Terryville, Connecticut, U.S.A. — You’re 16 and want more responsibility. You want a later curfew, your driver’s license, your own car and you can handle it because you’re 16.
But who’s going to pay for insurance? For a car? Or clothes? How will you get spending money for the movies or eating out? Well, it’s time to start filling out applications and find an after school J-O-B.
If any one of these are reasons to start hunting for an after-school job, consider yourself lucky.
Many teens are forced into getting part-time jobs because their parents are financially strapped and can’t afford weekly groceries, much less a car. For some, a job is a must.
Yet many teachers and parents feel that 16 is too young to start working.
“It takes away from studies and interferes with sports,” many parents say. And it’s true.
Sara Pescarmona, a junior at Terryville High School, saw this as her last opportunity to play school sports, so she quit her job.
“I choose to play tennis rather than work in my junior year because sports were more important to me. Plus, they were in conflict with my job. I decided this tennis season will be my last year of sports and next year I will work instead. Anyway, my life is too hectic to handle sports, a job, school and still have time for myself,” Pescarmona said.
Sharon Davis, another junior at Terryville High, chose a job over sports.
“I like softball, but a job was more important because I need money for college,” Davis said.
And then there are students who take it upon themselves to work and participate in school sports. Dennis Fowler, a student at THS, does just that.
“I need money and I love tennis so I have to manage my time fairly well,” Fowler said.
It doesn’t have to be sports that conflicts with a job. Terryville junior Brian Wilson is in the school band and volunteers his time helping middle school band members while working.
The students said their decisions were best for them at this point in their lives.
But should parents be expected to pay for all of the essential teen expenses?
However, with the economy in a slump and employers layoff happy, is it fair for a 16-year-old to take away a job opportunity from an adult who needs the money to support a family? This also must be consider when arguing the job age should be younger.
Choices, ages and responsibility: a lot of thought and effort goes into applying for an after-school job.
With the way the economy is right now, it is a fight for positions of all kinds.
Tracy Klimkoski is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.