Keep Your Grades High If You Also Wish to Work Part Time

By Dr. Robert Wallace

April 8, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and in the 11th grade. I get A's and B's in school and will attend college next year. I need money, and I have an opportunity to get a part-time job waiting tables from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on weeknights and for four hours on Saturdays. I was told that if I took this job, I could work there all summer, too. Now, with the COVID-19 virus, every restaurant in our city is closed except for a few that provide to-go orders only, and those places are not hiring anyone.

My parents were not sure a few weeks ago if they wanted me to work part time, because like most parents, they were afraid my grades could suffer. I told my father that my grades wouldn't drop due to my new job. My grades are very important to me, and I would be the first to quit if I felt they were in jeopardy.

I'd like your opinion please. If you agree with me it would help in convincing my parents to say yes — if that restaurant opens back up and needs workers in the next month or two.

There is some good news that I can add as well: My father has noticed how hard I work on my homework because he now sees me taking my online classes and studying at the kitchen table in the afternoon. My dad is also working from home, and he has a lot of meetings via Zoom, a videoconference program similar to Skype. — Good Student Needing a Job, via email

GOOD STUDENT NEEDING A JOB: I do agree that you should be given the opportunity to work part time if you can present a daily outline showing the time you will devote to your studies along with the time you will be spending working. The key to working part time and keeping your grades up is time management and organization.

Since your father has seen your study habits up close, I feel you are now in a better position to garner his approval. However, you may face a new problem: Once our nation returns to work, there may not be as many restaurant jobs as there were before. By all means, do try to locate an opportunity to find a job, but in the meantime, I have a suggestion for you. Ask your father if you could work an hour or two a day for him. Let him know that you will do any special work needed in the yard, the garage or the house. Also offer to assist him with his work while he is working from home! Ask him if there are any files he needs organized, any research he may need conducted on the internet or any statistics he may need calculated or analyzed. You may be surprised to find that he might just take you up on your offer!

If he does, it could truly be a win-win situation for the two of you: He would benefit from your assistance, and you would learn some new skills and have the opportunity to earn some income. Even if your father declines to employ you during these unusual times, he will take note of your proactive request and respect you for making such an offer. In this case, your chances to work outside the house in the future will be enhanced.


DR. WALLACE: I'm a 16-year-old girl, and I live with my grandparents. I love them both dearly, but sometimes they are old-fashioned and can also be kind of stubborn. I have my own bedroom at their house, and I like to shut the heat vent and sleep with my window slightly open at this time of the year. Spring is coming, and it's starting to warm up in our area. I'm very warm and snug under my down comforter, and I sleep well with just a touch of fresh air drifting into my room.

My problem is that both of my grandparents keep telling me I will catch a bad cold by doing this. I don't think I will catch a cold this way. I always wake up warm and comfortable. I'm never cold at all, and I don't sweat under my covers either. I'm perfectly fine, but they keep worrying! — Happy Granddaughter, via email

HAPPY GRANDAUGHTER: Sleeping in a cool room will not cause you to catch a cold. The cold virus is spread through sneezing, kissing and having your hands come in contact with objects contaminated with the virus.

I suggest you show them my response in this column, and I suggest you tell your grandparents you'll be washing your hands very regularly so you don't catch any kind of virus.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: MirceaIancu at Pixabay

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