Why Quit School?

This page is mostly geared for disgruntled students who haven’t really considered quitting school. If you are already dead set on quitting school, consider this info to be extra ammo for defending your decision.

Motivations

There are many wholly legitimate reasons why a student would want to quit school. Here are a few examples:

  1. Learning. You learn better on your own, or school doesn’t teach what you want to learn. You recognize that most of your required classes don’t apply to your needs and dreams. Your favorite class is going too slow for you. You have done amazing things outside of school and know you could do more if you didn’t go to school.
  2. Health. Stress from school takes its toll on you. Early start times throw your sleep off balance. Lunch comes too early or too late. Heavy backpacks are giving you spinal complications. You may even have a special condition that is upset by school attendance. This gets in the way of your learning.
  3. Bullying. You have to endure bullying because you are trapped in school and can’t escape. You dread going to school everyday to whatever torment awaits you. You wish you weren’t in school so that you wouldn’t have to deal with  bullying. You beg your parents to take you out of school — or you do it yourself.
  4. Boredom. You are constantly bored in school. Your classes don’t interest you. You sleep, doodle, read, day dream, play games, or chat in class instead of paying attention. You’d rather be at home engrossed in a hobby, outside playing sports, hanging out with friends, or going on adventures.
  5. Academics. You want to learn in the classroom, study hard, and get good grades, and go to college, but the bored students are bringing disorder to the class and it’s distracting. You’re on a fast track to finishing high school and college. You calculate that you’re better off skipping high school and going straight to college.
  6. Disagreement. You disagree fundamentally with the institution for an ideological reason, political or religious or otherwise. School is an affront to your core beliefs. You don’t want to be comply with “the system.” You don’t give authority to school officials.
  7. Dislike. You just plain don’t like school. In school, you often catch yourself thinking, “I don’t want to be here.” It just doesn’t sit well with you. You may have a little of the above problems, but the nuisances add up. You often think, “That would be great if I didn’t have to go to school.” Then you discover you actually don’t have to.

Alternatives

The wish to quit becomes the decision to quit with the knowledge that you don’t need school. Really. You don’t need it! It seems ridiculous to me now, but I once believed that not going school means working in fast food for the rest of my life.

The idea that your life is ruined if you quit school is completely false. There are plenty of different paths to take in life and not going to school isn’t going to close any doors. Here are a few suggestions to common concerns among prospective non-schoolers.

  1. How will I learn?
    1. Go back to school on your own terms. Take classes at the community college or community center. Enroll in an online high school or college-level Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Get a curriculum set, read textbooks and watch pre-recorded lectures. Assign yourself homework, quiz yourself, and grade yourself. Read books, watch videos.
    2. Learn by doing. The library is more than just books; ask your library about its other amenities, services, workshops, and programs. Volunteer — at the library, at the hospital, at events, with an organization. Hone your skills by helping out in open-source projects. Get involved in things you care about. Join organizations and campaigns. Join clubs and groups for your interests and hobbies. Work at a job, internship, or apprenticeship. Get more ambitious and entrepreneurial by starting your own workshops, organizations, campaigns, clubs, and businesses. Work on your own projects, with or without other people.
  2. How will I make friends? Please note that most of the above suggestions are remarkably social. Befriend your classmates at the college or community center. Make and keep your online connections. Get to know your fellow volunteers, clubmates, and coworkers. Strike up conversations at regular places like parks, churches, malls, or special events like conventions and fairs.
  3. How will I get a job? To make a career without school, document your learning and organize your projects into a portfolio. Showcase your finished solo projects and your participation in bigger group projects in your portfolio.  Leverage your college credits, volunteer hours, and social connections to secure jobs, gigs, or clients.
  4. How will I get into college? You can gain admission to college without a high school diploma in several ways, depending on the college. Some require only a GED. Others may require a standardized test score like PSAT, SAT, or ACT. Some universities require an academic history, achieved by attending a community college which has easier admissions. The vast majority of universities, even top Ivy League schools, accept home schoolers. Many universities will look into special admissions cases such as by interviewing the potential student and reviewing their portfolio.
    1. How will I get scholarships? You can still get scholarships as a non-schooler by doing well on standardized tests. There are even GED scholarships. Once in college, doing well can get you more scholarships. There are university transfer scholarships for community college students. There are scholarships for nearly everything; just think beyond your high school transcript.

These examples make up just the tip of the iceberg of things you can do instead of school. Have a concern that wasn’t addressed above? Feel free to contact me and ask.

Made up your mind? Ready to take the plunge? Read on to learn how to quit school.