BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Most students would say that being a high schooler is a job within itself, but that has not stopped Governor Livingston’s student body from working when they are not in class. From being busboys in restaurants to babysitting nearly every night of the week, students certainly have a lot on their plate. Many have a summer job to leave space open for schoolwork, sports, and other extracurricular activities during the school-year. For some, however, the work does not stop when school is back in session.

As sophomores turn sixteen, many job opportunities open up to them. Sophomore Olivia Teska works at the Strawberry Fields frozen yogurt shop in New Providence. Teska stated, “I will start [work] in the summer and probably continue all through junior year.” Despite her plans to work hard all year round, Teska has a lot to do during the school year. “Fall season will be tough because of volleyball, but I plan to take a study hall and hopefully I can get my homework done then, and work a shift after school before going to volleyball practice.” With homework, sports, and yogurt to serve, Teska makes organizing a full schedule look like a piece of cake.

Junior year is busy. With SATs, grades to keep up, and colleges to tour, the third year of high school can be a stressful one, but junior Gabrielle Lombardi has no problem juggling school and employment. Lombardi works all year round at the Life Time Athletic in Berkeley Heights and says she enjoys it quite a bit. “I like working with the kids and that was a good option.” Not only does Lombardi try to keep up good work at the pool, she hopes to work at the summertime Playground Camp as well. Even with all of that on her plate, Lombardi successfully manages all of her school work. “I just try to keep everything as organized as possible and set specific times to do specific things. I do the best I can do.” Even with work on top of work on top of work, Lombardi is doing well in the many activities she participates in.

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Senior year brings on two things: senioritis, and the onslaught of college decision making. Senior Leah Slepoi has a full plate with two jobs to balance with her school activities. Slepoi works at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in West Orange and sings in her church choir. While working during the school year, she has a lot to keep up with. “The reason I am working those two jobs is because they are really flexible and it’s not as much pressure if I can’t go.” Without this flexibility, Slepoi would definitely be dealing with more pressure. No matter the workload, Slepoi finds her jobs enjoyable. Slepoi especially enjoys the time she spends at the JCC, as she feels it is a chance for her to reconnect with her childhood after the time she spent there at Hebrew school.

High school certainly comes with a boatload of responsibilities, but having a job can be a good experience for young adults coming into the business world. In addition, exposure to budgeting at a young age can be fairly impactful in one’s future. Although school work will come first, having a job can have a positive influence on a student’s ability to prioritize, manage time, and act responsibly.