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‘Tis the season…to be busy?

by Paige Newman, Intern Writer, Rock Canyon High School Senior

The holidays are supposed to be a time for celebration. A time for family and friends. A time for fun.

But for many high school students, the holiday season brings chaos, final exams, and an extra load of work.

As the month of December rapidly approaches, so does the season of gifts. Whether it is for a stocking stuffer, one of the eight nights of Chanukah, or a present for under the tree, nearly everyone is scrambling to find the perfect gift for that perfect person. But for high school students, it is a different story. Because in order to buy these gifts that naturally come along with the holiday season, we need money. And to get this money, we need a job. And frankly, between school and extra-curriculars, when is there enough time?

So the question is, how does the holiday season effect students’ lives? It seems like buying a present shouldn’t cause such a conundrum, but it is just not as simple as it sounds.

For Stephany Castleberry, a senior at Rock Canyon High School, the holiday season brings a slew of responsibilities. “Everything gets really crazy [during this season] because of school and work,” said Castleberry. “I work at John Holly’s on the weekends, on top of school and cheerleading. It’s a lot to handle but if I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to get everything I need for the holidays!”

While Castleberry typically works on Saturday and Sunday nights at the restaurant, the approach of the holiday season could entail picking up more hours at work. This is true for many high school students, because without the extra hours, it would be impossible to buy gifts for friends and family.

“I feel more pressure during the holiday season, because I have to work more if I want to buy gifts for my family,” said Castleberry, “but it gets overwhelming, because there just isn’t enough time for work, school, and fun.”

It seems as though the holidays have evolved from being a time of celebration and joyous occasion to one of stress and anxiety. Instead of drinking hot cocoa, singing carols, and making gingerbread houses, students are working overtime to please people with the presents that they expect.

“The holidays are absolutely crazy for me,” said Bria Pellandini, also a senior at Rock Canyon. “I work at the children’s store Gymboree, and I get so busy during this time. But it’s what I have to do to afford presents for my family.”

Though the winter months prove to be overwhelming for students, there is a reason they don’t simply quit their jobs and settle for having no money to buy gifts for the holidays: the love of family.

“As busy as I may be during the holidays, it’s all worth it just to be able to give my family a special gift and make them happy,” said Pellandini.

“It would be easy for me to just give up my job and take the easy way out of such a busy time,” said Castleberry. “But what would the holidays be like without something meaningful to give to your family? It just wouldn’t feel right.”

And so, in the midst of final exams and after school activities galore, the students keep on working. Because despite what the holiday season has become, and what has to be sacrificed to make others happy, one thing remains constant: the joy that comes from giving.



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