Dropping Out of High School: Who, Why, and Why Not

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Trevor walks up to his friend Kevin. Trevor has been struggling in school and has decided to talk to his best friend about what he thinks about him dropping out of high school.

“I just don’t see the point,” Trevor tells Kevin, “I already have a job working for my uncle in his store and he promised to promote me soon. School is just getting out of hand—there’s too much work, the teachers suck—I’m going to drop out.”

Kevin understands Trevor’s point of view; after all, Trevor has been complaining about school a lot recently. However, Kevin knows how important it is to graduate, plus they are already juniors and it just seems like a waste to spend eleven years in school and have it mean almost nothing by dropping out of high school just before graduating. Kevin tells Trevor that he should stay in school since there is no logical reason to stop now; however, Trevor does not take his friend’s advice and drops out.

This scenario is common in high schools across America although the situations may be different. Graduation rates are at 80% in the United States—that means over 3 million students will not be graduating high school alongside their peers EACH year. However, there are a variety of different reasons and situations that may cause a person to decide to drop out—most of which are unlike Trevor who just is fed up with school—most students who drop out are facing family, economic, or social struggles that may cause them to make the decision to drop out. So, let us take a look at who tends to drop out of high school.

Who Drops out of High School?

On a socioeconomic level, the majority of students who drop out are from low-income families. Ethically, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to drop out of school. However, of course, these are statistical majorities and varies from community to community and culture to culture. This does not mean that because you are in this group that you are predestined to not succeed academically—you are the master of your fate, and putting in the effort and dedication needed to succeed will give you a better chance at life. But first, why do students drop out high school?

Why do Students Drop out of High School?

There are many reasons why a student decides to drop out of high school. He or she could feel inadequate in school; he or she could be facing economic problems at home and need to work; he or she could be bullied, and countless more reasons that differ from person to person. According to dosomething.org, approximately 3 million students drop out of school every year in the United States. The reason this is a worrying statistic is because 90% of jobs require at least a high school degree and dropping out of high school makes you ineligible for 90% of available jobs. If you do find a job, it is likely to be a minimum wage job where you will be working for nearly nothing—not even a living wage. This is a tragedy since a majority of dropouts end up dropping out in either their junior or senior year when they are close to graduating, approximately 60% of dropouts are boys aged 18 to 24—more than 1.8 million students.

Why is Graduating so Important?

It may seem obvious why graduating from high school is important for your future. As stated before, not graduating from high school makes you ineligible for 90% of the jobs in America, almost guaranteeing a struggling life. In the past, a high school degree could get you pretty far in the job market; however, now, many jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. Higher paying jobs mostly all require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in that field, so the more money you want to make, the more schooling you will be required to have, at least a high school diploma. High school graduates will make on average $260,000 more than those who do not complete high school, according to statisticbrain.com. In the America we live in today, not graduating from high school can severely complicate your future. That’s almost 7,000 students a day disqualifying themselves from future jobs.

There is a cycle of poverty in the United States, which means that dropping out of your school not only can harm your future success, but also others. If you live in a low-income area and go to low-funded schools, you are more likely to drop out than someone of a higher-income area. This means that by dropping out, your school gets less funding which means low-quality textbook and other resources which means other students there are likely to drop out because of a lack of resources and enthusiasm for education.

However, you may be going through situations not necessarily related to the economic nature of your family–such as bullying at school. 1 in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated cases of bullying, according to dosomething.org. This means that by bullying someone, you can not only be detrimental to their school-life, you can also harm their future economically, socially, and emotionally. There is no reason to do all that just to make yourself feel better about the situation you are in. If you are being bullied and are thinking about dropping out because of this, take a look at the next section about ways you can help yourself have a prosperous future.

How to Look at School

High school is a fleeting four years of your life, and while four years can seem like a long time, in retrospect, it is a small moment of your life after all is said and done. Bullies are only bullies, and while what they do may hurt you and make you feel insecure, you should by no means give them power over you and dropping out of school will do just that. Never put your future in the hands of someone who is unworthy of it—and bullies are just that.

Over 3.2 million students are bullied each year, so, you are not alone. Many bullied kids grow up to live fantastically spectacular lives, so there is no reason that you cannot either. Just remember the golden rule—they may be bullying you now, but they’ll be washing your windows in the future. Stay strong and push through it and have a successful future and life and do not give anyone the power of stopping you from doing that. However, no student should ever have to be reduce to contemplating about dropping out because they are being bullied, so it is important to turn to help when you need it.

Alternative Help

There are many ways to get help from bullying according to dosomething.org:

1.Tell a Parent, Teacher, Principal, etc.

It might be hard to admit you need help, and it may be hard to pluck up the courage to face your bully through means of an adult, but it is important you do so. Tell someone you trust whether it is a parent, faulty member, or a family member.

2. Ignore or Laugh

Ignoring your bully or laughing at them will make them feel foolish and not worth your time. Also, bullies are looking for a reaction like rage or sadness, so acting in a way opposite of that can make them stop.

3. Help someone being bullied

It is not only important to stand up for yourself, but if you see someone else being bullied, it is important to stand up for them. It shows the victim that they are not alone and shows the bully that they cannot pick on someone without repercussions.

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