You are currently viewing How some NH teens juggle work, school and more

How some NH teens juggle work, school and more

Mohamed Bah, a high school student from Manchester, found himself with plenty of free time when the pandemic first hit. So he decided to work in a grocery store to earn extra money, save for college, and have more independence.

He has since learned to juggle his time as a student-athlete and part-time employee when school is in session. But it hasn’t always been easy.

“It got harder because they were calling you a lot more often during school weeks and stuff like that, asking if you could come in even though you had already said you couldn’t,” he said. he declares.

Now 18, Bah said having a job can be a positive thing for teenagers – as long as their employers respect their time, their school work, their mental health and their boundaries.

And he’s not the only one trying to juggle the pressures of a job and the pressure of being a teenager. Other young Granite Staters said it comes with many challenges: dealing with calls from managers interrupting their classes, juggling assignments with increasing job responsibilities amid ongoing labor shortages, and more. Some also said they felt obligated to contribute to their family budget.

As the next school year approaches, some local students may also be asked to work more hours than before. Earlier this summer, Governor Chris Sununu signed a law allowing 16- and 17-year-old students to work up to 35 hours during class. The measure has received support from the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association and other local businesses, some of whom have said it could help businesses recruit more employees and help students have more opportunities to earn money. the money.

“I would say put yourself in their shoes first. Start there, because you never know what’s going on.”

Habiba Hassan, a recent high school graduate, on her advice to business owners who employ local teenagers

A recent graduate of Manchester Central High School, Habiba Hassan said she has also struggled to get her employers to meet her class schedule in the past. The 19-year-old said she would encourage business owners to better understand what their teenage employees are up against.

“I would say put yourself in their shoes first. Start there, because you never know what’s going on,” she said. “They’re at school, you’re probably not there.” You are more of a businessman. You really care about how the business works and how much money you make.

Wesley Olmeda, a 16-year-old junior at Manchester Central High School, said he was familiar with the challenge of balancing work and school commitments. His mother encouraged him to work from the age of 14, so he could pay more for his own business.

His first job was at a grocery store, but he no longer works there. He, too, said he used to get calls during the school day from his managers asking him to take an extra shift. Often, he says, it seemed like his bosses just didn’t listen when he and his peers said they weren’t available.

Still, Olmeda said the job had its perks: “Learning to be around bigger people, bosses, acting like a grown-up person, being around other people and maturing, etc.”

Another local student, John Alade, 16, doesn’t have a job yet, but he’s looking forward to finding one soon. As a junior at Manchester School of Technology, he said playing sports was usually a big part of his routine during the school year. But after watching his parents dedicate so many hours to providing for his family, he feels the pressure to step in.

Getting a job means more than just gaining independence, he said, it also means he can save money and be the support system he’s had all his life. At the same time, Alade said he was nervous about falling behind in school once he got a job.

“[My parents] want me to get the best out of school and they want me to go to the best colleges, to have the best life,” Alade said. If he takes too many hours at work, he continued, “It would just set me back a lot, like I wouldn’t be encouraged to really go to school that much, you know?”

Alade said he saw some of his peers skipping homework and struggling in class after taking night shifts in order to earn more money.

“It’s not really an ideal life,” he said.

Once he finds a job, Alade said he plans to communicate with his managers to make sure he still has time for his studies. However, he thinks the real key will be having a support system inside and outside of school – including friends who make sure he has his priorities straight and hold him accountable.

“I think a support system is one of the most important things in life,” Alade said.

Favor Aregbesola, a junior from Manchester West High School, said she started her first job this summer partly to be in a better position to contribute financially to her household if needed. The 16-year-old said she works a maximum of 20 hours a week, and her family insists she can save her paychecks for emergencies.

But her work had other benefits, not just financial ones. Aregbesola said the concepts she learned in business class were starting to make more sense.

“I was like, if I start working now, I’ll have more experience: like, what’s going on, how the system works,” Aregbesola said. “It will help me in school.”

Leave a Reply