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#1 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. My name is Melissa. I know this site is meant for moms and I'm a teenager but I'm in desperate need of some guidance. 

 

I am very unhappy in high school and, because of that, I've made some really bad choices. Now it's three weeks till the end of my first semester in my senior year and I'm failing all of my classes. 

 

I just… can't find the motivation. I'm bored, and I find my classes stupid and irrelevant. I don't like many of my teachers either. What's more is the fact that I've never done particularly well in school because I have a hard time learning things unless I have some interest in the material. 

 

I want to drop out and get my ged so I can go right into college. Then I can work on getting a degree in computer animation for movies and video games and such while putting away money to one day buy a house for me and my family. However, my mother is unsupportive to say the least. She thinks I would be missing out on my education. I disagree. I have a friend who is younger than me who got her ged and is doing just fine in college as I type this. 

 

I just don't understand why I had to choose between human anatomy and forensics as my required science credit for this year when it is completely irrelevant to my desired career. America's education system leaves a lot to be desired. We try to make everyone average at everything instead of making everyone fantastic at what they're good at and are passionate about. 

 

Anyway, I can understand where she is coming from. My mother has had a life of hardship and struggle. We are incredibly poor and were even homeless for several months. My step-father and my mom don't get along but are stuck in a hopeless unhappy marriage. We can't ever get ahead because we are drowning in debt and the government won't help us. If we didn't have food stamps we would be on the street or starving right now. My mother's car is always breaking down and the repairs cost us insane amounts of money but we can't afford to get another. It's like we are in a hole and more and more dirt just keeps piling on top of us until we are suffocating. 

 

I don't want anything from my motherI except her support and for her not to look at me like I'm a failure and a disappointment when I even attempt to broach the topic of procuring a ged. 

 

I know I must sound incredibly bratty in this post but I just really can't stand high school. I have low self-esteem and anxiety and have a hard time interacting with people my age. I'm much more comfortable around adults. I can't concentrate in class because I worry about whether or not I'm going to come home to an eviction notice for the rundown trailer we live in.

 

I'm an incredibly opinionated person and I am very vocal about anything I believe is unjust or unfair. I stand up for what I believe. This has led to many fights between my mom and me because our opinions are always so different. This just adds stress to our already strained relationship. I just don't know how to get her to listen to me and accept that high school isn't the place for me. 

 

I need to get her to understand that the road to success isn't wrapped up in high school and that I can succeed without a diploma. I've even tried coercing her into looking at my research on the ged and all of my attempts are met with rejection. (She gets frustrated and tells me to drop the issue.)

 

She says that she feels like she has no say in anything that I do, because my biological father has filled my head with his "stupid theories" that I blabber on about. And I suppose it's true, my dad and I have a more liberal approach to things than my mother and we are both intrigued by technology and certain branches of science and history. I am also a self-proclaimed atheist and this upsets my mother a lot. She says she fears that I have lost my way and I'm blundering around in the dark. 

 

The worst part of all of this is that I value her opinion so highly. My mother is my hero because she is such a strong person who has been though so much. And I don't feel like I can just disregard what she says. If my grades were higher, I would stick it out until the end of the year. However, I've talked to my councillor and she says that there is no way I can retake all of my classes and still walk with my class if I fail this semester and the way my grades are looking, there is no way I can pull them up in just a few weeks. 

 

I know I've rambled a lot in this post, and I apologize. I just have no one to talk to that I can trust and so I blather out my problems to a mostly unsympathetic internet populace. 

 

I'm drowning in depression, worry, and desperation and I just want a little bit of advice and reassurance. Thank you for reading this and anything you have to say is greatly appreciated. 

 

(Also, I was unsure which tag to post this under so I hope I put it under the right one)

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#2 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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Hey Melissa! I just want to say HI and throw out a cyberhug because I could have written this letter when I was a senior in high school. Hell, I could write it now about some of my college requirements. Statistics… I had to take it thrice. But I had to take it, and I did eventually pass it with a high B. That was satisfying! 

 

I remain to this day someone who needs to find a reason to care about a class in order to do well in it. It's really a very normal thing to feel. I think some people just learn to push past that and work at things they don't like anyway, while for others it's a harder struggle to do things out of obligation rather than passion. 

 

At different times in my life I have done better and worse at keeping up with obligations I didn't care for, and in the end I realized that it's hard to know what you should push through and do anyway, and when you should try to find an alternative. I've gotten better at keeping up with things I don't personally care about but that I realize are important in the bigger picture. 

 

I want to write more, and I will. But my daughter just woke up and I need to feed her (ah, babies!). Anyway, I'll be back! 


Writing about life-long learning and discovery at: www.neoapprentice.com 

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#3 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Don't drop out.  Stay in school while you get your GED.  Look into taking classes at your local community college while in high school.  Find out about independent study in your school district.  Research jobs that are available for your age group.  Get a dr. apt and discuss your depression and emotional health with him or her.   At the very least, talk to your school counselor about your educational options. 

 

Except for the family situation, your post could have been written by my 2nd dd.  She looked into getting her GED but here in CA you have to be enrolled in school in order to take it as a teen.  So she did independent study (she studied at home and met with a teacher once a week to go over her completed assignments and discuss the next week's assignments) as a senior and completed the entire year in the first semester.  High school students can also enrolled concurrently in community college at no cost in CA and get dual credits for the classes (both credits toward high school graduation and college credits that transfer to a 4 year college).  So she also did that.  It wasn't until she had graduated high school that she was diagnosed with clinical depression, OCD, and social anxiety.  The anti-depression meds that she is on has made a great improvement in her life.  She is now in her 30s, happily married with 2 children and one more coming in January.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#4 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 03:45 PM
 
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Hi Melissa!

 

I can totally see where you're coming from...I never contemplated dropping out, but I definitely hated school.  Especially my senior year!  It was so hard to get motivated.  I didn't even plan to go to college!  I did, but that's another story :)  I would encourage you to stick it out.  If for no other reason, then do it for your mom.  She obviously loves you and this seems to be really important to her.  And, as someone else mentioned, in some states you have to be enrolled in school to take your GED anyway.  You're almost done.  Just work hard these last few months.  Do what needs to be done.  You'll have the rest of your life do what you want with it.  You can do this!  Good luck :)

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#5 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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Check out the GED classes and requirements where you live. Being in school isn't a requirement here, but parents have to sign off on a teen under 18 taking it. When will you be 18?

 

One of my DDs got her GED at 16 and started at community college -- it was the right choice for her. However, she still has to take classes on things she isn't really interested in because they are general education requirements. Some career programs at her school are not available to her until she is 18. It is more expensive for us -- we pay for her classes and books and those are free at highschool. And..... this is a biggy..... she sometimes feels like she isn't as well prepared for the work as her classmates. 

 

In spite of all that, it was the right choice for her. She is happier and functioning better. Its just that you should have your eyes wide open. There are pros and cons to everything.

 

My advice is to go see a counselor at your school ASAP and talk about your options. You may be able to do credit recovery on-line or on weekends and get back on track to graduate.

 

People with GED's have a lower rate of college completion than people who graduate highschool, even adjusted for ability. The ability to work through crap and finish what we start are transferable skills. How many more credits do you need to graduate? What is the least painful way to get them? At this point, it may make more sense to just get it done.  Talk to your school counselor! Find out what other options you have. Using your resources is  great skill however the GED/graduation thing works out best for you.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 7 Old 12-02-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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I'm back!

I do think that doing what you need to do when you don't want to is just a part of life. It sucks, and you can make your path as much as possible, but there will always be some stuff you don't want to do.

People in Japan and Brittain, countries who do ask kids to specialize as young as 14, complain about not being well rounded, and the fact that their engineers are practically illiterate and their literature scholars don't understand basic physics. The real asset is flexibility, not specialty. Especially in fields that change as fast as art and programming.
Even career specific programs have courses in stuff you may not be passionate about, and what if you don't get a job in animation or game design and still need to work to pay for college expenses and your life?

You don't want to do it all on student loans. If you max out your loan eligibility, your payments would be like $600 a month with even just a modest job.

No matter what you do with high school, I feel a need to warn you against for-profit colleges that advertise on TV, like Full Sail, ITT TECH, an The Art Institute. They have very expensive tuition compared to state schools and community colleges, and don't provide as much bang for your buck. They put most of the resources towards recruiting, but have some of the worst graduation and employment rates.

Writing about life-long learning and discovery at: www.neoapprentice.com 

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#7 of 7 Old 12-03-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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The statistics aren't good for GED recipients and continued education. While a good chunk enroll in community college, half don't make it past the 1st semester and only like 12 percent manage to get any sort of degree (2 or 4 year.) GED earning potential is also a lot lower than high school diploma earners if that can be believed. I won't go into all the anecdotes but I'll just say we know several who went this route including my brother and some extended family and they are not fairing well. That's not to say I don't believe it can't work for anyone but frankly, you have not described a situation for which I'd be hopeful. 

 

I know that high school can be rough. My eldest moved into a middle college program at 15 where she is still technically a high schooler but takes mostly college classes. This has been a great option for her but she also was still honor roll at the traditional high school. She was still an avid and motivated learner and I tell you, it takes MORE motivation and self-control in college than it does in high school. No one is pushing you forward and may not even notice if you are failing. There are still classes you have to take even if you don't want to. Don't forget cost. We don't pay for classes because of the program DD's in BUT, we shelled out 600 dollars for books this semester alone (3 classes and that includes books she was able to rent.) 

 

You mother's concerns are not unfounded. The statistics support her position. Personally, I think you should finish high school. You are a senior. Just get it done. See if your district has an online education program or look into online charters for which you only go into class a couple days a week. This would give you a chance to make-up the classes you are failing but still allow you to have an actual high school degree. Because of your financial constraints it might be a long while before you can afford to not only enroll in community college but to finish it. Better to face the world as an adult with a diploma than a GED.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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