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Advice on dropping out of highschool as a 17 year old

Community Member

Hey, so I am currently enrolled as a year 11 student at high school currently doing VCE and a 3&4 subject early (biology). Pretty much ever since i could remember I've always been not that good at school only really getting D's, C's, and B's for my whole school life, and kinda felt alone in that boat and that school has never really been 'my thing'. I decided not to do Vcal or drop out afraid I was gonna be seen as a real loser and stuff. Recently I have been contemplating finishing year 11 to the best of my ability and then dropping out before I do year 12. I haven't been diagnosed with any mental illness or anything like that but tbh I absolutely hate school, I would get nervous and honestly intensely hate the prospect of going back to school at the end of holidays and most Sundays. I currently have a part-time job at a bowling alley and arcade which I really love and once I turn 18, will basically get a manager position (as so I am told).

My real question is "Do you think it's ok for me to drop out of high school after completing year 11". My theoretical plan would be to work at my part-time job and get my probationary licence, then once 21 apply to become a police officer, then hopefully have a full-time job as a cop. I am just really internally battling if I should drop out. I honestly do fricken hate school and I would honestly just love to leave and truly do what I love and not worry about my ATAR, SACS, and the constant pilling homework. I've been told that once you drop out you're really limiting yourself, but when I absolutely hate the thought of school and the opportunities outside of that...I'm just stuck and need some advice.

Any comments help


2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Kanew19....

A very warm and caring welcome to the forums...

I think that the decision to drop out of high school after you complete year 11 is something that only you can decide....maybe with a chat to your parents first...to get their point of view on it...

I raised 2 sons...My eldest finished high school on his own...due to him not living with us...since he turned 16 yrs....he decided to finish off year 12...which Iā€™m very proud of him for...he now has his own small mechanical business and doing well....

My youngest son...had no interest in school...what so ever..but he had a passion for electrical and electron work....he finished in year 10 and followed his passion, finding part time work..then full time employment with a well know electronically based firm..,,He started as a junior and now he is the factory manager and says his job is his 2nd home...he loves his job...

These are two boys...now men with families of their own...that have both excelled in their career choices...One with a year 12 completion certificate and the other without one...

I think if you have a plan....to follow your passion...find out all the education requirements first....before you decide what you want to do..

My best wishes, with my kind thoughts..


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi there,

This is a decision only you can make, as Petal22 said!

If you know you don't need an ATAR or high school diploma, then maybe you could kickstart your life.

However, many people still complete school without an ATAR - by doing vocational subjects. My boyfriend never had an interest in school, so now he is a carpenter. He did complete Year 12 but did not get an ATAR because he did vocational subjects like woodwork and CERT 1/2 in carpentry to kickstart his chances of gaining an apprenticeship. Could you do a course like this in retail or hospitality which could help you in your bowling alley job whilst also assisting you to finish Year 12 doing at least one thing that interests you (along with the subjects you have to do)?

Just another option if you're stuck

It's only a decision for you to make.

All the best,

jaz xx