Every day in the United States, 7,000 students drop out of high school. Stretch this to one year and we’re looking at 1.2 million dropouts.
If you’re like most people, you’ll find these stats alarming. Why are so many kids dropping out of high school? Don’t they know education is the key to success?
That’s right. High school dropouts get a bad rap.
Most people are quick to pass judgments on dropouts without thinking of the reasons behind their decision. Most drop out because they fail too many classes or find education boring. Others need to find work and support their families.
If you’re thinking of dropping out, it’s not the end of life. You can still find success, and in this article, we’re telling you how to do it.
Your Talent Can Make You Successful
We all have talents; natural abilities that make us exceptional performers in specific fields.
If you have a talent (and there’s no reason to believe you don’t have one), it could be the one thing that will give you a big break in life.
Bruce Irvin, an American football end who has previously played for NFL’s Seahawks, is a classic example of a high school dropout who used his talent to make it in life. He called it quits on school during the middle of his junior year.
And no, athletic talent isn’t the only path to success.
Aretha Franklin, a wildly successful singer, songwriter, and pianist, dropped out of high school at 15. Quentin Tarantino, an Oscar winner, also called it a day on high school education at 15.
If you ever needed proof that talent can indeed make you successful, you now have the answer. That said, talent alone might not be enough to propel you to great heights. You need to work hard, practice hard, and have a powerful determination to succeed.
You Can Take the GED Route
Let’s be real.
A high school diploma is simply a piece of paper that shows you’ve completed high school and that you passed all the required classes.
However, the same diploma is a powerful piece of paper. It will open your doors to university, and university education can take you places.
At this point, you must be feeling like a diploma is a must-have. If you drop out, you won’t earn a diploma. This means no college, or does it?
The good news is a high school diploma isn’t the only gateway to higher education. You can earn a GED.
A GED, which you can only obtain after passing a couple of tests at a certified, physical location, is as good as a high school diploma.
OK, maybe not as good as a high school diploma, but it’ll boost your prospects of pursuing higher education. You see, you won’t get into Harvard or most first-rate universities with a GED. But it’ll get you into a community college, after which you’ll be qualified to join the university as a transfer student.
On that note, you can easily get a copy of your GED if you ever lose or deface it.
Apprentice Your Way to a Bright Future
Apprenticeship programs aren’t popular in the U.S., but they exist. In fact, the federal government runs a website that connects prospective apprentices with organizations offering apprenticeship opportunities.
An apprenticeship program is ideal if, for whatever reason, you cannot obtain a GED.
When you join one, you’ll have the opportunity to learn on the job. For instance, if you join a plumbing apprenticeship, you’ll work under experienced plumbers who’ll teach you how to lay pipes and do other plumbing tasks.
At the end of the program, you’ll be a qualified plumber, and you’ll earn a certificate. From here, nothing will stop you from finding plumbing jobs.
Although apprenticeship programs have their downsides (you cannot become a nurse or lawyer through apprenticeship, for instance), they’re still an ideal way to break into some industries. You can then work your way up.
Truck Driving, Anyone?
Did you know a long haul truck driver pulls in, on average, $66,000 annually? For perspective, this beats the average annual salary of a bachelor’s degree holder, which, as of 2018, stood at $59,000.
Did you also know you don’t need a high school diploma or GED to obtain a commercial driving license? You just need to be at least 18 years old.
Yes, truck driving might not sound attractive. After all, long hours behind the wheel, and several days away from family are core elements of the job.
However, the demand for truck drivers is on the rise, as are salaries. Although self-driving trucks are in the works, they’re still several years from becoming a mainstay on our roads.
So if you’ve just dropped out of high school and you’re a person who loves traveling, truck driving could be your highway to success.
Some people go to college to study entrepreneurship, but the reality is you don’t need any business education to become a successful entrepreneur.
Richard Branson, a billionaire entrepreneur, dropped out of high school at of high school. Today, he runs the Virgin Group. Closer home, we have Walt Disney.
If high school is not working for you and you have an entrepreneurship idea, go on, drop out and start a business. Yes, some ideas might fail. But entrepreneurship isn’t about how many times you fail. It’s how you learn from your failures and start again.
Dive into entrepreneurship and you could be a billionaire in the making.
Dropping Out of High School Isn’t End of the Road
Dropping out of high school can open your doors to a successful future.
Forget about the stigma around dropping out. Your parents could be disappointed. Your friends could write you off and stay away. But as long as you have a strategy and stay focused, you can chart your way to a wildly successful future.
Explore our other posts to keep learning about personal growth.
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