Should Students Focus on Education Instead of Employment?
7 months ago
Not necessarily according to experts who say the key is finding balance
High school has become less about passing notes, baking in home economics, and choosing the most popular extracurricular activity, and more about preparing for college—and the financial and academic obligations coming along with it. But with a recent study finding that five times as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety and clinical depression than did youth of the same age during the Great Depression era, should students focus on education instead of employment?
Not necessarily, experts said. Kids are fine to both work and go to school, and parents should encourage balance, not giving up a job altogether, they said.
"They are equally important. Saying to a kid, 'Your only job is to get good grades' is naive and it shortchanges them," said Susan Beacham, CEO of Money Savvy Generation and a nationally recognized kids and money expert. "Deal with the elephant in the room and teach a child how to manage money early and to consider a job a 'paid-for' sport. We underestimate how much our kids can do. These kids will not break."
Finding that balance is definitely a struggle for many students. A study found that only 52 percent of college freshman said their emotional health was above average - the lowest reported level in 25 years - with major contributing factors being both finances and future plans. Among high school students, 27 percent worry about how they'll pay for college, more than the percentage of those who worry about even finding a job once they graduate (22 percent).
And the pressure is intensified because "students know their generation is likely to be less successful than their parents," as Jason Ebbeling, director of residential education at Southern Oregon University, told the New York Times.