CVHS Juniors and Seniors Balance School and Jobs in Road to Financial Independence


Source: Wendy Garcia

Senior Wendy Garcia takes a quick break on her job at Whataburger.

According to an Upstream News survey taken by 74 Carnegie juniors and seniors, 28.4% have jobs while in school, and of those working, the juniors and seniors expressed financial independence as their motivation. 

Of the 28.4%, 17.4% indicated they are working nearly full-time hours of 30-40 hours per week, while 26.1% indicated they are working less than 10 hours a week. They all have to figure out a way to balance work and the rigorous workload of the CVHS AP curriculum. For example, senior Emily Deleon, works in the restaurant industry for 50-60 hours a week, balancing out school by working on school during the school day and doing homework from 6 pm-10 pm.  

Survey by, Upstream News
Survey by, Upstream News


“I think the only reason I am able to keep things balanced is because I value both immensely. I dedicate time towards work and school. I make sure I never have to retake something or have to study extra time. I also never cheat so I can know material better,” said senior Deleon.  

Seniors who have jobs are also faced with the struggle of studying for SATs, applying for college applications, and many other tasks they have, which can be very difficult to keep up with considering the circumstances we are put in with COVID-19.  

“I try to organize what days I will accomplish these tasks and so forth, but one setback affects your entire schedule so it really takes patience. For standardized testing, I signed up for as many SATs that I could but all of them were getting canceled, so I decided to just stop trying. I researched colleges in my free time and attended webinars to get a better idea of what those institutions offered and it helped me narrow my choices a lot. Of course, on top of all of this, there is a pandemic going on and chores that I have to keep with,” said senior Eddie Rodriguez.  

Although some students find it hard to manage school and work, these students have developed techniques that help them manage their time and complete their work.  

“My only tip for students who want to have a job while going to a school that’s so rigorous like Carnegie is to only have a job if you really need one. Most of my friends at Carnegie are more privileged than I am and have never worked a day in their life, which is okay too, but if you want to work just for the fun of it, it’s not really fun. Especially jobs that hire minors- they’re jobs that nobody wants to have. They have you going home at 12 AM, sweaty and tired all for minimum wage- not even taking in the emotional toll it has on a student who works full time, or even two jobs,” said Deleon.   

Other students have expressed that working does not interfere with their education.

“My job doesn’t really interfere with my school work because I mainly work Saturday nights, so I have time to do whatever I need while not at work,” said senior Mario Garcia.  

Carnegie students with jobs are preparing themselves for future problems that they’ll most likely have to face. They will know how hard it is to manage college and work and when they get older and possibly start a family, they’ll be able to understand the hardships they’ll face.   

“I feel as though [students] should do their best to manage both [school and work] because life is going to be hard and you’re going to have to end up dealing with them at the same time when going to college,” said Garcia.