Thinking about leaving school?
Take time to decide whether it's the right choice for you
Everyone finds school difficult some of the time but some young people find it difficult all the time. There can be many reasons why some of us feel school is just not an option for us such as:
- Finding schoolwork difficult. We all learn differently but often schools only promote memerising loads of text, and this won't suit everyone. Find what works for you. Read about different studying techniques here.
- Becoming very stressed due to the pressure of exams. Read more about coping with exam stress here.
- Failing exams and feeling discouraged about school and study.
- Always feeling bored or out of place at school.
- Getting a difficult time from teachers. If a particular teacher is picking on you, you might want to report it to your school principal.
- Being bullied by other students or even by teachers. Read more about bullying It's important that you report any bullying.
- Being given less attention or being treated differently because of different abilities and talents.
- The practical subjects that you are best at are less valued and under appreciated.
- Finding it hard to continue and keep up with course work.
- Having no friends at school.
- Feeling stupid or being made to feel that way by others.
If you are thinking about leaving school, take time to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. There may be alternatives to think of first, let someone at school know that you are thinking of leaving. They may be able to help improve the situation and make school an easier place for you to be. If school is definitely not for you consider attending a YouthReach centre, or doing an apprenticeship. The benefits of attending a YouthReach centre are enormous and because they adopt a different teaching style to conventional school, they are often perfect for people who may have found a conventional school difficult.
- Remember it's okay to ask for help. There are adults in school who will listen – guidance counsellors or your favourite teacher, and also outside school – psychologists, counsellors or parents. Speak with your career guidance teacher before you make the decision to leave.
- Have a look online at the type of jobs you would like to do in the future and see what qualifications you would need. Many jobs need a secondary school qualification or even a college degree. If school is not for you, then you may want to think about attending YouthReach or doing an apprenticeship.
- Confide in a good friend and tell them how you are feeling about school. You might realise that others feel the same and that you can get through it together.
- Attempt your homework – it makes life easier. If you can't do it or are having problems, consider talking to the teacher.
- Make a plan before leaving school so that you don't end up sitting at home all day doing nothing.
- Think ahead and imagine yourself five years down the road. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be working at? Then decide how best to get there- be it through study, a training course or another after school option.