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Being a high school dropout.

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  • Being a high school dropout.

    Widgets Magazine
    Sooo...I was supposed to graduate in 2009. My first 3 years of high school I managed to get through them, but it was complete hell because I had anxiety and other depression issues. In grade 12 I basically got nothing done because I had problems with friendships, my family was fighting all the time, etc.
    I did manage to get some classes after that, and now I need one class to graduate. The only problem is, even though it's only one class, I still have no motivation to go back. I know it's kind of dumb that I'm 21 and living with my father, but I do have a job even though it's only 16 hours per week.
    BTW, my parents are divorced now, and there doesn't seem to be any fighting between my family, though I sometimes get caught in the middle of my parents saying nasty things about each other and legal stuff, but it's not as bad as it used to be. Since it isn't as bad school probably WOULD be less hell than it used to be, but I don't really see a point in going back, especially since my father says "Eh it's only one class. close enough."
    What do you guys think? Does being a high school dropout make me a huge loser?
    I feel comfortable talking about this on Fandompost forums because people seem to be nicer about these kind of things here. On other forums I think people would judge me pretty harshly.

  • #2
    Re: Being a high school dropout.

    Originally posted by Betenoire
    It doesn't automatically make you a loser, what you do with your life will decide that.

    But the problem is not having at least a high school diploma will seriously limit what you can do with your life. You aren't going to be able to live on 16 hours a week (or probably do all the things you want to on that income) so at some point you'll want to get a new job. Then you will be competing with people who have a high school degree (at least) and in large part and that isn't going to place you in a very advantageous place. A strong work history can combat that somewhat if the HR person takes the time to read past the lack of a HS diploma, but many (if not most) won't.

    Not that education itself and multiple letters behind one's name automatically means one isn't a loser but they will get doors opened that you'll never have a chance at. Your dad may think it is close enough but he isn't the one you will be sending resumes and applications to.
    You're definitely right that living off of 16 hours a week is impossible. Theoretically, I could get promoted from a dishwasher, to pizza station/salad station (They work full time, 40 hours per week). The only problem is I don't think I have the mental capabilities for that. I've worked fast food in the kitchen before and I would always screw up orders, among other things. For everyone else those jobs are easy and "don't take much skill". If I couldn't make it in fast food, it would be even worse for a dining restaurant.
    That's another reason I feel it's pointless to finish school. If I couldn't make it in fast food, then it'd be pretty hard to be successful in anything that pays higher, so university/college would be pointless.
    Although, I have proven I can be a strong dishwasher. There are those rare full time dishwashing jobs at the really busy restaurants. I guess if I finish school, then try to get a job there I could be in a little better place then I'm at right now. I'd need to work on my motivation issues though.

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    • #3
      Re: Being a high school dropout.

      I think you should get a GED so you can find better work or perhaps go to post secondary education.
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      • #4
        Re: Being a high school dropout.

        Originally posted by Cutliquidsnake View Post
        You're definitely right that living off of 16 hours a week is impossible. Theoretically, I could get promoted from a dishwasher, to pizza station/salad station (They work full time, 40 hours per week). The only problem is I don't think I have the mental capabilities for that. I've worked fast food in the kitchen before and I would always screw up orders, among other things. For everyone else those jobs are easy and "don't take much skill". If I couldn't make it in fast food, it would be even worse for a dining restaurant.
        The thing with the human brain is, it's like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. You're perfectly capable of handling more demanding responsibilities. They'll probably seem difficult at first, but that's why employers invest in training you to handle the workload of the new job.

        Nobody is expected to start in a skilled position (like food prep in a commercial kitchen) and hit the ground running, unless they have prior experience at that skill level. If you get promoted, a good employer will recognize that you'll need some time to adapt, and they'll give it to you.

        As far as schooling goes, see if you can talk to a college admissions counselor. You've got more going for yourself than you think. You can communicate quite effectively through writing, and believe me, that is far from being a universal trait among undergraduate students. I think you could do quite well for yourself in college/university, if you give it a shot.
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        • #5
          Re: Being a high school dropout.

          I'm not going to say you have to finish high school, but I will say that you should start thinking on what trade you want to go into. There are a number of decent to well paying jobs that do not require a diploma or GED, but apprenticeship work in trade fields is very competitive right now because of the economy. Having an idea of what you want to do can help you focus on one specific field.

          I have a friend who never graduated who owns a hauling and dumping business. He makes around 300k a year and is happily married, but he worked his butt off to get to where he is now. Do you want to put in the time and effort for something like that? Starting your own business from scratch, especially one that is mostly manual labor?
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          • #6
            Re: Being a high school dropout.

            I do agree with Bete-san and Legion that you should strongly consider getting that HS diploma or GED. If you're just one class short of a HS diploma and you have a schedule that can accommodate taking that one class, I urge you to go for it, because that's going to open many doors for you. If that's really not the route for you, then I'll echo Gatts and say that you should start really thinking about a trade to go into, and then doing the legwork to make that happen. One route is not necessarily easier or harder than the other, but that's not the way I'd suggest looking at it either. Of course, recognizing and then being able to admit that your current life situation is not desirable is a positive step in and of itself. The challenge is to then decide to take that next step, whatever it may be.
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            • #7
              Re: Being a high school dropout.

              Speaking from personal experience, the worst thing you can do right now is throw in the towel and assume that this is as far as you go in life.
              It may feel pretty pointless at the moment, to try and take any positive steps to improve your situation, but believe me, in time you'll seriously regret not giving it a go.
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              • #8
                Re: Being a high school dropout.

                While the value of education is up in the air, as mentioned, what it DOES do more often than not is close doors, either because you lack education or are overeducated. There are a lot of jobs you could do without finishing high school that would make you plenty of money to support yourself, but without an employer giving you that opportunity, that's kind of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Getting a GED is huge because a lot of great paying jobs (such as call center work) require only a high school degree and the GED program is a good alternative to the traditional high school route.
                "Ninjas, sushi, schoolgirls, samurai, and boobs. These are the things that cross all borders, and tie us together!"

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                • #9
                  Re: Being a high school dropout.

                  Originally posted by Ryos View Post
                  Getting a GED is huge because a lot of great paying jobs (such as call center work) require only a high school degree
                  I disagree with this. Call center is a high stress job. I certainly wouldn't suggest going into a high stress position if you dropped out of high school due to the stress. I would say something like Data Entry would be a better suggestion. The main reason to get a GED would be if your main goal is to work in a corporate environment. If you don't want to work for someone else, then the GED isn't needed.

                  The problem is at 21 if you don't really know what direction you want to go in for your life, it's better to just take that last class and keep your options open. If you do have a solid idea of what you want to do, just specialize in that one area. If that area you want to specialize in involves anything corporate, then you'll need to take that last class anyway.

                  Trade work won't require a GED or diploma. Glass blower, construction, woodwork, bricklaying, tailor, chef, lumberjack, locksmith, shoemaker, etc those are all jobs that you can go into without a GED. As long as you are willing to work through the apprenticeship and you prove to be competent, you'll be able to get and keep your job.

                  Don't get me wrong, even with trade work, if you want to work for a large company, they'll want you to have a diploma or GED. For example if you want to work for Clark Construction or Ryland Homes, they'll say "go back to school kid", but if you don't mind working for a smaller company or going into business for yourself, then learning a trade and striking out on your own is an option.

                  Like I mentioned, it all depends on how hard you want to work to succeed.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Being a high school dropout.

                    First of all, thanks all of you for your input. Try to bare with me here as I've never understood the multiquote system of these types of forums, haha.

                    Citizen Clause, thank you for all your support. People do tell me I'm capable of achieving more than I have been able to pull off.
                    It is true that with most people, with experience, the job gets easier for them. I have found though that this isn't really the case with me. First off, I worked about 2 years at KFC when I was about 16, in the kitchen. The kids there working with me always said I was a terrible worker with no common sense, even after I worked there a long time.
                    I was apparently really slow at everything, and I would also screw things up. At one point one of the kids said to me "I would actually like to live inside your brain for one day to understand the way you think." Sure, the managers liked me and said I was good but they were always working in the front, and they probably liked me because I wasn't be mouthy like the other kids were. Still, my work wasn't that great.
                    Then I worked at A&W, that was even worse, even the managers said I was slow and I screwed things up, etc. and I worked there for about 2 years as well. People say fast food takes no skill, but the way I see it, it's ridiculously hard. Example (I'm using my job at A&W here) I think you need to be able to always stay focused and make sure your brain doesn't go off somewhere else, something that always happens to me and I find that hard to control as well. You need to be able to go fast, pinpointing little details really fast to get the order out and on time, constantly be aware of your surroundings, etc. all things that I find difficult.
                    I am much better at my dishwashing job. Everyone there is extremely nice, and it's dishwashing, so it doesn't recquire those skills I mentioned, just physical endurance, something I can be pretty good with (Especially with caffeine or music, haha).
                    But anyways, my point is, if I don't have those basic common sense skills for a low paying job, I don't think I'll be able to handle something higher paying that is much, much more advanced. In a higher paying job, there is always going to be potentially more problems than a lower minimum wage job.

                    Betenoire, I've actually considered trades before actually, like plumbing. It would have to be industrial though, as I can't stand working with the public (I'll explain that later as I reply to Gatts post).

                    Hayate Kurogane, if I do get a high school or GED, I'll probably choose high school since it would probably take the same amount of effort since I guess it is only one class. It's true that a high school diploma will open doors for me, but I do think since I lack the social skills and life skills (Like those common sense things I mentioned earlier) in order to keep a high paying job, I don't think I should ever go to college and shoot for something better for that reason.

                    Aku chan, you have a really good point. My friend and I had a conversation about this a few months ago, that I should try to give things a shot even if I think I'll fail, crash and burn. Trying at something, even if it might not turn out, has been a common topic of conversation with social workers I've had before. What I need to do first though is learn to be more responsible, have a reasonable sleep schedule, and get to where I need to be on time (Another problem I have). Right now I admit I'm pretty much reliant on others to be responsible, which I will have to work on as well.

                    Gatts, you are right about call centre work not being for me. Dealing with the public is not something I feel I can do. Stress as you mentioned, as well as being way too socially awkward, haha.
                    When you say "It all depends on how hard you want to work" well, I think that's something I should work on as well, being a harder worker. I do go through phases where I have no motivation and basically get nothing done, sometimes it lasts weeks or months, then I also get phases where I'm super productive and work hard, which also varies on how long it lasts. My brain is weird like that.
                    If I can work on those things, then yes, I am willing to work hard, but again, I think I still would need better life skills.

                    Sorry for big wall of text XD, I think I replied to everybody though, so that's good.
                    Last edited by Cutliquidsnake; 02-03-2012, 11:10 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Being a high school dropout.

                      Hey, I just wanted to share some personal experience with you OP...Seriously, don't think that just because you are bad at filling fast-food orders and stuff that you lack "mental capabilities." I was the worst waiter the world has ever seen, I swear to God. Like, my boss and all my coworkers told me I was incompetent on a regular basis and they'd always stick me in the back so I could screw up the least number of orders possible, lol. The only reason the restaurant kept me on was because they couldn't find anyone else, and when they finally found someone better I was immediately fired. But because of that, I ended up going back to university, and I graduated and went into a field that I am actually really good at. Sometimes it's different kinds of intelligences / skills, you know? Just because I failed miserably at fast food doesn't mean I am unintelligent as a person. I'm very happy at my new full-time job (corporate) and I make 3x more money than I did at my old job as a waiter at the restaurant.

                      So I would encourage you to finish your last class @ high school and maybe then explore other types of work environments to see what kind of work you like best and function well with, maybe start taking some classes or something (technical school or community college maybe?)...it's okay to not know what you want to do right away Don't automatically resign yourself to an entire life of dishwashing, you know? Honestly it's not pointless to finish school, and I'm sure you could succeed in other fields (if you want to). Good luck!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Being a high school dropout.

                        Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                        Hey, I just wanted to share some personal experience with you OP...Seriously, don't think that just because you are bad at filling fast-food orders and stuff that you lack "mental capabilities." I was the worst waiter the world has ever seen, I swear to God. Like, my boss and all my coworkers told me I was incompetent on a regular basis and they'd always stick me in the back so I could screw up the least number of orders possible, lol. The only reason the restaurant kept me on was because they couldn't find anyone else, and when they finally found someone better I was immediately fired. But because of that, I ended up going back to university, and I graduated and went into a field that I am actually really good at. Sometimes it's different kinds of intelligences / skills, you know? Just because I failed miserably at fast food doesn't mean I am unintelligent as a person. I'm very happy at my new full-time job (corporate) and I make 3x more money than I did at my old job as a waiter at the restaurant.

                        So I would encourage you to finish your last class @ high school and maybe then explore other types of work environments to see what kind of work you like best and function well with, maybe start taking some classes or something (technical school or community college maybe?)...it's okay to not know what you want to do right away Don't automatically resign yourself to an entire life of dishwashing, you know? Honestly it's not pointless to finish school, and I'm sure you could succeed in other fields (if you want to). Good luck!
                        Hey, thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates food service, haha. I'm happy that you found a job you really like. I should definitely get my last class. I like the idea of exploring which work environment would work better for me. There is a College in my area that has many different types of classes. I should research any classes that would be possible to take with minimum grade 12.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Being a high school dropout.

                          There are a couple of points I'd like to pick up on:

                          First, have you ever been tested for a learning disability, or seen a therapist? You mention having problems with depression and anxiety, but it also sounds like there might be some ADD or ADHD mixed in there.

                          And if you've never been tested, it really is worth it. I have a couple of friends and acquaintances who suffer from ADD, depression, or both (in one case). And when they finally admitted they had a problem, and got on the right meds . . . it was night and day. One girl, for example, who nearly flunked out of high school, is now working on her Ph.D. That's not say that the right meds will fix everything, but if you need them - and are willing to put in the work - they can make a huge difference.

                          Second, lots of people hate high school. The hours suck, the social dynamics are lousy, and the teachers are tired and cranky themselves. So you're not alone.

                          If you don't like high school, go for the GED. Or, since you're a night owl, look at night school. You can pick up that last class in a totally different environment - and on a schedule that suits you better

                          Originally posted by Cutliquidsnake View Post
                          . . . I don't really see a point in going back, especially since my father says "Eh it's only one class. close enough."
                          Not to criticize your father, but he doesn't know what he's talking about here. Having that high school diploma (or GED) opens a whole new world of better jobs to you. Better pay, better benefits, more respect - and most employers won't even consider you without that diploma.

                          What do you guys think? Does being a high school dropout make me a huge loser?
                          Just being a high school dropout doesn't make you a loser. Being a high school dropout, and a dishwasher after . . .oh, say you're thirtieth birthday . . . that makes you a loser.

                          I know it sounds harsh, but getting that degree has become one of the rituals of adulthood. Its very hard to support a wife, or a family, or get a home of your own as a bottle washer. And few employers will take you seriously without a high school diploma.

                          Just think about it - without a high school diploma, there's basically no difference between you and some high school sophomore who comes in looking for a job. And when you're competing against teens - who are happy just to get some spending money, you're going to have zero ability to push for a raise. And you're extremely expendable.

                          That's not to criticize people who went to trade school, or found an apprenticeship. Both take effort to complete, and both will likely land a good job later on. Nor am I trying to criticize you personally - or anyone else who dropped out. I'm sure you're a hard worker who takes his job seriously. But you're never going to be able to get two weeks paid vacation, or really support yourself in the style you'd like, without that degree.

                          And I can't help but imagine that it eats at you a bit - that your friends and enemies from high school got their degrees, and are probably earning more in a day than you make in a week. So, if for no other reason than for your own self-respect, its worth going after.
                          "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

                          -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Being a high school dropout.

                            One Vorlon, I have been diagnosed with a form of autism called asperger syndrome. I do take medication for my depression/anxiety, etc. I've been meaning to ask my psychiatrist about ADD/ADHD actually. It's something I've actually been wondering about. I haven't been diagnosed with any learning disabilities yet.
                            Something just crossed my mind as I read your post on night classes. Summer school is only a month. Now that you reminded me I am definitely going to Summer School this year to finish my class. It's 3 hours a day for a month but hey, I can handle it if it's only a month, haha. I actually went to Summer school back in 2009, it actually wasn't bad at all.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Being a high school dropout.

                              Boy, or Girl.... Get off your butt and that last credit to get your degree!
                              The others have given good reasons so let me give you a few others.
                              There is no shame in going to a community col. for the first 2-3 years; then transfer later. Not only will you better yourself but you'll also come into contact with your peers and develop connections. You'd be surprised how you can some really good jobs just by knowing some one.
                              (for example: said classmate knows of a job opening that pays much better than what you have now and helps to get you there. This is how my brother got a job that paid REALLY well)
                              I know a family freind who even after 10+ years went back and got her degree.
                              mmm... this'll sound a bit cheesey but I'll say it any way...
                              Don't sell yourself short.
                              Rotten, rotten, rotten...
                              Anyway you look at it...
                              I am a rotten girl...

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