Should I drop out of high school?
Part of me (like a good 90% of me) wants to quit, but at the same time, I don’t.
Here are the reasons why I WANT to drop out:
1.) I feel like I’m not receiving proper education. I go to a public school- a really bad one at that. The American public school system really can be a pain in the ass and I’ve attended it for a good majority of my life to know the strengths and weaknesses of such an unstable system. One weakness is that the teachers don’t put in as much effort as they used to– meaning to say that back in the day (as my mom has told me) teachers would go the extra mile to make sure their students are learning and understanding the content. Nowadays, it’s rare to even find one of my teachers staying after school offering tutoring or after school help. One good thing about public school though is that it brings kids together– which may or may not be a good thing after all (you’ll see in my next point). It gives you a chance to meet new people and expand your view on the world.
2.) Distractions. It’s easy to get distracted in school. The majority of my peers spend a good portion of their lives skipping school, doing drugs, partying and just simply trying out new things. While all that is great, it takes the focus away from school. It’s hard to stay awake in AP Physics while nursing a hangover too.
3.) I’d like to think that I’ve already received the best of formal (“basic”) education. I’ve been in honors classes all my life, taken a bunch of AP classes, and succeeded at all of them. Truth be told, I don’t remember ever really trying (or wanting) to succeed because I find everything about school monotonous and boring. Now, I’m a junior in high school and I feel like I’m just wasting my time learning things that I don’t need to know in order to: graduate -> go to college -> get a job -> pay for college.
4.) I don’t want a conventional lifestyle, I’ve never wanted that. I was the adventurous kid that always disappeared whenever we went on field trips; once I was found a couple blocks away chatting with a street musician. I don’t want an “academic job” (jobs where you have to be “educated” in order to qualify for). I’ll be fine if I end up picking up trash at the beach for a living. The important thing to me is if I’m happy.
5.) I want to travel. And I know you’re going to say– you can’t travel without money, and you need a job for that which means an edumacation! I understand, but really the best places to go to are usually free, right?
Now, I know this was a weird, long list (it made more sense in my head) but bare (bear?) with me for a bit. The reason why I don’t want to quit is because I don’t want to disappoint my family. This reason trumps all of the points made on my list. But my family is also friggin passive-aggressive as heck. When I spoke with my family about this they said that they would be supportive of me but they won’t be happy about it. -_-
So anyway, any feedback (personal experiences/opinions/suggestions) on what you HEthens think would be very much appreciated.
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1. You still have this free opportunity, which many do not have.
2. That is no excuse, and you are aware of it. Distract yourself with the interesting bits.
3. If you do not receive a formal Public degree, it can seriously hurt you in the eyes of the ignorant on the outside.
4. Travel once you are a free adult. It will probably feel a whole lot more liberating, rather than the fact that you left just before the finish line.
the usefulness and necessity of a college degree is certainly debatable, seeing as how it doesn’t guarantee a well-paying or interesting job and does guarantee a very high expense. but your high school education is free, unless you count the opportunity cost of the time you are spending there. still, I think it’s good to stay in school because in hs, you have some freedom to explore your interests and find yourself without tuition bills breathing down your neck. I feel it should really be stressed that people need to find themselves in the hs years, college is too late – that was my experience anyway. plus, if you don’t have a high school degree you will be royally screwed in the job market – even if you want to start your own business or get talented at something where you are the boss, you need to build up some money and work through the practice years, all the while you’ll also need to make money to exist.
long story short – do yourself a favor and finish high school. i think you’ll be glad you did, no matter what you decide to do or be later on.
Pretty obvious really isn’t it, at this point in the conversation I mean…just stay in school and graduate ? Of course …beyond that…how about doing a re-frame of your perspective on it…it’s so great to have a routine time and place to go and social connection etc…just make it your story…so you do whats needed to get good grades and beyond that you study and master whatever you want…a school can be boring and teachers complacent and all that but the bottom-line is you create the experience you’re having…you have all you need to use the resources of the school to create whatever you want…who needs a teacher who doesn’t care to stay after hours for tutoring etc….you could arrange a time and place for you and others to meet after hours to tutor each other and gather resources for study and mastery of subjects that a boring teacher would only make boring while you and others might bring it to life and inspire people to learn and feel energized about all there is to know …seriously the whole idea of where boredom comes from and what it is….just be where you are, let it be now and use what is present…I think you are bit stuck in the “anticipatory mode” regarding your life…right now is different from what will ever be again…and not all the changes will be freeing …some will be burdensome and limiting compared to the freedom you have now…to do whatever you want…
@, I totally know where you’re coming from. It always comes around junior year. But hear me out for a sec
1. If you don’t feel like you’re receiving a proper education, you should actively pursue a proper education for yourself. Just like @xyver said, this doesn’t mean subscribing yourself away to a lifelong monotony of college-work-pay for college sort of thing.
Actively pursue what you would consider a “proper” education for yourself–you be that architect of that.
If the answer to your “proper” education is a private school, apply to one, and apply for a scholarship. You don’t have to pay if you aren’t able and you apply to a generous institution.
Or maybe you could supplement your public high school education with some free courses at a nearby community college.
You could supplement your public high school education with an internship where you learn a trade you are interested in.
Just because what you’re given isn’t sufficient to your liking, it doesn’t mean you have to be complacent with it–just go out and get yourself what you want and need! You will start to find others pursuing the same path who are motivated and interested in acquiring knowledge and excited to experience many things.
And–best option yet–if you want to receive and education and are itching to travel, just study abroad. It doesn’t have to be expensive if you look in the right places. The US Dept of State offers full fellowships for high school students to study and live with host families in certain nations–search NSLI-Y on google and check it out. I studied abroad during my junior and senior years of high school and learned and experienced more than I ever could have imagined.
Good luck :)
@koralime, I was there last year, my high school got destroyed and i had to go through my junior and now my senior year in our local mall, which is where they built our temporary campus. We all have laptops and supposedly our schools all “21st century learning”. Its absolute bullshit. Our schools administration is a complete joke, our faculty doesn’t give two shits about the students, the cafeteria food is straight slop, its just terrible. But why quit? Junior year is the worst in Highschool because you are right on the threshold of graduation. I myself still haven’t decided if i should go to college. My public school experience hasn’t been the best and im sure i could teach myself better than most of the teachers at my school. But when it comes down to it, the diploma is worth it. Hang in there :)
You’re obviously smart. There are a lot of different types of education out there. That being said, formal education doesn’t close any doors. It might eat up your time for another two years but nobody ever regrets finishing high school; but millions of people regret not finishing it. Even if you don’t want a conventional lifestyle, you’ll still need to eat and sustain yourself like everyone else, and having finished high school makes it a lot easier to do that.
@versai, Oh, I have a picture with that cowboy! He’s impressively impervious to cold weather haha. That’s definitely an option, but I’ll have to wait until I’m 18 seeing as my mother would probably hire guns to find me if I ran away underage.
@alexishungry thank you for the advice :)
@pheezy you literally just painted a picture of my school! You’re right, I suppose I will.
It’s totally normal to get frustrated at the system and also itchy to get out of it since you’re so close. If you’re already satisfied with the amount you’ve learned, then switch all your remaining classes to total fuck-around, fun classes. I had the same urge to get out of the system, and eventually did–after high school. I really don’t regret sticking it out and being part of my ‘class’ that i’ve grown up with all my life. My public k-12 education was fortunately better than some others(I discovered this after taking time off of school after high school to travel the country) and I think it gave me a good advantage over more average students of my age.
While traveling, I met a girl and fell in love with her, it was a great experience and I learned a lot more in that year living with her than I ever could have in a classroom. Ironically, she chose not to finish her high school education, dropped out in her last semester. She was very lucky to have the job she did, however, and had to work her butt off a lot more than someone with a fancy diploma. She made due, but I could tell that she had a LOT more potential to do better things, and all of that was shut down with her giving up on education.
All of your reasons for wanting to quit are reasons for wanting to escape. Until you have something better to spend your time on, I think you’d be most happy staying where you are. If one of your reasons were another passion that can be pursued without an education, then I’d say that should be your #1 priority. But a little frustration and challenge in the meanwhile won’t hurt anyone.
@koralime, Your still young and have plenty of time to travel and explore when you get out of highschool and even college. It sounds to me that you are blaming the teachers for not giving you the best education without taking yourself into account. If they are not hard enough or teaching you the stuff you don’t want to know, then go to the library and do independent studying. That is where I learn the majority of things throughout my life so far. We all know highschool sucks but millions of people have already graduated and millions of more will. You will need a highschool education for college and that is where you will be able to start taking more interesting classes while having the oppurtunity to be more independent and start to get a real idea with what you want to do in life.
@koralime, So why is it that just because you finish highschool, you’re automatically put on the “school-job-consume-die” trip? Why not finish school, and then bail later?
I agree with @versai, You sound like you want to escape. I think you can still learn from where you are. You say that school is easy, so that means you should be able to cruise through and have plenty of spare time to do your own studies. Take some fun courses, no need for all these “AP” courses. Take art, take cooking, take shop class, learn to create something!
Manimals not here, but he always says that life is a game. I’m not just putting words in his mouth here, I agree wholeheartedly with him. There is a definite system that life follows, a definite set of rules. Learn those rules, and then you can begin to bend them and twist the system to your will. But you gotta learn the rules first, and get the things that will help. There is no doubt that a highschool diploma will make things easier for you.
You’re so close, just do it. I almost dropped French Immersion when I was in grade 11, because I didn’t like it and was barely scraping by in all my french courses. But then I realized that I only had 3 classes left to take, so I stuck it out. Now I have two highschool diplomas, an english and french one, and even though i did poorly in a few classes, I’m still good to go. AND! I learned enough french to travel through Paris and converse with the natives.
@koralime, I agree with @versai, it sounds as if you’re trying to escape. Which isn’t always a bad thing, but when you have no other destination that seems to lead to equally positive things (having accomplished something many people don’t have the opportunity to even do, gaining more knowledge [I know you're one of those people who are incredibly smart and feels like they aren't learning anything, but trust me, you're gaining knowledge, even if it's only a bit], and having a diploma), then it is probably not the best decision. Remember that often the hardest things to do, are the right ones. You may be wanting more than this now, but really evaluate how different the next year of your life might be if you drop out. Will you still be living at home? Working a minimum wage job ? Weigh your options. If it isn’t something that leads to bettering you as a person and giving better opportunities in your future, then it isn’t worth leaving a year or two early.
My exboyfriend was increddddibly smart. So smart it was sometimes creepy, and he was super bored in highschool because he already knew all the material, he even tried switching to a vocational school. But he dropped out his junior year. He is 23 and still working in food services. He can only afford a crappy apartment and old car. He loves travelling, but literally cannot afford it and does not get the time off too. He got his GED, but it’s just not the same. He severely regrets dropping out of high school.
Of course, this is one experience, but just remember, other people have felt the same way, as you do, and of course there were ones that did drop out, and ones that stuck it out. Try to find such stories and see where the led to. But don’t forget that your own path is still the most important deciding factor in this.
again, thanks everybody for sharing your stories and advice with me! Getting you guys’ feedback really helps in making such an important decision.
@everyoneissgoingconscious lolol but why do you think I should quit? Everybody else has been great at telling me to stick with it
@nickstengl, I’ve actually looked into those! It does sound like a great idea, I just have to beware of fraudulent websites that DON’T give you a diploma -_-
@koralime, you could find a part time job or something while you’re in school, that way saving up money for travel. Also this would give you time to plan out where you want to go. All the time you’d be staying at your parents house (I assume) for free (I assume), thus you could actually save up a ton of money. Also, your interests and ambitions may change over the next couple of years. You don’t need to learn anything for the next couple years, you just need to pretend to enough to get the piece of paper at the end.
@koralime, I truly understand what you’re saying. Like Rachel mentioned, you’re obviously a smart person. You probably don’t flow with a shallow living, done just for the sake of doing something, you want to do something meaningful with your life. Life’s short & precious, and there’s a big potential, wandering/wondering soul burning inside of you.
I’ve been where you are, I’ve had a hard time in college, trying to find the purpose of all the stuff that I was studying. Whenever possible, I used to skip a lot… but always trying to be up to date to what was going on and getting good grades. To be honest, I now regret a bit all that skipping. It was the Time of making lots of memories. My real troubles started when I went to college. Then I started thinking of what I wanna do with my life, what kind of job should I have, I didn’t want a crappy wealthy job just for the sake of money. I dropped out of college. Yes, it was Hard dealing with my family’s opinion, but they supported me after a while. I wanted to study cinematography. That option failed (it wasn’t really the thing for me, after a half of year of getting into it)… so I went back AGAIN, to the same college, again as a freshman. I was trying to fit in, just going along with it. But I couldn’t, so I surprised even myself when I dropped out again.
Fortunately, soon after, I’ve explored my strong passion for psychology and I’m now a psychology student, truly happy with it.
I understand your eager wish for traveling. My soul was burning (and still is) with desire for traveling the world. Never let go of this dream and chase it passionately!
Right now, you’re still very young. It’s a time when it pays to listen a bit more to your family. They want what’s best for you and they probably know what making a living means.
My advice is to just go along with high school until you’re done with it. Do it your own way, focus on essential stuff, meet people etc. Just don’t quit. In your spare time… read books and search for as many sources of inspiration as you can. Get as inspired as you can possibly be! Spend quality time alone and find what you like, what you enjoy doing. High school must be done, trust me.
College. That’s the one that should be thought about, because it places you in a specific field that you have to choose carefully if there is a choice.
And yes, you will have to sustain yourself later. Even if you don’t want a wealthy living, as long as you are happy, a financial security helps a lot when you or one of your family is dealing with health issues, for example.
It is hard to adapt to a convential living, but you can always find an option in the middle. You can still do it your own way. Don’t go to extremes. At least, not for now.
Go along with high school, while you’re dreaming of the places you’ll travel someday soon. Get inspired and search for your Bliss!
@koralime, If you drop out now you’ll most likely be sitting old-aged at a horrible job wishing you didn’t make such a stupid decision as a 16/17 year old kid. From your post it’s evident that you’re really smart. You’re so ahead of all of your peers that you’re getting senioritis a year early! Just bare through your last year in school.
Even though you’ve probably gotten pretty much all you’re gonna get out of high school, that doesn’t mean anything to anyone else unless they see your diploma. Almost any job you’ll look for will want at least a high school diploma. And if you love traveling so much you are going to need money, and you need a job for that which means an edumacation (sorry). Traveling is expensive.
Just curious, what do you want as a career/major?