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What You Should Know About High School Dropouts

What You Should Know About High School Dropouts

By Contributor

Lately I've been thinking a lot about something. You know what that something is?

Dropping out of high school.

If your reaction to the above was finding the nearest panic button, pressing it madly, sounding the panic alarm, and preparing to leave a panic message about exactly how bad an idea this is, please just stop right there for a minute and read this.

Alright. What I'm trying to get at here is that, while all you 4.0-ers out there work your butts off for your well-deserved grades and get picked on for it, the other end of the spectrum (who, I guess, would be the 0.0-ers) gets a bad rap too. No, seriously. Those kids who never turn anything in and have an F in every class except for that one study hall where nobody has to do anything in particular? They're not necessarily doing it on purpose. I promise.

This realization was one that I had only recently, by way of my thinking about dropping out and immediately getting the whole "bad idea don't do it no no no condescending what's next drugs and alcohol failure McDonald's job blah blah blah etc." speech from absolutely everyone I know. People seem to instantly assume that when someone has bad grades/wants to drop out, it's because they're a delinquent or something. Factually, that's not quite it.

As an example: I'm possibly dropping out of high school this upcoming year because I flunked my sophomore year. I also haven't gotten a grade over C in a math class since the 6th grade. Honestly, I've given up, and not in a "blast it all this is stupid so I'm going to pout and not do it" kind of way, in a "this really just doesn't work for me so I don't want to waste my time with it" way. The thing is, even though I'm dropping out (it's very likely, anyways) due to my complete failure of all my academic classes and the fact that I'm now 7 credits behind, it's not like this automatically means that I'm just going to spend my life in my mother's apartment being a lazy money leech, getting a job at the nearest fast food chain joint, and never taking responsibility for anything. I still have goals—I'm just going about them on a different path than high school (also known as the infamous General Education Diploma).

This is actually the case for many dropouts. Sure, a ton of them are dropping out because they don't care about college or a career, but there are those of us who want to go to college, or a university, and become doctors or lawyers or (the irony of this is just delicious to me) high school English teachers. The problem isn't always laziness or wanting to take the easy way there, either. The fact is, the education system in America only caters to one type of student: the learning preference is Analytic, and learning style is Auditory. This basically means that the type of person who benefits most from the system is able to learn best using organized lists, straight-up facts, and a nice, neat, clearly stated method for everything. This person is also usually able to retain information from lectures, talks, and anything else hearing-related. If you're one of these folks, all those AVID-type methods for every task you encounter in every subject with the clever acronyms are a dream for you and your goals, just because it's the way your mind most effectively absorbs information. Lucky you—you can learn with American flair!

I'm seriously not being sarcastic here, either. You are lucky. Not everyone has the mind for this type of system, and some, like myself, literally can't function under it. Holistic learners, like myself, don't do lists. We need reasons, overviews, and contexts for learning. The subject needs to have meaning, or it's just not going to fit into our brains—square peg, round hole and all that. And this, my friends, is why some people with big goals and dreams for the future and a nice big bucket of intelligence under their belts WILL do the unthinkable: fail classes and potentially drop out.

So, the basic idea of this ridiculously long post is that you shouldn't assume that someone's a delinquent or a lazy bum just because they don't fit into the lovely puzzle that is the education system. It's often completely untrue. I just wanted everyone to know that.

PS. Intelligence buckets.
PPS. The whole learning style/preference thing is very interesting. You might consider looking it up.
PPPS. G.E.D.s are as good as high school diplomas and many very nice colleges will consider your nice score on the GED test an equal to said diploma. That's all.

Post by DearImprudence!

Would you ever consider dropping out of school?

Topics: School, Life
Tags: college, high school, studying, pressure, anxiety, failing, bad grades, responsibility, students, goals, dropping out, getting your ged, learning styles

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