Dropping out isn’t the way to go

At the beginning of my freshman year, I saw that there were nearly 300 students in my freshman class, one of the bigger classes in the history of Northwood. A few weeks ago, I walked into the counseling office to order a transcript to see what my current GPA and class rank was. I looked at the top where class size is listed, and the number read 236. I thought to myself, that number seems significantly lower than it used to be. Then I realized later that roughly 60 kids at Northwood had either changed schools, failed, dropped out or magically disappeared into thin air.

Changing schools is justified. But dropping out? It’s a concept that I will just never understand. Yes, high school can be stressful at times, but I think paying bills later in life may be just a tad more stressful. Why can’t kids just make it through four years of listening to teachers in a small classroom? Thirteen years of rolling out of bed at 7 a.m.?

I am only 18 years old, but I like to think that I can predict that not receiving a high school diploma usually results in a life of little prosperity. According to a study done by Princeton University professor Cecilia Rouse, over the course of a high school dropout’s lifetime, he or she will earn, on average, about $260,000 less than a high school graduate.

So listen up, underclassmen: stay in school. You are getting a virtually-free education, and you don’t want to waste it. Some of the kids that drop out sit at home all day doing nothing productive, while us high school students are busy cramming for AP exams and trying to get some college to accept us. But in the long run, the grueling academic tasks that us high school students complete are going to be rewarded when we’re older. The chances of you getting a good job are a lot higher when you at least have a high school diploma.

When I hear about people dropping out, I think, “How stupid are you?” It isn’t that hard to pass your classes, so most of the time it isn’t your brain that is stopping you from graduating, it’s motivation and your goals. Our teachers don’t want us to fail, or to quit going to school.

As I approach graduation in just a couple weeks, I bet those who dropped out are feeling pretty bad. Even if it is just high school, I think walking across that stage in Carmichael Auditorium, receiving my diploma, is going to feel pretty darn good.

– By Emily Brooks