Why do teens drop out?

Dec 14, 2012
by: adot
School Stress by Abby_B a Youth Voices pool photographer on flickr.

I choose this topic because I have had a little experience with this whole dropping out situation. When I got to high school this got way harder than middle school , I mean I was struggling in classes and homework was too hard but I didn't just give up because like my mother always says quitters never win and i'm a winner. Some people just don't have that special someone in their life to tell them that they should never give up and thats the reason dropout rates are going higher and higher as seconds pass.

I was reading this article titled “Why Teens Drop Out" http://www.westsidewriting.org/news/881 and what really mad me want o read more was this very first sentence “In these modern days teens choose drop out of high school for a number of reasons. Like for example, some teens drop out because they see other cool teens that have dropped out.” This Stood out to me because I think this is so true. Kids today think that just because their friends cut school it's so called “cool” when in reality it's just making them look stupid for following.

Also in the same article they mentioned “One of the biggest reasons teens will drop out of high school is because they simply lack interest in gaining an education.” http://www.westsidewriting.org/news/8812854. Lack of interest can put a stop to many things not just school for example sports, food and anything else people do in their everyday life.

Something that I have been interested in learning more about has been Teen Dropouts. I remember when I was in middle school,my teacher Mrs. White was talking to us about kids and dropping out when they hit high school. She told us to stay strong and don't give up because the outcome will not be the same as all the hard work we put in to make it this far but I really didn't pay it any mind because I thought everything was going to be the same as it always was. Lately, the issue has caught my eye again. I know that many people feel that It's not their fault they dropped out but personally I think that it is because no one can make you stop learning, no one can tell you not to wake up every morning and commute to school so your education is in your own hands.

It is not that difficult to know why people drop out of school. Here are some reasons why I think people leave school before they graduate. One reason is that they didn't like school in general or the school they were attending, or they probably were failing, getting poor grades, or couldn't keep up with school work. Another reason is that they didn't get along with teachers or classmates and didn't feel safe in school. Or maybe they got a job, had a family to support, or had trouble maintaining both school and work or they just had a drug or alcohol problem. These are just some reason why but there are many more. If you have kids and you are worried about them dropping out don't fear it talk to them and let them know why it is important to finish high school and explain how much it could affect their future.

I'm learning more about Teen Dropouts right now and in particular what I'm wondering about is why do teens want to mess up their lives by not finishing school? I was reading about this in an article I had seen online and it caught my attention because it gave me more details about this topic that I'm so interested in learning more about. The name of the article was “How Students Cope With Stressful Events Can Indicate Whether They Drop Out Of School “, and in this article the author gave me a clear picture of what dropping out really meant and how stress can affect kids from learning. This quote from the article really stood out to me and I also agree with this theory.

“Students who graduate turn to their parents or other family members when stressed or upset more so than students who drop out,” they wrote. “Open conversation may help adolescents to cope with their life choices including those involving school, friends, and risk-taking behaviors.” (See my annotations: http://personal.crocodoc.com/HDR5Ogn .)

The quote I chose here is saying that when kids are stressed out and they don't talk to anyone about it and they don't think, it's affecting their learning ability. For instance , if a child is in school stressed they keep to himself and communication in a big part of learning so if you can't communicate then you make learning more of an obstacle rather a privilege.

To me this quote is absolutely accurate due to expensive, meaning I have gone through this in some point of my life . When I first hit high school I used to never wanted to get up for school in the morning because i always had so much to due that night .Then as days went by I started to feel more and more stressed out from not getting enough sleep but sooner or later I just started to focus on getting stuff done quickly and going to sleep earlier every night. I didn't necessarily dropout but I never wanted to go to school and not wanting to go is just the first steps on teen dropouts.

Another article that I was reading was reading was “Why Do Students Drop Out of School?” the authors main point in this article was focused on the how to get more students to stay in school rather than how to get them back in school after they have already left. There were a couple quotes in this article that stood out to me one of them was

“The young adults said that more parental involvement may have prevented their dropping out. While 59 percent of their parents were involved in their children’s schooling, more than half of those were involved “mainly for discipline reasons,” according the report. Furthermore, the majority of parents were unaware or just somewhat aware of their child’s grades or that they were about to leave school. “Nearly half of the respondents said their parents’ work schedule kept them from knowing more about what was happening at school.” While 68 percent said their parents got more involved when they realized their child was likely to drop out, by then it was too late.” (My annotations: http://personal.crocodoc.com/P0ZO2Wb .) I read this over and over again and i I couldn't believe the percentage of parents that wasn't involved in their children's education. Nearly half the parents didn't even know that their child was failing and was on the road to dropping out ,but then again if you're not involved then how would you know.

Personally I think that every parent should be aware over their child's behavior and grades because they know how it was when they was in high school and certain things just don't change. My mother asks me for my report card every marking period and she also comes up to my school on occasion just to see how I'm doing and to see if I am on task as I should be.

During this research I have learned a lot more about teen drop out that I didn't know before and thanks to helpful articles such as “Peer influence plays a large role in the decision for students to drop out of school” just like all the other articles there was quotes from here that caught my attention.

The author spoke about the consequences after you decide to drop out. He brought up a pretty good point when u stated “The biggest influence on students was whether their friends had dropped out of school.” This caught my attention because things like this happens everyday ,kids decide I'm not going to school today who wants to cut with me and many others follow not knowing that they are effecting their own life.

Another quote was “Students who drop out of school face some pretty big consequences: lower lifetime earnings, a higher likelihood to end up in prison and worse health.” I don't really agree with this one for two reasons just because you dropped out doesn't necessarily mean that you will be in prison or poor and homeless in the future but dropping out does open up the gates to failure and its your choice to walk through them or not.

I just read an article named “ Peer Influence Plays a Large Role In The Decision For Student To Drop Out Of High School.” As i was reading this article there was some things that caught my attention for example when they said “Students who drop out of school face some pretty big consequences ;lower lifetime earning a higher likelihood to end up in prison and worse health” this drew my attention because i see this everyday when I'm on my way to school, kids leaving school to go hang out with their friends instead of going to get their education.

When we consider the issue of Teen dropout some might wonder why would a child even think that was good idea. dropping out will only lead to one or two things , you're either not going to find a job of you will not have a good life.

Every couple of seconds, a high school student becomes a dropout, that's about one in four students who enter high school as freshmen and fail to get a diploma four years later. People has lost sight of the most important thing to their future and their children’s education. I choose the issue of high school dropouts because children entering into their teenage years have a huge task in front of them, the completion of high school is not an option it’s required if you want a good job and life as life progresses. High school students may think about their future, but are high school and college completion included in those thoughts?


BoostUpNow (2011) President Obama - BoostUp.org High School Dropout Prevention PSA. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/3ZfFf0wOjrs [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

Karlibra1 (2010) Highschool Dropout. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/GybB1qZpCoo [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

MotivatingSuccess (2012) Famous Failures. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/zLYECIjmnQs [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

Richards, R. (2012) How students cope with stressful life events can indicate whether they’ll drop out of school. No Dropouts - The American Academy, [blog] 23rd May, Available at: http://www.nodropouts.org/blog/how-students-cope-stressful-life-events-c... [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

rosaryfilms (2007) The Dropout 01 / Why Teenagers Drop Out Of High School Video. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/Df-UYhnax2A [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

Thelovelyflowergirl (2012) CELEBRITY HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/9i8kToY-f8c [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

Unknown. (2011) Why Do Students Drop Out of School?. Council for Exceptional Children, [blog] Available at: http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&TEMPLATE=/CM/Conten... [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

whitehouse (2012) President Obama Speaks on No Child Left Behind Reform. [video online] Available at: http://youtu.be/K3ymiMifLb8 [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].

Young, A. (2009) Why Teens Drop Out. The West Side Writing Project, [blog] 28th August, Available at: http://www.westsidewriting.org/news/881 [Accessed: 14 Dec 2012].


I can relate

Submitted by Christopher_Ayers on Wed, 2013-05-08 11:11.

This is very well written. When you said “Students who graduate turn to their parents or other family members when stressed or upset more so than students who drop out," it reminded me of one of my friends who is very smart dropped out this year because he did it as a protest to his parents. His parents weren't showing him any support for anything he did. He was naturally gifted with his intelligence, he never did homework or studied for a test and hardly payed attention in class, but he always got an A on his tests. It is a shame to see people like him throw it all away because of a lack of support. I think it is the parents that need to be taught more about it.

This is an interesting topic.

Submitted by thomasori on Mon, 2012-12-17 04:26.

This is an interesting topic. I agree with the previous comment. Dropping out is not an option for me but I can understand why others would. I can see how things can get to be a bit too much.


sanfra's picture
Submitted by sanfra on Fri, 2013-03-22 10:02.

Dear Daniel:
I am impressed by your post, "Should you drop out or not," because it is something that occurs frequently here in the Bronx. Some teenagers find it to be the only option, and they don’t think about the other possible things they can do.One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: "Everyone has a story to why they dropped out but honestly I bet everyone that has a story to tell ,wishes that they didn't." I think this is deep because it can relate to many things other than dropping out. That quote made me think and release the petty and sorrow I had for those that don't succeed. Another sentence that stood out was: "Many kids nowadays think life is easy and that they can continue getting money in the streets or illegal ways because it is fun and easy." This stood out for me because getting money off the streets it’s neither fun nor easy. When someone “lives” off the street they are most likely selling drugs, this is a risky choice. By making this choice the teenager’s life is basically by a thread. They are taking two risks, jail time or feuds with gang members.Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because it is something I can definitely relate to. As a high school student I see the number of students attending decrease throughout the year. And sometimes I also wonder, why someone will drop out, after they have spent their whole life in school.