We get asked often about how to go about dropping out of high school. The specific process differs from place to place, but first and foremost, you need to have the support of your parents.
Write out your plan and your arguments for what you think is right, and practice talking it over with a friend. The more calm and reasoned you are, the more likely your parents will listen.
Conversely, you also need to be prepared to listen and really hear their concerns. Dropping out of high school is a large decision, which has shown to lead to less money over the long run. Objections to the plan may very well be in your best interest.
Do you really need to do it?
We’re not going to lecture you on what to do with your life – frankly, we see enough of that thrown at dropouts on message boards. But, it is important that you understand that dropping out of high school is not “the easy way out”, despite what people will say.
Working and living on minimum wage is hard. Getting your GED is hard. Explaining to every future employer that you didn’t graduate is hard. Being an adult is hard. Students rarely consider dropping out when they aren’t facing some large obstacle, so we’ll assume you are, but really stop and reflect on if overcoming the current challenge is more difficult than life without a diploma or the work (and it is a lot of work) to get your GED.
Make sure you reflect long and hard on why you want to drop out, and be prepared to discuss that thoroughly.
Know what you’re talking about
Your friends and the internet are not a reliable source on what it takes to drop out and/or get your GED. Get your information from your high school and government agencies. If you are thinking about getting your GED, the laws vary from state to state. This is a list of GED information by state.
Check your attitude at the door
As much as you may think that you are right and your parents are wrong, fighting and screaming about it only makes it clearer that you are not ready for such an adult decision. Adults don’t bicker, yell or call names to get their way. If you’re adult enough to drop out of high school, you’re adult enough to talk about it in a calm, collected way.
Most parents will be opposed to you dropping out, so be prepared to compromise. If conflict with other classmates is an issue, consider transferring or completing high school online. If you want to wrap up high school early, study and prepare for the GED (there are free practice tests online) prior to dropping out.