Why Should I Stay?

By Camille Homer


Have you ever sat in your desk at school just bored completely out of your mind? Have you ever wondered “Why am I here?” or “When am I ever going to use this stuff in real life”?  Have you said to yourself “I hate school!” or “I’m just not going to come tomorrow”?  If the answer is yes, you aren’t the only one.  If you decided you were going to drop out of high school tomorrow, you might think that life will be easy and fun and that you can make it!  The truth is that life would be a lot harder than you think.  Our world today has bad economies, and quickly advancing technology.  A student gives up on high school about every 29 seconds, which makes 7,000 high school drop outs every day in America (Background on High School Dropouts).

On DoSomething.org, dropping out is defined by the National Center for Education Statistics as “leaving school without a high school diploma or equivalent credential such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate”.  There are many reasons students drop out of high school, one of which may be socioeconomic reasons.  Students who come from a low-income family are 10 times more likely to drop out of high school than students from a high-income family (Background on High School Dropouts).  A study in 2006 showed that 9% of students dropped out of high school because they had to support their family, 15% said they had to get a job, and 14% said that they couldn’t manage work and school at the same time (Clemson University, 2006).  Dropping out of high school will not increase your income situation in the present or the future.

According to national research, academic reasons are clearly related to students dropping out (Background on High School Dropouts).  Along with trying to balance social and personal life, students have to worry about their grade.  About 40% of students said that they were failing school and 30% just couldn’t keep up with school work (Clemson University, 2006).  There may be many different reasons behind failing grades, but they all can lead to dropping out.  Even missing school can lead to dropping out.  You may think that sluffing class is fun and that you’ll just catch up in the next class period, but it’s a lot harder than you think.  Once behind, it’s very hard catching up to the rest of your peers, which can lead to low self-esteem issues (Background on High School Dropouts).  So the next time your friend asks you to skip class with them, think of the consequences.

Teen pregnancy is also a cause for students dropping out.  According to the National Dropout Prevention Center/ Network, about 30% of girl dropouts said it was because they became pregnant.  Becoming pregnant as a teen, for both male and female students, leads to many other problems in life that are hard to escape from.  Early pregnancy causes difficulties not just in high school but in college as well.  Women who have children while at a community college are 65% less likely to finish their degree then women who don’t (NCSL, 2014).  The effects of a teen pregnancy are devastating not only for the parents but for the child as well.

Educational achievement affects the lifetime income of teen mothers: two-thirds of families started by teens are poor, and nearly one in four will depend on welfare within three years of a child’s birth. Many children will not escape this cycle of poverty. Only about two-thirds of children born to teen mothers earn a high school diploma, compared to 81 percent of their peers with older parents (NCSL, 2014).

Drugs and alcohol use is also a key factors in students who drop out of high school.  Use of these can lead to behavioral and disciplinary problems, which could then lead to criminal activity.  About 75% of United States crimes are committed by high school dropouts (Statistic Brain, 2014).  Criminal records follow you for the rest of your life, so do you think drugs and alcohol are really worth it?

For all these many different reasons and causes, there are many different consequences and effects.  Not having a high school diploma can cause serious issues in your future life.  If you do not have a high school diploma, you are not eligible for 90% of the jobs that people with high school diplomas are qualified for (Statistic Brain, 2014).  Most employers require a high school diploma for them to even consider you for a job.  This will make earning money a lot harder.  An article called “Dropping Out of High School: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Remediation Strategies,” said that dropouts will earn $375,000 less in their lifetime than a person with a high school diploma (Campbell).  Without a high school diploma, you cannot be admitted to college.  Without a college degree, you limit yourself to certain undesirable jobs.  Because you may not be able to find a good job, you may find it hard to get health-insurance benefits.  Not having good health care, may increase your likelihood of getting a chronic disease that otherwise could have been prevented.  Having good health care and insurance can increase your life span by 9 years, according to an article on ABC News “Students Dropping out of High School Reaches Epidemic Levels” (Campbell).  Poverty can be a side effect from all this, which can lead to receiving public assistance, if you are a high school dropout.  A national study showed that “dropouts comprise nearly half of the heads of households on welfare” (Background on High School Dropouts).

In 1970, the high school dropout rate was 14.6; in 2013 it was 7.9 (Statistic Brain, 2014).  This is great news but students dropping out are still a common problem in our nation today.  There are so many severe consequences that come from dropping out, and some of these stay with you for the rest of your life.  Dropping out will not only affects you, but it can affect your future family as well.  Sticking through high school to the very end is a lot easier than a lifetime of hardships.  The next time you think that high school and life is just too hard and you just want it to end, remember how much harder it could get if you decide to quit now.