How important is High School?

How important is High School?

I’m not going to give you the whole woe is me sob story; it’s the same smart kid wasting his potential cliche you see everywhere.

I’ve accepted I won’t be going to a university after High School, not like my close friends. I know I’ll be going to a community college, and I know there’s nothing wrong with that. I know, while I’m going to my local college, I’ll be working a job. I’m okay with this, comfortable even.

But I’m tired of disappointing the teachers I respect. Tired of arguing with my parents. I don’t want to bust my ass to pass in my honors and AP courses, not when my prize is community college.

I want to skip all the High School bullshit and start now. But I don’t know how. And I don’t know if its the right decision in the long run.


  1. Education is about giving yourself options. The more you know the more choices you have. Dropping out just limits your own freedom.

  2. 4-year college is not out of reach. Suck it up, bust your ass to do well even in the classes you hate. I mean, no one thinks that Health 2 or Geometry taught by the JV football coach is fun. Yale or Penn State may be out of reach, but schools can and will look at improving your grades over the last year of HS. You can even address this in your application essays if you play it right.

    You are clearly an intelligent person. So, Yale and Stanford won’t be where you go. But there are options for public universities that will look at you if you can get your shit together and just finish it up with a rising GPA.

  3. Finish. High. School.
    Because if you don’t, any college, community or otherwise, will look at your transcript and all it will say to them is ‘this kid doesn’t actually care’. Believe it or not, Community Colleges have standards too, and you can still be turned down from any school after being accepted. Some future employers will also want to know if you finished high school, especially if you’re coming out of a CC. The way you phrase your description sounds like you really don’t care either. Being half-assed about classes now means you’re going to care even less about things you do in the future, because you will have established the precedent that it is okay to cop out.
    I don’t understand why you are looking at community college like a ‘prize’ at the end of the road either. AP courses, even honors courses, are incredibly useful and help your teenage brain begin to understand more complex concepts in math English and science later on in life. Just because you might be going to CC after all this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for every opportunity to learn all you can. In fact I’d say it means you should be trying that much harder. Trust me, you’re gonna wish you tried harder later if you don’t follow through. If you’re taking classes with teachers you respect, then respect them back and go to their classes all the time. I guess to answer your question, the fact that you are in high level classes in High School matters a TON for your future, regardless of where you’re going to college. You owe it to yourself, and no one else, to finish what you’ve started. It is the right decision, sometimes it’s just hard to see it that way. Source: Junior engineering student in college.

  4. I’m currently a sophomore in High School. The best thing you can do is focus on your schoolwork. Honestly I think movies like High School Musical are more harmful than helpful to impressionable kids. It makes them think that popularity should be the main goal of High School. From my experience the super popular people are snobs who think they’re god, and when they leave with failing grades then they’ll realize. But for now I’ll stick to my schoolwork and get decent grades. I hope you do the same.

  5. I have a master’s degree, so my comment will come from somebody that decided to pursue higher education:

    High school is important for 2 reasons: to build study habits and to get into a post-secondary institution. When you walk through the door into college / university / community college / trade school / other, you start from scratch.

    Personally, I tip my hat to you for realizing now that university isn’t for you at this stage. Too often I heard “I’m here because it’s what’s expected of me” from university students that had no interest in what they were studying.

    As for the long run, you’re basically crystal balling. I have a friend that went through tough commerce programs, busted his ass to become an accountant, just to quit at the age of 28 and become a chef.

    My question to you: do you have a career path in mind? Or are you choosing community college because it’s easier to get into than university? If you know what you want to be, you’ll succeed.

  6. What you actually learn in high school is rarely that important. What matters a lot – let me stress that A LOT – is how to learn how to learn.

    You are going to need to learn new things your whole life. People learn in different ways. Knowing what works best as a technique for you is terribly important.

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