New Lessons Learned While Working

Jessica Frago, Abbey Hopp, Angela Passalacqua, and Mieke Turangan comment on the pros and cons of working as a high school student.


Photo provided by Bailey Hopp

Bailey Hopp

Working while still in high school can teach you many things: how to manage others, how to creatively solve problems, and how customers are often incredibly rude and self-focused. “I am in charge of the online order production, so making the food and also making sure orders are correct and done on time,” Abbey Hopp said when explaining what she does while working.

“The management just isn’t the best at all, and they put so much pressure on their workers,” Jessica Frago, who shares the same opinion with Abbey, as she evaluates the potential downfalls of working in the food industry, stated, “…we’re only one person and we can’t do 20 things at once. We’re also teenagers, not adults, and they expect us to be perfect,” Jessica stated while explaining the pressure and responsibility she feels is put on her when working a shift.

Abbey and Jessica both are currently working for the food industry and have been for about one and a half years. Likewise, Angela Passalacqua used to work in this industry, but ended up leaving due to the customers who yelled at her daily. “I have all of these memories of people yelling at me and at the end of the day I am a teenager working a minimum wage job, you do not need to be that mean to someone and I think that it is a good lesson that everyone should learn; everyone should work in the food industry because you learn so much from it and I honestly feel like we would be a nicer and more respectful society if everyone knew what it was like behind the counter,” Angela passionately shared.

Honestly it’s just really time consuming and it just puts such a strain on my mental health…

On the other hand, Mieke Turangan, who works retail, loves her job. Since she was 16 and one week old, Mieke has worked while still pursuing her high school career. “I met my three best friends at Hollister and became super close with my managers, but I love everyone I work with,” Mieke said while explaining one of her favorite things about working. Also, even though Mieke works about “16 to 20 hours a week,” she explained.

“My job doesn’t really interfere with my social life because I work with a lot of my friends. At first it was hard to balance school and work, but now it’s gotten easier.” This shows that working as a high school student is possible, and it can introduce you to so many new people.

While working a three and a half hour shift, Jessica said she encounters “probably about three” rude customers, which is about one per hour. Angela also had this same problem while working fast food. “I would not go back to work in the food industry because that is something that was one of the worst experiences ever; people are so mean. Honestly it’s just really time consuming and it just puts such a strain on my mental health because getting yelled at everyday really gets to you.”