High school: the best years of your life, the golden age, and the time when you typically seek out your first job. There is a constant tug of war among your academics, your social life, and your urge to rake in a few extra dollars. Pulling all of this weight can make “the best years of your life” feel like the worst.

The “back-in-my-day” oldtimers could have made their way through high school with a bit more ease and gone off to college by working a part-time summer job. After the summer was over, the transition into the academic season allowed students to focus on academics . But, the increasing cost of living has caused today’s students more worry about how to get ahead financially than yesterday’s high schooler.

“Facing a stark set of financial circumstances, millennials started adulthood with less room for financial mistakes than previous generations,” contributor Shannon Insler wrote in an article for Student Loan Hero. “In response, they are managing their money differently. More millennials are refinancing student loans, delaying a home purchase, and looking for creative ways to earn more money through side hustles.”

A shift has occurred. There is less wiggle room for error, turning the argument into when students will get jobs, not whether they should. Gone are the days of students focusing on their academics and social life and still having free time.

This rigid structure leads to some negative consequences. According to Mental Health America, one out of four Americans describe themselves as stressed, and this stress can lead to weakened immune systems, plummeting productivity, irritability or depression, and an increased risk of heart attacks.

This stress largely comes from balancing every mundane task in life, which accumulates over time. Even with potential drawbacks, there are advantages to getting a job in high school. According to Walden University, finding employment during high school can increase awareness of the relationship between education and income, teach the value of money and the importance of budgeting, build confidence, and deter trouble and violence for disadvantaged youth.

Students, preferably, shouldn’t get jobs. Speaking from personal experience I worked hard to ensure that I would not overexert myself throughout these last four years of high school. I wanted my “golden years” to be truly golden, and I avoided having to stress about tons of extracurriculars on top of a rigorous course load and job. I knew my limits and aimed not to go beyond them whenever I could, and I feel that it has paid off now that I am graduating.

Understandably, not everyone has the same privilege of being able to do so. It’s about knowing your own limits, what you can handle, and what you need out of life and school. There is always a choice to make, and it comes down to what is best for you. If what’s best for you is a job, then go for it. But remember that high school should be about gaining knowledge and spending time with the people who matter most, not just fattening your wallet.