From an outside view, dropping out of school can simply look like a selfish act. However, there are many more factors to consider when determining the source of the problem. A steadily increasing rate of dropouts is certainly not something to just write off, but to completely understand where these teens are coming from, one has to reflect on what exactly is pressuring them to leave school. Family or peer influence and example can hold major power in the decisions one makes about life. A lack of a significant second option for learning is another factor that can lead teens to leave school instead of trying to find an alternative. Failure to develop their motivation, work ethic, and confidence in academics can permit students to underestimate their complete potential.
If all important outside influences were preaching that school is a waste of time and effort would someone persevere and stay there? Having a high school diploma can often mean the difference between having a steady paycheck and relying on Welfare. No matter how much of an individual they claim to be, teenagers are, at their core, impressionable people. If all their friends put no effort into their work at school or plan on dropping out, they will be much more likely to do the same. The consequences down the road are not usually included in this decision; they probably are most concerned about losing friends by going against the grain. Family can play the same role in these student’s lives. The more successful one’s parents are, the more likely they are going to strive to achieve that success in their own life. Sometimes, the family will expect their child to stay on the same social level as them, claiming that doing better is disloyal. Outside pressure can play a significant role in the choices a young adult makes.
Another major factor in why dropouts occur is the apparent lack of an alternative way to learn. Some students just have a different way of retaining information, and if that is different than the norm, they cannot realistically reach their academic goals. This can leave students feeling isolated and frustrated. They may be incredibly smart, however this is not reflected in their grades, as homework assignments and tests may be difficult to complete. Frustration almost always leads to abandonment of the difficulty, and does not help one overcome it. If there were more uncomplicated options available and proposed to students thinking of leaving school, many would be persuaded to stay.
Schools need to start as early as they can to instill the idea that all work is important to your overall education and ultimate success. As we get older, every assignment seems more mundane than the last and we can begin to lose sight of why we are in those desks, why we have to learn seemingly unimportant subjects. High school students take for granted the simple right to be able to go to school. School is more of an annoyance, not a privilege we have to earn. Honestly, that is probably the main reason for the increased dropout rate. There are other factors that cannot be ignored, but for the most part, students are lazy. Motivation to go above and beyond is almost absent, at least in most of my classes at Lawrence High. Students often only go as far as they need to pass.
The high school dropout rate is a major issue facing our society today. Lack of motivation or work ethic can play a major role in many of these cases. However, dropping out can not only be attributed to laziness. An absence of an alternative means of learning also convinces many to quit school. Outside influence can also indirectly affect the decision to stay in school. Teens who drop out of school are essentially giving up on the idea of ever going beyond what they think they are capable of doing. It’s usually the easy way out, and I think the high schools need to be more understanding to the needs of individual students to find ways to prevent it.