Should I drop out of high school?

 Anonymous (@) 5 years, 6 months ago

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.

December 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I was going to actually break down why you should gut out one more year, and how it seems like a long time at your age but it really isn’t, etc. But then I read this “but bare (bear?) with me for a bit.” I don’t think I need to break anything else down…

Anonymous (37) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

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.

Cody (472) (@versai) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

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.

Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@generaltitsvonchodehoffen, a moment of confusion!

@rachclam, lol very good point.

@versai, you’re completely right.

But thank you, it’s nice to see well written responses like this instead of “dude you should totally drop out follow your heart man YOLO” from my friends. I really appreciate it

Edward Bernays (131) (@edwardbernays) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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.

Ioana (6,777) (@ioanabogdan) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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!

Nick (553) (@splashartist) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

Be cool, stay in school. You’ll probably regret it if you drop out. I’ve heard the regret story multiple times.

NickStngl (11) (@nickstengl) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

do online school ! You can travel and pick classes and books you want to actually do and enjoy life

Veggies4Lyfe (35) (@iluvdamusic) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

I’m in the same boat, except 2 years ahead. I’m a freshman in college and i don’t really vibe with the whole go to school, get a job, live a happy normal american life.
I want to travel like you. and like @edwardbernays, said take the time you have now to save up some money and research where you wanna go. i’m actually gonna take his advice and not take a full class load next semester to give me time to research what I want out of the places I do travel, because even though you think you can just get up and leave, it’s not likely.

Also my best friend dropped out of highschool. I’m not saying you and her were alike in anyway(you obviously aren’t because you seem very well educated with a good head on your shoulders, and bravo for you for being this aware and figuring out that everything is not really what it seems. ). But she dropped out of high school around the same age you did and now she’s stuck at home, without a job, without money, and without any plans for her life. I assume you want your life to go somewhere, so I would stay stick with high school. And besides senior year is the best year, it honestly gets easier and you have more time to do what you want.

I wish you the best of luck and I know you will do some amazing things for this world :)

William (7) (@everyoneissgoingconscious) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

I have two words for you: Yes

Givan (13) (@liammcfeely) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@koralime, I know you may feel like your done, and staying in school is not getting you where you think you want to go in life, but you should stick it out. Instead of just looking at high school as a way to graduate-> go to college -> get a job -> pay for college -> find classes or lessons in high school that you can apply to your life later on.

It seems like going to college is not what you are looking for, and is not what will make you happy, so don’t look at high school as a method to get you there. Personally, the only reason I took AP classes was to get into a college I wanted to go to, which is something I knew I wanted to do. But if you know college isn’t right for you don’t take them. Instead take as many elective classes as you can. Learning foreign languages or how to play an instrument will benefit you much more as a person than a high school level math class.

Also, after making it through 11 and a half years of schooling, you are so close to finishing it would be foolish to quit now. This is the only time in your life you can finish high school, so take it as another interesting experience that will benefit you as a person, even if you feel like you aren’t learning anything. If you quit now, you will have ruined your chance to complete high school and although you may now feel like you don’t care about graduating, you would feel really bad in the future if there were a time when you needed a full high school education and you just weren’t patient enough to finish it as a teenager.

Also think about this, the purpose of high school is not to learn things. That’s why people go to college. If high school provided us enough knowledge to go into a profession, there would be no need for higher education. What high school actually does is place us in a setting where we are forced to interact with our peers daily. The lessons we learn in high school aren’t the same lessons being taught by the teachers. What we learn is how to properly interact with our peers, and work cooperatively with others. These are skills that will benefit you regardless of what you do in life. So instead of being bored with what the teachers are saying, try to learn something everyday that will benefit you personally.

And if you drop out of your AP classes, which to me seems like a more appropriate step to take, you may very well meet more people like you who care about things other than the public schooling system. Pretty much everyone in the AP classes you are in is different than you in the way that they’ve decided college is the next step for them in life. So by getting out of the APs, you may find the change you are looking for, while also being able to stick out the final stages of your high school education, which you may not want to do but is something that will only benefit you in life.

D.I. (26) (@thekingofthenorth) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

who will you be without a high school education?

you can always return and finish, which i’m sure is what you will do eventually once you see the limitations that are culturally structured around institutional education.

you will grow up and see that a year or two of more suffering, in the grander scheme of things, vastly outweighs a lifetime of limited potential

that being said, many sports and media icons forwent completion of an education based on the facts of their talents in their respective fields

you’ll grow up and learn the hard way, one way or another

Obviously, you’re not a golfer (605) (@donjaime23) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@koralime, You look really pretty–I think you could actually be quite successful as a pole dancer! Sure, go ahead and drop out!

Bryan Hellard (303)M (@xyver) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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.


Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

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 -_-

Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@donjaime23, oh my lord.

Alex (141)M (@alexishungry) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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?

NickStngl (11) (@nickstengl) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@koralime, look up “virtual academy” federal money goes into it and im switch over from public schools to it next semester !

Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@alexishungry, My choices for a major are psychology, business management, philosophy (apparently you get the widest variety of jobs for this major o.O). Other than academics, I play guitar and sing, and I’ve been into music since I was very young. I’ve had this insatiable thirst to just drop everything, take the bus to New York with my guitar, and just sit at Union Square and play. Which would probably get me killed.

Thanks everyone, I’m starting to realize why my family wouldn’t be happy with me quitting haha.

Alex (141)M (@alexishungry) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@koralime, I like your sense of humor haha. Seems like you’ve definitely already learned not to take life so seriously, which so many teenagers have a problem with. Anyway, you aren’t going to be able to get a career in psychology (which I am guessing you are really interested in based on the way you talk). Why don’t you stick it out through high school, try college, and get a high paying job in the psychology field so you can do what you like as a career, travel a lot, and also produce good music as a hobby that you’re dedicated to.

Cody (472) (@versai) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@koralime, Haha you would definitely not get killed by pursuing that, btw. In my first reply when i mentioned traveling and falling in love, it was to NYC, alone, the summer after I finished high school. I’m a guy, so I’m sure I have less reason to be cautious, but exploring a big city is not as scary as it seems; it was actually the time of my life. You often see street musicians there, and idk how well they do off their tips, but I definitely appreciated their presence. I think that’s totally an option that you could make work. Save up for your own apartment, then go out and play/write music all day. You could make that your routine, and actually would become famous to your daily commuters.

Every day I went to work, I would pass the same hobo on my way to the train. He was unforgettable, because he often had a new and funny sign asking for change, the most innovative and clever homeless man I’ve seen. I began to expect to see him regularly as if he was a family member. Same on the way home, I’d always pass the naked cowboy who’s now quite renown for walking around times square in only a hat, boots and american flag. I wish there was a young, dedicated musician giving free concerts every morning, though.

Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@xyver, I suppose I’m just very impatient :{ the “learn the rules and find loopholes” point you made is pretty intriguing. and congratulations, I suppose! French is such a beautiful language

@liammcfeely, I guess I made the assumption based on everyone else around me that after you get a job in order to pay off student loans, you start to deteriorate into an irritable old sack of blah. I would like to take “fun” classes, but my school is on the waaay on the low end of the public school system. I mean, we can’t even afford proper doors? Some teachers improvise using shower curtains.. LOL. Which also bring up another point, it’s not that I hate education (I believe the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong one) but my. school. is. just. terrible. (Think of the “suburban ghettos” in DC) But thank you for your advice, I think I’ll look at the local community college for extracurricular stuff like you said!

Paul (5) (@pheezy) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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 :)

Anonymous (2) (@) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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 :)

@nickstengl, thanks!!

@pheezy you literally just painted a picture of my school! You’re right, I suppose I will.

VernalSoul (598) (@vernalsoul) 5 years, 6 months ago ago

@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.

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