Drop Out of High School and Suffer the Consequences

Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers rarely think about their future until the world is thrust upon them after graduation or dropping out of school because they are convinced that they can survive without that diploma.


Stop Right There!

stop sign

I hate to break the bubble, but someone has to do it. We no longer live in the 1950’s where cars can be fixed without being a certified mechanic, and most of the factory jobs that our grandparents had back then are all in China and Mexico. Unless you want to work at Micky D’s or Dunkin for the rest of your life, get your high school diploma.

Do you know that the questions on the GED test are not taught to most high school students, making the test harder to pass than getting that diploma from school?

But I Don’t Want a College Degree!

I know, you have no desire to go to college. You still need that diploma. There is an alternative to a complete academic education. Why don’t you pick a trade? High schools have been offering trade-school classes for years. By learning a trade and taking part in an apprenticeship, you unlock the door to a higher wage or even owning your own business.

Times Have Changed

Back in the 1980’s I never thought there would come a day when an employer wouldn’t want a long-term employee. Times have changed. The average employee in 2016, has been with their employer for no longer than five years. Between recessions, burst dot-com bubbles, and the housing crunch the job market has changed drastically. If you want to earn a living wage you need either a college degree or a trade skill certificate or license.

There is No One to Blame But You!

Don’t blame the illegal immigrants for taking all the jobs away from you. The top jobs they are applying for is farm labor and construction as indicated by the Pew Research Center, Five Facts about Illegal Immigrants. I don’t know too many American’s who will work for farm wages. Construction work, they would probably do, but if they took part in the trade school while in high school, they would be snagging a better paying job on the crew leaving the runner work for the immigrant.

Lay-offs Happen!

So what if your parents dropped out of school and were able to find jobs. That was then. If you parents haven’t been laid off in the past ten years, then they were one of the lucky ones. Invest in your future not because your parents told you to go to college. Do this for you and only you.

You Decide!

Only you can decide what you like, what you want, and where you will go after high school.


Do Parents Stereotype Their Children?

Image courtesy of creative commons license By: NathanCC BY 2.0via Flickr.com

I don’t know about you, but my parents fit into the category of different hopes for my brother and me. My brother was supposed to go to college, but he didn’t. I was meant to have an office job, but I didn’t do that either. Does that mean we were both disappointments?

What do I mean by that?

Parents stereotype their children right from birth. Stereotyping must be a learned behavior. Everyone grows up expecting girls to be mothers, nurses, and such. The boys go off to war, start a business, or are exceptionally bright. Girls are not supposed to be bright or so I was told by my parents when I was in eighth grade.

I grew up with television shows such as Leave It to Beaver, where the Beaver learns to be nice to girls. There were Happy Days with the cool Fonzie or Laverne and Shirley who were factory workers. Do you see the stereotyping taking place?

It has only been in the past ten years that some shows, movies, and books have begun breaking the stereotyping mold. Hunger Games has the independent, quick thinking Katniss as the main character pulled into a leadership role.

Then there is Meredith Grey of Grey’s Anatomy, a  portrayal of a successful woman surgeon. And, don’t forget Arial the mermaid who saves the prince.

Image courtesy of creative commons license By: StefanyCC BY 2.0 via flickr.com

I’m a parent. I get the stereotyping. I can catch myself time and again expect either my son or my daughter to be a certain way. Everyone expects their daughter to be pretty and their son strong and smart. In actuality, I wanted my son to be intelligent, strong and handsome and the same for my daughter.

Maybe it is because when my parent made that statement to me, it upset me terribly. That was the year that I failed English of all classes to fail just to test their reaction to my getting an F on my report card. Why I decided to do this, I don’t remember. Maybe I felt left out some way. But then they gave me that very answer, shocking the hell out of me. I wasn’t grounded, nor punished, nor did they yell at me. They only said, that’s okay, girls aren’t supposed to do good in school.

I think this made me angrier than had I been punished. This remark my parents made only told me that neither of them cared about my future. Maybe I was supposed to be a stay at home mom when I grew up. Funny, they never mentioned prearranged marriages.

For the last four college terms, I have been having fun shocking my mother with my grades. Her jaw dropped when I handed her my first Dean’s Letter, and when I gave her my Honor Society certificate, she just about broke down in tears and hugged me harder than she’d ever hugged me before. Maybe she remembered her words and wished she had never said them to me. I don’t know.

I don’t know how my dad would have reacted. I think he would be proud too. He passed away over fifteen years ago.

When I think of my children, I hope for them and try not to stereotype them on purpose. I would love to see both of them have equal opportunities. I know that each is unique in their way. In the end, I can only hope for the best for each of them. No matter what they do, I am proud to call them my children.

What the Hell are Life Skills?

Public Schools across the United States have left out some of the biggest subjects that should be taught before a student leaves high school. Life Skills. These skills aren’t just reading and writing and arithmetic, these skills are what every individual needs to survive in the real world regardless of whether or not they go on to college.

Back when in the 1970’s, teachers taught classes called Home Economics. Students would learn how to sew, just the basics. There was no need to become a seamstress unless they had a calling for it, but it is a valuable skill to learn. Cooking was another course. How many students graduate not knowing how to cook anything other than ramen noodles or doesn’t come from a can? Cooking classes also involved learning about nutrition and kitchen safety.

Do you pour water on a grease fire? – Absolutely Not!

Then there was shop class. Shop involved learning about power tools that dad keeps in the garage or basement of the house. Why is the safety feature necessary when using a power tool?

The big one- Budgeting

Keeping a budget would be taught in bookkeeping class. It was where students were taught how to fill out a check, a check register, and maintain the balance accurately. They would also learn why you didn’t spend more than what you actually had deposited in the account.

Many adults may have taken these classes for granted, but they just don’t teach them to our kids anymore. When they graduate, they won’t be as prepared for life on their own, not like back in the day when teachers taught skills for survival.

Learning Good Habits

Teens think they know everything. They believe that they know more than mom and dad, teachers included. But what if they develop healthy habits? Folding clothes, washing dishes, mowing the grass, chopping the wood, cleaning the house?

Aren’t these all life skills too?

Good habits can be taught at home. They come from imitating parents doing day to day survival skills. How to keep the house in order by cleaning up the dirty dishes, washing and folding the laundry and sweeping and vacuuming the floor. Cutting the grass is important too, especially in some of the southern states where poisonous snakes can be hiding in the tall grass, just like bees too.

Chopping wood is needed to stay warm in the winter. What do they do if the power goes out in an ice storm?


It’s not just because of the smell emitted by the body. There is more to hygiene than taking a shower and washing their hair. It should be combed or brushed when needed. The teeth need care too, or they will be wearing dentures by the time they are twenty-something. Toothpaste has come a long way since they were first discovered, and now it tastes better too. Gum disease is difficult to cure.

Saving Money

A big one – don’t spend it all at once.

Down payments are needed to buy cars and houses. Even apartments require a down payment or deposit before being rented out. A new outfit doesn’t need to be purchased every week. Learn to buy clothes that can be mixed and matched to make multiple outfits. That down payment for a first home will be saved up in a matter of a couple of years.

Credit Cards are nice to have, Buttttt…

That is how debt begins. Zero percent interest for the first six months’ does sound inviting, but after those six months, the charges start to add up. Monthly payments climb until your whole paycheck is being used to pay for a debt that was created in a matter of a month, just because of instant gratitude.