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How to Handle Working While in High School

November 17, 2023 | Acceleration Academies

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High school is a busy time in life. You’re trying to balance academics with extracurriculars, college searching and applications, family obligations and, often, a time-consuming job. While many students choose to work in high school because it allows them to save money for college, pay for their first car and have extra spending money, for many others working while in high school is necessary because it helps provide income for their families — money that helps keep the lights on, water running and food on the table.

Either way, working while in high school comes with its own struggles. With the rigor of high school academics, the time and energy a job takes up can make it difficult to focus on your studies. Thankfully, some programs help make high school schedules more flexible and help you finish high school and earn your diploma a different way. If you’re wondering how to manage a job while you finish high school, this blog is for you. Keep reading for some practical tips and guidance on how to make the most of your full schedule!

What are the Benefits of Working in High School? 

Working in high school can have a number of long-term benefits. When you work in high school, you:

  • Earn money for current wants and needs
  • Can save money for wherever you end up post-graduation
  • Develop people and communication skills 
  • Learn better time management
  • Find your passions, which can help you discover what you want to do with your life

How to Balance School and Working in High School 

Even with the benefits of working in high school, it is still important to learn how to keep your job balanced with your academic life. After all, earning your diploma should be your primary goal no matter your reasons for working while in high school. 

Below are a few tips on how to best balance school and working in high school:

Make a schedule 

Know the general flow of your week and weekends so you can anticipate when assignments are due or when you have shifts at work. Try to leave some extra room in your schedule so you can complete big projects or study more when needed. It can be helpful to keep a written or digital calendar with your work shifts and project due dates, or to make weekly or daily to-do lists!

Work with your teachers

Your teachers want to see you succeed and want to hear how they can best help you. Communicate your needs and stressors to them to find a path that works best for you both. Don’t be afraid to ask for extensions if you need them, but also don’t rely on always getting extra time. 

Keep on top of your assignments 

When your schedule is packed, it can be helpful to work ahead if possible. Use pockets of time you do have to finish assignments you won’t have time for later. Look for extra credit when it’s available. Study a little bit each night instead of cramming. Doing tasks on time will reduce stress in the long run.

Talk to your boss

Just like you need to communicate with your teachers, you need to communicate with your boss. Time boundaries are vital — be clear and firm about what hours you’re available to work.  Make sure you leave time to eat, sleep, study and hang out with friends and family. It’s important to make sure you have time not just for your physical needs, but your mental and emotional needs, too.

Ask for help when you need it

Whether you talk to your boss, your teacher, a counselor or a trusted adult, reaching out for help is important. School and work can be stressful on their own, but together, they can be a recipe for burnout if you’re not careful. Don’t ever feel like you have to do it all on your own. Asking for help when you need it can make a huge difference in how a busy schedule affects your life.

Flexibility to Balance School and Work: Acceleration Academies 

At Acceleration Academies, we offer flexible, personalized learning experiences for students based on their individual needs so that every student can receive a fulfilling education and achieve their academic goals

There is no one way to earn a high school diploma, so we include a variety of ways to personalize an education. Our programs include options like being at school only 12-24 hours a week, working one-on-one with teachers and even completing coursework from home when it makes sense for your schedule. We make it possible for students to attend to other obligations, like family or work, while finishing their high school education.

To learn more about the diverse options at Acceleration Academies, check out our Blended Learning Guide! You can also learn more about us by requesting more information. If you think Acceleration Academies is the next step for you, we invite you to begin applying for enrollment today! 

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