As a freshman or a junior drowning in class work, you may ask yourself, why is all of this important? Why do I need to go to high school? Ask an adult and you’ll get an answer about the difficulty of finding a job and how not graduating will make your life harder long term. If you go online, you’ll see statistics on how much money non-graduates make per year in comparison to a high school grad. If you're anything like I was before my senior year, however, then all of this means next to nothing to you. I’m here to tell you, though, that now that I am a senior, high school matters.
People will tell you that grades don't matter and that they can't determine your self worth. While that is true, many universities focus mainly on what is on your transcripts, so your grades do matter. It doesn't really hit you until you start applying for scholarships and colleges that your GPA and test scores mean a lot to these institutions, and you’ll really start to regret those few C’s that you got freshman year when college seemed so far away.
“High school is important because I don't want to work at McDonalds for the rest of my life.”
“High school prepares you for college, which determines the rest of your life,” said senior, Alyssa Child who plans on going to USU. She thinks that it’s always better to over prepare and have excellent grades so you can go to the best college rather than having to narrow down your options due to some choices you made in high school.
You may think, “Oh, I’ll just get my GED!” While you may actually do it, data from the GED testing service shows that in 2013 only 75% of the adults taking the test passed. People often have a hard time getting back into a studying schedule, or they struggle juggling the different aspects of their lives, such as a job and a family. Also at many workplaces, a GED is considered inferior to a diploma. On average, graduates make $1.3 million more over a lifetime.
As Hunter Goring put it, “High school is important because I don't want to work at McDonalds for the rest of my life.”
High school is preparing you for the real world. Now you may think, “Hah, I’ll never use my extensive knowledge on the Pendleton Civil service act in real life,” and you may be right in some areas. However, the skills that you’re learning that you’ll continue to use are ones like note taking, active listening, critical thinking, and important social skills like networking, which will majorly impact your ability to move up in the corporate world. High school also teaches you how you learn best and how you deal with stress.
“You need to learn how to deal with stress at one point in your life,” said McKenna Grover, “and high school is the time to do that.”
If this article still hasn't convinced you that you should take high school seriously, then maybe Whitley Woolley’s wise words will keep you in school--at least till the end of the first semester: “I gotta wear my Christmas sweaters somewhere; it might as well be here!”