Employment shortage and COVID regulations over stressed student workers

Luke Anema, Angela Avolio, Hannah Visbeen (2021) pc; Isabella Sutton

Total civilian employment fell by 8.8 million over the year as the COVID-19 pandemic brought economic expansion to a halt. The work environment has changed due to the pandemic and in a surprising fallout, is leaving many students overworked and stressed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the work environment changed for many. Student Angela Avolio works at Hawthorne School of Dance and said that it’s hard to maintain all of the Covid restrictions.

She says, “I work with a lot of kids, and they all wear masks and so do I. We try to socially distance when possible, but it’s not mandatory because it’s hard to avoid close proximity with young children who don’t understand, and who need constant attention physically.”

In addition, more workplaces are now short staffed leaving the rest of the workers to have to take on more hours. Student Luke Anema, who works at Blue Moon, said “During the summer we were fine, but during the school year a lot of people are quitting and going away to college.” This leaves more hours and more stress to be put on the workers who decided to stay.

Having a job alone brings lots of stress, especially at this age, because you have to balance school, homework, and a job along with a social life. When asked if juggling work and school brings her stress, Angela says, “It’s really stressful. I don’t have a very strict work schedule, so that is helpful, but on Thursdays I usually don’t get to come home after school until 9:30 pm after being with the kids all day, so I’m burnt out and exhausted.I usually have minimal time to do my homework which causes me lots of stress.”

Student workers advise that if you're looking for a job, make sure it’s one you’re interested in and something that you will enjoy as it will make work more enjoyable and maybe even less stressful. Student Hannah Visbeen, who works at Elite Gymnastics, says “Make sure you get a job you like, or else it’ll be awkward when you want to quit.”

Another key piece of advice given by Angela is to work on your people skills:

“People skills are really important in my job and a lot of other places. You need to be able to talk to people and make people feel comfortable, whether it be adults, children, or customers. I would say that thinking on your feet is a huge part of it, because you never know what will happen, and you need to deal with the situation with only a second to think about it.”