Gema is an 19-year old from Miami, FL. She loves reading and writing young adult fiction and claims to pass out in the presence of sterile wit.
It happens at different stages in high school. It can be while dealing with the boredom of tenth grade or the stress of eleventh. It can be when the diploma is in plain view in twelfth grade or in the very beginning in ninth. The thought of dropping out of high school doesn’t discriminate between grade level and achievements. Anyone from the valedictorian to the class clown has probably given the idea a little tease when a difficult exam comes around or the list of homework and projects piles up. Some are able to push the thoughts away but others fall for glamour of it: No more school! No more listening to the teacher with the incomprehensible accent and high pitch voice. No more pointless assignments designed to drill a hole into your brain. No more advanced placement exams! Just days of waking up when you want to wake up and the only required reading is whatever you feel like reading.
If you’ve fallen for the tease, I’m going to burst your bubble. As far as I see it, there are two main reasons for staying in school that umbrella dozens of others: statistics and real life.
If you haven’t figured this out yet, numbers pretty much reflect our lives. Statistics grab a group of people, dumps them in an equation and compares them to each other. And according to the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, 82% of American prisoners are high school dropouts. Think about that one. That’s more than half. That’s more than a third. That’s more than three fourths!
The NDPC/N also mentions that “graduating from high school will determine how well you live for the next 50 years of your life.” Fifty years. Can you make that kind of commitment yet?
NDPC/N: High school grads earn $143 more per week than high school dropouts. (Imagine how much more a college grad makes!)
KnowHow2Go.org says: High school dropouts are four times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed.
I don’t care how you spin them; the numbers don’t favor dropping out of high school.
My second reason-umbrella for staying in school is high school itself. Ever rolled your eyes at the phrase “these are the best years of your life”? Prepare for some more of that now.
Not that you should ever talk back to your teacher, but high school is the only place where you can get away with that. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll get pulled out of class? Try doing that in the real world, to your boss. You’ll get fired.
Speaking of which, responsibility! Some teens have jobs and such but most don’t really know how it is to be on their own. You think its hard now? Think about the stress of paying bills, maintaining a home, insurance; the stress of keeping your own little world well oiled and going just so that you can face the real world. Keep the unemployment statistic in mind: It’s four times more likely more high school dropouts to be unemployed than college grads. What if you lose your job? Will you get another one in time to pay the bills?
Most importantly, high school is fun. Friends are in the same building. Teachers are there to help. There are field trips, dances and sport games. A safety net filled with the tools you’ll need in a couple of years. High school is where the good memories will come from if you let the good times occur. It’s the time before you worry about paying bills and answering to the authorities of the real world. Why rush out of it?
I thought about dropping out in ninth grade. The tease kept me going for two months. I thought my classes were too difficult, and that I wouldn’t be able to even pass the grade. Flash forward four years later: I graduated Summa Cum Laude (top 5%) with some of the best memories of my life. I enjoyed those four years and I think everyone should too.