are also downsides to it. You can lose out on time with friends and family, homework, and sleep. But you also get to have your own money. You can be a lot more independent and learn the value of working for your money. It seems like working in high school is a manageable task, but not something for everyone.

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