What effects do jobs have on teenagers mental health?


Image: “One and Other-Mental Health” by Feggy Art is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Emily Mattix, Reporter

In many ways jobs can bring controversy, effect mental health, effect motivation for school work, and being in a toxic work area. It can or could have a huge impact on their social and school life. It can effect them as a person, and even school work or productivity.

Employment has become more regular and more time consuming, during the early years of high school. With many teens working 20 hours or more, it will definitely show in how they act or how they feel. If teens are working with other teens their age it might be a job they could enjoy. Teenage employment has instigated debates over whether or not they should be allowed to work. Most parents like the idea of their kids working, it instills several positive traits, as well as responsibility, good work ethic, independence, and interpersonal skills. Then again there is a negative side to everything, teens being overworked, overwhelmed about mixing school and work, anxiety induced thinking also comes along. 

First thing teenagers think about when they get a job is, What about my school work, will it get in the way? According to this information this is what Sydney Collette has to say, “Yes, I always coincidentally get school work on the nights I have to be at work,  it’s hard to get stuff done on time.” School should be a number one priority over work no matter what. Some jobs will understand that you have school and cant work as much or need early hours. It also differs on the job. Teens put too many hours on their jobs, If they are working right after school, they have little to no time to get help if the need it after school, or ask questions if they are stuck on homework. Makynzie Myers has input on this question as well, “Because of our age, we are expected to pay for our own things and for some to even pay bills. We need the money and when we have a bunch of school it interferes with work. But we have to work to get the money in return to get the things we need. It’s stressful.” 

Teenagers who enter adolescence with strong academic goals and interests, may vary on how much they work, and when they do get a job or have one, they limit their hours so they don’t put their grades on the line. Those who choose to work long hours, tend to develop attendance issues and behavior problems, and even put their grades aside at the start of high school. To fully understand the consequences of teenagers working is to be aware of the pre-existing features they have, quality of work, academic promise and the circumstances of behavior. Teens never take time to think about how they are doing mentally when all they are worried about is school and work constantly.

Second thing that us teenagers think about is, Will my job effect and/or get in the way of my personal life? As stated by Makynzie Myers “Yes because as kids/teenagers we want to be able to live our lives and make the best moments but at the same time we have to work, and get money to pay for our stuff. We all don’t have the same schedules, so it’s hard to plan things with friends or family when everyone can go.” As teenagers start working more, we start to get an attitude towards work, not wanting go, or having a problem getting along with certain people. When we get overworked, you can only take so much at a time in one place. Sydney Collette has also spoken on this topic, “Sometimes, I try not to let it, it took away my weekends which kind of sucks, but I can always manage some way to get free time.” During our teenage years we shouldn’t have to worry about going to work everyday, and stressing about having to do our school work with what little time we have left of that day. Employment has particular exposure to the youth that they experience while working, most of it being the quality and motivation to work. All teenagers need to be reminded that its okay to take a break.