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wanting to drop out

Community Member

Im a year 11 student at the moment doing all VCE subjects. High school or even primary school had been hard for me. Ive had multiple long breaks due to mental illness and long stays in psych wards and paediatric wards. my grades aren’t all that good, so far with all the SACs ive done the highest ive gotten is 64%. Don’t get me wrong though, i do think i’m quite smart. I’m good at maths and art, i’m a fast learner and at past jobs my bosses have loved me. I’m considering dropping out because I dont plan on going to university. I have no interest in becoming a lawyer, doctor, or working in some office job. I don’t see any point in continuing on going to school since it’s causing me alot of stress.
My potential plan going forward is to drop out, find a job and work as much as i can to get experience and a good resume. Hopefully during that i will go to tafe instead of school and do a course in whatever I end up deciding would be my career. However i’m worried about what my parents would think. I live with my dad and i think he expects me to go to school, get good grades, etc. and i’m scared to talk to him about it. The last thing i want is for him to be disappointed in me. I don’t want to be seen as a loser and not do i want to “ruin” my life but it just feels like the right thing at the moment.

Any advice? should i really drop out or am i being a bit dramatic. Tough love would be good to hear

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear a13xx~

Thanks for coming here, it's a wise move as you can gain other's perspectives, sometimes one is too close to the problem.

I'm also glad you have not rushed in and dropped out 🙂 but are thinking this though.

First I'd have to say I'm not always against dropping out of something. I dropped out of uni, but went back later and aced it. Worked well for me, but I had other resources to fall back on.

I guess there are two things that stand out for me when reading your thoughts, and I'm sorry if I'm going to appear a bit negative, however I don't see any point in telling you anything other than what I think.

The first is your reason for stopping school is stress. That's legitimate sometimes, however the cause of the stress needs to be taken into account - otherwise who's to say it may not reoccur in TAFE. It may well be if that stress is examined it can be reduced where you are and the whole problem become less.

So may I ask if you are under treatment for it now, and that treatment is specific to your education?

It took a while but my crippling stress was treated and I'm much more confident and able nowadays.

The other thing is your plans seem rather vague, getting a job that is worthwhile can be very hard, and simply locking yourself in to a horrible job would not be good.

The academic entry requirements for TAFE need to be considered as does the particular course you might wish to do.

Working on your plan until it covers all eventualities with a view to your having happy employment long term after TAFE would have two benefits. First it will make things smoother, and second going to your dad with a concrete plan is very different from just something vague.

A couple of things in parting. The first is you have not said if there is any particular job or vocation you'd like to do in your life - that's ok, many do not know but it does help orient one's goals if you have. And secondly if you are like me then stress can influence one's judgment and make for hasty decisions.

Now you may not agree with anything I've said, by all means come back and tell me if that is the case.

I hope you do come back anyway and let us know how you are going.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello a13xx,

Croix has already given some great advice above - school is stressful and it's likely TAFE may be as well. However, I understand that if you're at TAFE and studying something you enjoy, the work may feel less stressful. But I want to add that you're not alone in how you feel, every year 11/12 student feels stressed, I know I did. Maybe see what you can do about lowering your stress. Some things I did was get a tutor for the subjects I was struggling the most in, dropped down to fewer subjects, talked with my teachers and careers advisor.

If you do want to drop out, make sure you have a clear plan before you do. Figure out what course you want to enrol in at TAFE, what requirements you need to meet and start applying for jobs now so you're ready to start working soon after you've left school. With a clear plan, your dad may be more likely to be supportive of your decision as it will show that you have really thought about your future.

Wishing you the best,