Jobs give students new stresses and opportunities

Wake up, go to school, work, go home, eat, homework, sleep. This is the jam-packed schedule of many St. Paul Academy and Summit School students who hold part-time jobs during the school year. These students have learned how to juggle their school, homework, social lives, sports and work all while maintaining sanity and balance. Three working students share their experiences with working during the school year.

While many students only hold one job, others choose to work two or more. Junior Asialy Bracey-Gardella, an avid biker, began working at Sunrise Cyclery in Minneapolis the spring of her freshman year, where she helps build and repair bicycles. This summer, she began teaching bike classes at Cycles for Change, an organization that promotes bicycle use in St. Paul.

Between the two jobs, Bracey-Gardella works three days a week, including all day Saturday at Sunrise. She usually works on Thursday and Friday at Cycles for Change, but “it is always changing,” she said.

Though having two jobs is difficult, Bracey-Gardella sees the benefits of working. “I just do it because I like it, so it makes doing my school work easier because I am happier,” she said. She also enjoys making her own money. “It is really nice having extra money and not having to ask your parents for money,” she said.

Freshman Kyle Salverda also began working to have his own money. “I decided to get the job so I could have start having some income,” Salverda said. “My family really pushed for me to start working.”

Salverda didn’t need to look far to find his job. Salverda has been working at Drake Arena selling concessions at athletic events since the spring of his Eighth grade year. He works between four and ten hours a week, depending on the athletic events going on at Drake and Briggs Gymnasium. “It is a little difficult, but definitely manageable,” Salverda said.
Salverda, who is also a student-athlete, said that he manages his time balancing sports, school and work very well. “I don’t find it very hard to balance out. [The Drake Arena managers] are very good at trying to make [it] so working doesn’t overlap with sports or any extracurricular activities,” he said.

Junior Ysabella Johnson also knows how to schedule her work around her schoolwork and sports. Johnson works on Saturdays and Sundays at the Wendy’s in Eagan, where she is a cashier and takes customers’ orders. She began working at Wendy’s a year and a half ago and chose the fast food joint because “they hire at 15,” she said.

Though she enjoys her time at Wendy’s, Johnson is looking to find a new job at Edible Arrangements, a store that arranges fun fruit bouquets and gifts. Johnson said that she is looking into the new workplace because the hours fit with her busy schedule at school. “It is good to have a flexible manager,” she said.

All three students said that students wanting jobs should look for jobs that appeal to their schedules. If scheduling hours to work is tough, Johnson recommends finding a place with a flexible manager to work around schoolwork and other commitments. Salverda advises students to find a job with a manageable amount of hours a week. Bracey Gardella said that students should be excited and motivated to work. “You should try to do a job you enjoy,” Bracey-Gardella said. “Then it is not so bad.”