Hayley’s Hot Topic: Give kids a chance, credit and cash

Hayley Tomich ‘14
Opinions Editor

 

Cars, phones, food, clothing, shoes and video games are just some of the many things that teenagers spend their money on. Most teenagers rely on their parents or guardians for money to pay for their many endeavors. However, when is it appropriate for teenagers to begin to support themselves?
Most teenagers are forced to get a job because their parents are either tired of paying for them or simply
cannot afford it anymore. The cost of gas fluctuates weekly and can get pricey at times. The cost of clothing has also increased over time. As necessary goods are becoming more expensive, teenagers are expected to get jobs in order to purchase their own necessities.
There is just one problem with teenagers being expected to have jobs: the number of jobs available to anyone under 18 or anyone without a college degree is very limited. Many fast food places and restaurants are popular workplaces for teenagers. The problem with a teenager trying to get a job at a clothing store, for example, is that employers do not want to hire young people because of their lack of experience.
If I went into an interview at a clothing store such as Kohl’s and a 40-year-old woman with a master’s degree had an interview as well, she would likely receive the job over me any day. This is not only because the 40-year-old has a college degree, but also because more than likely she has more experience than I do.
If I am applying for my first job, there is NO way that I am going to have any sort of work experience, hence the term “first.” Employers are reluctant to hire first-time employees because of their lack of experience, but how is anyone supposed to accumulate any kind of experience if they cannot even get hired once? Most students do have experience from extra-curricular activities or community service but that does not count as actual work experience to most employers.
Another problem with teenagers being expected to have jobs is that their workload is already tough enough. Dealing with high school and the many extracurricular activities that come with it is hard enough without adding a job into the mix. I find it hard to balance school and work when I only work four hours each day, two days a week most weeks.
The problem with teenagers attending school and having a job is that most employers do not think that school should come before work. I have far too many friends who work so much that they don’t always have a chance to finish their school work. I think that is absolute rubbish because what is more important? Working at McDonald’s or maintaining a grade point average that will get you into a good college?
Many teenagers have jobs, and that is okay, I myself have a job. Employers should be more open to hiring younger people. As students, we are constantly being told that we are now in the “real world”, but how can we really be in the “real world” if we aren’t treated like adults?