Raider5678

Dropping out of highschool

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Hello guys.

I'm considering dropping out of high school. It's not because I don't like high school(I thoroughly enjoy it), or because I don't want to do the work, or anything like that.

Particularly, I'm not progressing at an acceptable pace in my opinion. It's essentially a social gathering at this point.

So recently I've been pondering dropping out of high school in January(The beginning of the 2nd semester), and then taking the test for my GED.  Pennsylvania has a requirement that if you want to take the GED test and you're under 18, you can't be enrolled in any high school, and you have to have a letter of request from your current employer. My employer is more then willing to give me a letter of request that I get my GED as I'd be able to accept a position they've been wanting to offer me if I could work a full 40 hours a week.

At the moment, I'm in 10th grade. I'm slated to graduate in 11th grade due to taking advanced courses, and the school isn't willing to give me any additional courses to further decrease the time it'd take me to graduate. The school offers GED practice tests, so in a week or so I'm going in to take one of those. If I take that and I score above a 90%(My own personal goal/limit) in at least 3 sections, and no lower then 85% in any of the sections, I'll take that as an indicator that I'll be able to easily pass the GED test which requires around a 75% score to pass(Which is about 50-60% of the questions right, because of the weird scoring. Like math questions are about 1 point each, and reading questions are about .86 or something like that). 

 

Assuming I can pass the practice test to the standards I set for myself, are there any major drawbacks to getting my GED instead of sticking with high school for another year and a half?

 

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My employer is more then willing to give me a letter of request that I get my GED as I'd be able to accept a position they've been wanting to offer me if I could work a full 40 hours a week.

Awful idea then you are beholden to your employer and they can pay you peanuts.

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I'm in 10th grade. I'm slated to graduate in 11th grade due to taking advanced courses,

You could just try to graduate with a high GPA which will stand to you in the future. If you are really bored take an online course (most of which are only like $10 max) or take an interesting hobby like art or music, both of which are great assets for making diagrams and presentations useful for any career.

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31 minutes ago, fiveworlds said:

Awful idea then you are beholden to your employer and they can pay you peanuts.

And if they decide to do that, I could quit. 

Neither I nor they are under any obligation to keep working/not fire the other.

 

32 minutes ago, fiveworlds said:

You could just try to graduate with a high GPA which will stand to you in the future. If you are really bored take an online course (most of which are only like $10 max) or take an interesting hobby like art or music, both of which are great assets for making diagrams and presentations useful for any career.

I have a 4.11 GPA at the moment, on a 4 point scale, due to advanced courses.

I thought about it and thoroughly decided taking additional courses outside of the school is not something I'm interested in perusing.

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I didn't see any mention of college. Can I ask your plans in that regard?

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

I didn't see any mention of college. Can I ask your plans in that regard?

I am in no position to afford a physical college.

That being said, the plan is that if I can get my GED I'd immediately enroll in online college to focus on two areas of education: Political Science and Computer Science. I'd probably take two classes simultaneously, one in each field, over the next 3-4 years. Additionally, with online college credits, you can take rapidly accelerated classes as well. I've taken a few already offered by my school, and I finished them 4 times faster then they were projected to be, so I'm optimistic that I can do fairly well on that front. 

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Consider staying until graduation easy money. You’d be surprised how many thousands of jobs won’t even consider you if you fail to check that simple box.

No matter how smart you are, failing to finish is just plain dumb. 

Unless, of course, you wish to spend the entire rest of your life in a menial job any monkey could equally do. 

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

Consider staying until graduation easy money. You’d be surprised how many thousands of jobs won’t even consider you if you fail to check that simple box.

No matter how smart you are, failing to finish is just plain dumb. 

Unless, of course, you wish to spend the entire rest of your life in a menial job any monkey could equally do. 

Isn't a GED considered an equivalent to a high school diploma?

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A GED does not look as good as a diploma. However, once you earn a college degree no one will even know about your history in high school. 

In the short run I believe you are taking a risk, but there is also potential benefit in earnings and completing college ahead of schedule.

I suspect the downside of making a bad decision either way is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

I'd suggest you make an informed decision and move forward with vigor. It's your life and I don't feel you are risking a great deal either way.

 

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And if they decide to do that, I could quit

Then you aren't in highschool so you have no teachers and your parents will expect you to work.

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Isn't a GED considered an equivalent to a high school diploma?

No it definitely isn't. A high school can provide you with a reference as they will have information from continuous assessment of you including your behaviour etc which will make a you a less risky choice to employers and colleges who would otherwise have little information other than an exam result.

 

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Just now, zapatos said:

A GED does not look as good as a diploma.

I considered this early on, but ultimately I decided that this could be over come in two ways, or both. First of all, on my resume, I could specify that my GED was obtained when I was in 10th grade, hence why I dropped out and didn't get a diploma. I feel like that could remove some of the stigma against a GED. Additionally, if you score high enough on the GED, you can get a GED - College Ready specification, essentially indicating you scored highly on the GED test. Hence why I set those goals on the practice test.

3 minutes ago, zapatos said:

In the short run I believe you are taking a risk, but there is also potential benefit in earnings and completing college ahead of schedule.

I suspect the downside of making a bad decision either way is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

I'd suggest you make an informed decision and move forward with vigor. It's your life and I don't feel you are risking a great deal either way.

The informed decision is part of why I posted this question. Cheers.

2 minutes ago, fiveworlds said:

Then you aren't in highschool so you have no teachers and your parents will expect you to work.

Parent.

Either way, I really doubt that as soon as I get my GED and start working more hours my employer is suddenly going to say "Alright. Cut his pay, immediately." I don't see the logic behind it considering they understand I could quit as well and they want me to move to a different position specifically. Not a promotion, just a different position that they specifically want me in, which gives me even more reason why I don't think they're just going to randomly cut my pay: They want me there. For now at least.

Let's say they did just randomly cut my pay. I'd quit. Now I'm 16 years old, with a GED, and without high school, the opportunity to pursue a full time job. Still not a terrible position.

 

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5 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

Let's say they did just randomly cut my pay. I'd quit. Now I'm 16 years old, with a GED, and without high school, the opportunity to pursue a full time job. Still not a terrible position. indicating you scored highly on the GED test

How will that make you stand out when somebody has to decide between you and another candidate with equally high grades and references from lecturers, sport coaches, and music teachers? Sure you have the job but it will be hard to do a GED and a full-time job and if you leave the job or the employer dislikes you then you lose any references you might have.

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5 minutes ago, fiveworlds said:

No it definitely isn't. A high school can provide you with a reference as they will have information from continuous assessment of you including your behaviour etc which will make a you a less risky choice to employers and colleges who would otherwise have little information other than an exam result.

You're assuming the only possible thing I can put on my resume is my high school diploma/GED. 

I've worked at three different companies/jobs, every single one of which was happy to give me a good reference in terms of my work ethic, etc, when I decided to move on. I've consistently had a part time job since I was 12, actually, where I started working on a farm. 

I've taken part in national debate competitions and engineering competitions after winning local, regional, and state competitions in both to get me there. 

I even have the Pennsylvania State Director of the YMCA on my resume to give me a reference.

If anything, I don't want them calling my high school and asking them for reports on my behavior, I want them calling any of the people/companies I've listed as references.

1 minute ago, fiveworlds said:

How will that make you stand out when somebody has to decide between you and another candidate with equally high grades and references from lecturers, sport coaches, and music teachers?

Maybe any of my other references will do the trick.

1 minute ago, fiveworlds said:

Sure you have the job but it will be hard to do a GED and a full-time job and if you leave the job or the employer dislikes you then you lose any references you might have.

A GED is a one time test. I don't see how it'd be hard to do that and a full time-job.  If you're referring to studying for the GED, then please note I'm not going to pursue it unless I get a high score on my schools practice test.

 

As for me leaving the job or the employer disliking me meaning I can't get a reference from them, the same exact thing would apply if I had a high school diploma or a GED. I don't see how this plays into the factor.

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If it is really what you want to do then I can't stop you but maybe talk to your parent and teachers about it first before making a decision.

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1 minute ago, fiveworlds said:

If it is really what you want to do then I can't stop you but maybe talk to your parent and teachers about it first before making a decision.

You can't drop out of high school without parental permission.

I don't think so at least. 

 

The main question is if saving a year and a half is worth the risk of me dropping out of high school and getting a GED.

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And despite all that folks wonder why you did not finish your degree. GEDs come with a stigma and since without a college degree you are likely not competing on specialized skills, it means that you will compete with plenty of folks which do have it. Of these there will also be folks that have had part-time jobs with positive recommendations. From here it really looks like you are limiting your options with no obvious benefits. Also, if you consider college at a later point, it could make things harder.

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2 minutes ago, CharonY said:

GEDs come with a stigma and since without a college degree you are likely not competing on specialized skills, it means that you will compete with plenty of folks which do have it.

If I'm perusing a college degree immediately afterward, wouldn't I have a college degree a year and a half before any of my other peers though? I felt as though a college degree would over shadow a GED instead of a high school diploma.

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I grew up surrounded by friends smarter than me. They were bored in school and decided to go the GED route. One is working now as a handy man for a mental hospital trying to support his three kids and wife and pot habit, the other wound up shaving dogs for a living at Petsmart and just drank himself to death. They were smarter than me, but I got the diploma and at much happier and better off than both of them combined all these decades later. Sometimes you just have to check the box. 

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3 minutes ago, iNow said:

I grew up surrounded by friends smarter than me. They were bored in school and decided to go the GED route. One is working now as a handy man for a mental hospital trying to support his three kids and wife and pot habit, the other wound up shaving dogs for a living at Petsmart and just drank himself to death. They were smarter than me, but I got the diploma and at much happier and better off than both of them combined all these decades later. Sometimes you just have to check the box. 

That's anecdotal evidence however.

I know three other people in my church who dropped out to get their GED. One is a software engineer, one is the owner of a small company, and the other is a doctor.

Surely however, we can both agree what happens to some doesn't automatically say what's going to happen to me if I choose this option.

Edited by Raider5678

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2 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

That's anecdotal evidence however.

I know three other people in my church who dropped out to get their GED. One is a software engineer, one is the owner of a small company, and the other is a doctor.

Surely however, we can both agree what happens to some doesn't automatically say what's going to happen to me if I choose this option.

Are you leaning one way or the other at this point?

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Sure. I think you’re smarter than this, though. Maybe I’m wrong. Whatever. It’s your life. 

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

Are you leaning one way or the other at this point?

I'm leaning further towards dropping out and getting my GED, but not nearly as far as I was leaning at the beginning of the discussion.

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There are many reasons to stay in High School-- that far outweigh the value of a GED.  Admittedly, education in High school is sort of a 'shotgun' approach-- exposing you to many topics when some will have no importance in your future life.  The catch to this is that the brain structure continues to evolve during the teen years, and many, many of us don't know what we will most want to do in our later life until we get there.  Something which bores you today can likely end up being the foundation for something that, 5 years from now, will be important (this will be the point when you admit to yourself "Damn-- I should have finished High School").  Additionally, those who hire the really highly skilled people would like to see evidence that you are mentally strong enough to finish what you start-- even when it takes a long time (as many real-world problems do).  Finishing High School is just one more proof that you can stick it out.  If you cannot stick it out in High School, what makes you think you can stick it out in College?  College degrees also require you to take  courses outside your specialty-- and they can be equally boring.  The GED is just a test of basic knowledge.  It does not cover the wealth of added information and exposure to different fields of work that High School can provide you.  That's why a High School diploma is valued higher than the GED.

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This isn't the same advice you've gotten from the others...

Stay in school and pursue the social life. Just don't go to extremes or get out of control.
I miss my high school and University days. This past summer, we had our 40 year Gr.13 ( last year of high school in those days ) reunion, and it was great seeing all my old friends and catching up.

The thing is, you can be approaching 60 ( like me ) and still get an education if you want it badly enough.
But when you're approaching 60, you can't be young, no matter how badly you want it.

Don't make the mistake of rushing your youth.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, OldChemE said:

Finishing High School is just one more proof that you can stick it out.

Most of your post is positioned around this statement, so I'll address this.

I feel as though there is a major difference between dropping out of high school because I don't want to stick it out, as compared to dropping out of high school, getting a GED and a full time job, and then pursuing a college degree. I don't see how these things are equated.

Additionally, it's not as though I decided to start high school and then quit because it got boring. I had literally no choice in the matter.

6 minutes ago, OldChemE said:

It does not cover the wealth of added information and exposure to different fields of work that High School can provide you.  That's why a High School diploma is valued higher than the GED.

There's not a lot of information my high school is offering. Hence the point of me wishing to accelerate my learning. If you're talking about cultural, then I fail to see the benefit of joining the group of students constantly looking to bang someone, or the other idiots who are pursuing drugs, or the students who only put value in sports, or the kids who spend all their time on social media and focusing on their appearance. Culturally, I'm not seeing a lot of appealing experiences I'd like to have.

11 minutes ago, OldChemE said:

The catch to this is that the brain structure continues to evolve during the teen years, and many, many of us don't know what we will most want to do in our later life until we get there.

If my brain is still evolving I'd rather it evolve around me taking on challenging tasks and learning new things, as compared to sitting in class listening to a teacher who doesn't know what he's talking about because he's high on pot. Yes, I had a teacher who did this for a year until they finally let him go because enough parents complained. Speaks to the quality of my school. 

Additionally, if I don't know what I want to do in life, staying in high school seems like a counter intuitive approach. My school doesn't offer much in terms of extra curricular. If I get to spend an additional 1.5 years finding what I want to do in life instead of sitting in high school, I can figure out what I do/don't want to do much faster. 

9 minutes ago, MigL said:

Stay in school and pursue the social life.

So social life above education? Really?

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I think the reason the thought of Raider dropping out of high school doesn't seem like a big deal to me is because of his situation. He is not dropping out per se; he is accelerating his education. He does not seem like someone who needs to depend on a high school diploma for getting a job. He is going into this with his eyes wide open and is discussing his options. His achievements and maturity put him ahead of most of his classmates already. Finally, he has a job lined up and if I'm reading this correctly, he can't count on a lot of financial support from family. There are certainly benefits to staying in high school, but in this case, high school doesn't seen necessary to me.

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