I never finished high school

I dropped out of school in year 11. I remember it vividly. There were numerous reasons as to why, but the thing that topped it off for me was failing a math test, badly. I got 3 out of 50. I used to be good at math, but this year I was struggling with school.

My math teacher said he needed to see me after class. I went up and he said some things and I responded with “It doesn’t matter, I’m never coming back to school anyway.” And threw my test in the bin on the way out the door.

I didn’t go back to school. That was my last day. It was pat way through the second term and I quit.

Most people are shocked to learn this. It is often assumed I completed a degree or a diploma in finance. I didn’t. I quit school, bummed around, worked for Woolworths as a check out chick, did some work for the government then did an apprenticeship in hairdressing for 4 years.  I finished my apprenticeship early, went straight into managing a new salon then ran my own hairdressing business 6 months later.

I was told I would regret quitting school. I don’t. My life experience has made me who I am today.

I was good at school when I applied myself. I was in advanced classes and got mostly A’s, but if I wasn’t interested, it wasn’t happening.

The reasons I quit school are numerous. I had a hard year the year before with my mother passing away and a few other things happening which I won’t share. This all affected me when I was in school and I couldn’t handle it.

Had I stayed in school, I would have gone to uni and my life would be very different to what it is now.

School is good, but I don’t think it is the be all and end all. It doesn’t suit everyone and I have met plenty of successful people who never finished school. The difference between the successful ones and the ones who flunk out then do nothing with their lives is desire. Successful people have the desire to be successful and the drive, self-motivation and determination to get there.

11 thoughts on “I never finished high school

    1. Totally agree. When I was teaching, I hated how some students thought they weren’t “smart” because they weren’t as successful in the classroom environment as others. Everyone has their strengths and learning styles.

      The school board where I taught had a variety of full day credit programs in the trades (boat building, hair dressing, automotive, design, etc.) These hands-on programs helped many talented teens get their diplomas when they might otherwise have dropped out. The thing that made the biggest difference, IMHO, was giving them the chance to be successful and to imagine a world beyond tests and marks.

  1. I finished school, but never went to uni. Work and Life Experience are the best teachers and I agree that if you have desire and determination, you will achieve your goals. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Enjoyed hearing your story, Kylie 🙂 This former teacher totally agrees with you about the school environment not being for everyone. I’ve seen so many cases where students who struggle in traditional academic areas are successful in other arenas when given the chance.

    One thing I was grateful for in high school was that I had to work to save for university. I often resented the fact that my friends had more time to study, but I learned much more working.

  3. Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I have seen so many people who have thrived outside of school, but just as many who have thrived in school. I think it has a lot to do with our own determination, life experience and things that are available to us.

    I love how some schools now are offering to have part time school part time trades (my little brother has been doing this and it has been the best thing ever for him. I’m so proud of how well he has done).

    Elizabeth, you are so right. Letting the kids see a world beyond test scores and things can help them enormously. And I, like you, had to work to save for uni (although I didn’t end up going) and a car and things, whereas many of my friends just got given theirs. The experience and things I learned are worth much more though.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I agree, Kylie, it’s what you DO with your life that counts and shows what a true person of character you are. You obviously have a strong work ethic and learn best by practical application. By the way, I found it ironic that you were flunking Math when it is now your area of expertise!

    1. Thank you!
      lol, it is ironic. It was the algebra in math I just never got and struggled with. Numbers and finance I aced, but algebra still does my head in. 🙂

  5. I struggled through high school and then struggled through uni….all mainly due to emotional upheaval at the time. 20 years later though I am so happy I pushed through. It gave me confidence that I needed, to show myself that I can achieve things. I’ve since gone back to study and am breezing through it and think a lot of it is to do with the experience I had before and knowing how to study. I understand what you are saying in that a lack of education doesn’t predict success or failure but overall I think it still is a worthwhile thing to do and encourage for many reasons outside of just academic success.

  6. So many people think that school is the only path to success. I am so glad that you posted this.

    I think it’s great that a math class was what pushed you away from school and now you’re teaching people across the globe how to manage their finances!

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