Black Friday Frenzy

Lily Drage, Reporter, Arts & Entertainment Editor

While families gather on Thanksgiving day in order to give thanks and enjoy a meal, following the meal many prepare for holiday gift shopping. Each year on Thanksgiving night an estimated 34 million people go shopping on Thanksgiving day according to the National Retail Federation.

Columbia Mall opened Thanksgiving evening at 6 PM and closed at 12 am. On Black Friday morning the shopping mall opened exceptionally early at 6 AM. The early kickoff is used as a way to draw in customers and allow them time to get all their shopping done throughout the day. During the holiday shopping season this year, many teenagers will take part in holiday shopping. Some of these teens will be using money they’ve earned through work. Since July 2018, 55.0% of 16 to 24-year-olds were employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Cloey Hernandez, junior, works at Francesca’s in the mall. She stated, “Our line was to our door.”  She admitted that the store was packed. But despite issues with overcrowding Hernandez feels that her job has helped with personal finances. “I just worked my jobs in retail,” she explained.

Hernandez continued to express that money is meant for making purchases. “I work so I can spend it,” Cloey remarked, “It [having a job] helps students have responsibilities.” She claims also that having a job teaches patience.

According to the Employment Policies Institute, students who work during high school receive annual earnings 20% higher than unemployed classmates 6-9 years after graduation.

Emma Hudson, sophomore, has done some holiday shopping this season following her recent employment at Hyvee as a courtesy clerk. Hudson described how making her own money makes her feel accomplished.

“I feel like an adult,” she admitted “I feel more freedom in a way.” Hudson recommended the Career Awareness Related Experience (CARE) program. CARE offers employment opportunities to students 14-18 years old. The program recreates common job processes like building a resume and interviewing to inform participants of such operations. She revealed, “I got my job through a friend who told me about the open interviews.”

Hudson said that a job gives you something to do. She remarked, “You get experience.” Hudson further described how teens with jobs could start saving up for college. But for those planning to spend money sooner than later holiday shopping, she urged, “Be cautious especially around holiday times because it is a lot more crowded.”

Hailey Brammer, sophomore, has been working at Skyzone. Brammer went out and shopped on Black Friday.

She explained, “I purchased gifts with my own money.” Brammer suggested that those looking into getting a job need something that works with their education schedule and home life.

She claimed, “Best jobs to apply for are jobs that will be flexible with your school schedule and outside academics, like Skyzone.”

Amongst those employed, CISION reported, that 40% of teens spend money during the Black Friday Season.