To the editor:
My name is Katelyn Gendron and I am a student at Lindbergh High School. Last semester in my Human Anatomy and Physiology class, my partner Adriana Spangler and I have been studying the effects of working while in high school on a student’s overall health. After thorough investigation, we have concluded that while a job can potentially be a simple way for a student to earn extra cash, employment can be overall extremely detrimental to teenagers, and can harm them in a multitude of ways.
Working as a teen can have harmful effects on a student’s educational and social well-being, as well as on their health and safety. Students who spend more time working have less time to focus on school, and often see a decline in their grade point average as a result of their decreased engagement in the classroom. In a survey we conducted of 77 Lindbergh students, 39 percent of students felt that having jobs negatively affected their GPA Additionally, students who work jobs have a much higher risk of drug and alcohol use. Exposure to high levels of stress at work, and even exposure to coworkers who engage in risky behaviors, makes it easy for students to fall back on alcohol and smoking as remedies to their stress. In fact, our survey revealed that 15.6 percent of students feel that their jobs increase their desire to use illegal substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Not only does working have negative effects on a students behavior, but jobs directly cause harm to a students health and safety, as well as their emotional well-being. Many factors at work cause students to feel highly stressed. Of the students surveyed, 79.2 percent of students said they have experienced stress due to their jobs in the last month, and of those students 28.8 percent have experienced work-stress over six times in the last month. Not only are teens who work more prone to experience depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and exposure to discrimination and bullying, they are also more prone to physical injuries. 33.8 percent of surveyed students claimed to have experienced work-related injuries in the last month, both me and my partner being included in that statistic.
Overall, through our rigorous research and well-conducted survey, we are able to conclude that employment does have a highly negative impact on students at Lindbergh High School. Students experience high levels of stress at their jobs, and this tears them down in every aspect of their lives. Their social lives are impacted, as many students report feeling less confident and more engaged in risky behaviors. Their educations are impacted, as many students report feeling unengaged in school, and lower grade point averages as a result of their workloads. Most impactfully, their mental and physical well-being are impacted, as students report feeling depressed and report numerous injuries as a direct result of their employment. Due to the popularity and push for teens to have jobs in today’s society, I think it is important for people to be aware of the ways in which teenage employment strongly negatively affects a teenage student’s health. After acquiring some knowledge on the topic, people can make well-informed decisions regarding their own employment status as a teen, or, for parents, that of their students. By looking from an outward perspective on the effects of a job on a teen, teens can work together with their parents to make the best decisions for their overall health.
Lindbergh High School