High School: Not for Everyone

Everybody knows a girl like this: she’s pretty, popular and nice.  She’s a cheerleader, a basketball player, and runs track.  She gets good grades, she always has date to the dances, and she is forever being tagged in picture after picture on Facebook with her huge group of friends.  Maybe she even has a driver’s liscense, and a cute older brother who’s a senior on the football team.
Every high school girl’s dream is to be this person. Unfortunately, not every girl can have this high school experience.  I’ve known a lot of girls who, because they didn’t get the grade or didn’t get the boyfriend, made bad decisions or were just plain not happy, dropped out of high school.  However, there are a lot more alternatives to just dropping out.

1) Stick it out.
If you’re a junior or a senior, it might just be worth it to stick out to the end to get that diploma and leave that place for good.  Talk to your counselors, teachers, principals, or whoever it takes so they can help you make your experience the best that it can be.  If they aren’t willing to talk, always bring your parents into the mix if they’re willing to help.  But don’t just lay out the problem and expect a solution.  Identify your problem, and come up with a few options for fixing it.  Having a hard time with math? Propose a tutoring plan, or an alternative way of learning math or taking the tests.  The more initiate you show on your part, the more likely you will be to find people willing to help.

2) Get Your GED
This plan is popular with a lot of kids I know.  They drop out of high school, get their GED, and then work a deadbeat job for years.  Now, not every GED recipient works a deadbeat job.  But in today’s economy, even college gradutates are working at fast food restaurants and Starbucks.  If thats what you want, then more power to you! But if you want a different type of career, a GED might not be the best choice for you.  If you are planning on going straight to college after getting your GED, thats a different story.  Certain scores will gain you admission, same as a high school GPA would.  Check the admissions website of your college of choice or call the office to find out more information.

3) Find a Different Way of Completing Your Diploma
Most students are shocked to find out that there are different ways of your diploma.  Some school districts have alternative schools, which provide a more personally tailored education.  There is a new form of high school spreading across the country: online school.  Depending on the state you live in, you could have the opportunity to attend an online high school, with all courses done online and teacher interactions done over the phone, absolutely free.  The state of Oregon offers this opportunity through Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA).  You can find more information online here.


How do I know so much information about diploma alternatives? Well, I went through this same process.  I was extermely unhappy with my high school experience, and when my school and district could not offer me a workable alternative, I turned to ORCA.  I took classes online for two years, and they were my best years of high school for me.  My grades were never better, and I am now a proud high school graduate, with so many doors open to me now.


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