Sixteen Going On Thirty: North Atlanta Students With Jobs


Dennis Racket

Open Market: Junior Kevin Lockhart is a student among many that has taken the toll of a student job lifestyle, which would mean extra stress and work, but also responsibility and a nice paycheck to go along with.

Student life in 2018 is already stressful, with the increased loads of homework and social media to keep us distracted. On the other hand, add the stress of a day job and suddenly the workload gets significantly larger. They’re the group that’s 16 going on 30, this is students with jobs.

Picture this: It’s three o’clock in the morning, there’s three packets of homework sitting on the desk in front of you, and you’re wondering how you got here. With finals week coming up there’s not much time left to tell store-manager Mr. Know-it-all that you have to take a week off to study. As if school isn’t enough, now there’s taxes to pay and bills to evade.

Junior Kevin Lockhart is one of the army of North Atlanta students who work for Chick-fil-A on Howell Mill Road. He said getting a job so young caused him to sacrifice not only his sanity and his social life. “I only work three days out of the week, but it’s hard,” he said. “Getting home late and not having enough time to do my homework — let alone sleep — is really starting to take its toll on me and my grades.”

But what does it take to learn the ropes and — in Lockhart’s case — mastering the fine art of being a cashier and owning the nuances of saying “My pleasure!”

According to Lockhart, his fast-food franchise is not quite was strong on the training aspect as might be expected. “There was training but a lot you just have to figure out by yourself,” he said.

Junior Blake Whitlow is North Atlanta student who operates as a cashier for Chick-fil-A. She said being a student with a job has taught her things she wouldn’t have learned otherwise. “Having a job has taught me a lot of important life skills like time management and responsibility,” she said. “However, it is definitely hard work having school at the same time. It’s pretty much like having a second job.”

As school gets harder and work gets longer, it’s important to keep in mind the benefits of having a job. There’s the social opportunities, possibly health-care benefits and — let’s not forget the most important part — the money. The future involves responsibility, a house and maxed out credit cards. And that lifetime of gainful employment all starts with your first job. So fill out that application and you, too, can join the 16-going-on-30 crowd, as well.