Are There Ever Good Reasons to Dropout of High School?

It’s okay to wonder if there are any good reasons to dropout of high school. You will be responsible for many important decisions throughout your life. We are not here to tell you what to do, but we can offer you advice, and we can hope that you trust us and that you at least consider it. If we were to just yell at you and call you a fool for thinking of dropping out, the conversation would probably end right there, right?

So, we’re going to cover the main question here about whether there are good reasons to dropout, but we’re going to offer some other thoughts as well. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but we want you to make an informed decision and to be totally aware of the downsides, too, because that’s what being an adult is about. If you want to make adult decisions, you have to make them how adults do. (Of course, plenty of adults aren’t equipped to make wise and informed decisions either, but that’s a whole other conversation… Even by being here and putting thought into this, you’re ahead of many adults in the world.)

Whenever we discuss topics that involve dropping out of high school, we like to be very clear about a few things before getting started, and this article is no exception, but with that out of the way, let’s get right into it.

Why are you thinking of dropping out?

We’re making the assumption that you’re thinking of throwing in the towel, so to speak, and dropping out of high school. Why?

What causes students to dropout of high school? Here are some common reasons that teens drop out…

  • Having a hard time dealing with bullying and other unfair treatment that makes school a miserable experience that you dread.
  • Having to work to cover household bills, or other responsibilities like taking care of siblings.
  • Falling behind in studies and feeling crushed by it, feeling unable to catch up.
  • Becoming pregnant.

Does any of this hit home? Look, it would be great if we lived in a perfect world where every teen had the same opportunities and advantages. Some families aren’t able to offer that. It’s not your fault, it’s just the reality of your life and you’re here, trying to make the right decision. You probably want to finish high school, but if your parent(s) aren’t around, or aren’t able to take care of everything, that leaves a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and you’re just trying to step up and deal with it because that’s all you know how to do.

Read more: High school vs college.

In some cases, that can feel like you need to drop out. If it’s a matter of your family not having healthcare for a sick loved one, or your younger siblings not having a safe place to grow up while you’re at school all day, or things like rent and groceries not being covered – and you’re watching everything fall apart while you spend the majority of your day sitting in a classroom instead of working to pay the bills – it’s a really tough situation.

That’s just one example. You could have a learning disabiltiy that isn’t property understood by the school or other authorities in your life, that makes it very hard to keep up. Maybe you’re being bullied, maybe you dread going into high school each day.

The point is, how can we paint with a broad brush when there are so many unique, specific, and difficult situations that people are going through?

So, if you’re here asking about good reasons to dropout of high school, you may fit into one of the above categories, or you might just be someone who doesn’t like school and wants to sit around all day instead. People who fit into the above categories probably already know their situations are tough, and they’re looking for a bit of validation to help make up their mind. What they need to know is that there’s a lot more to this decision, here are some additional useful resources:

Okay, thanks for sticking around! It’s important to talk about the other sides of this before we get into some of the potentially good reasons for dropping out.

Having a Plan for Dropping Out

dropping out

Don’t drop out without a plan. You’ll have a lot more time on your hands, and a lot more freedom, but that can go very poorly if you aren’t prepared. If your plan is to work after dropping out, try to get a job lined up as soon as you can.

Part of your plan should also include a way to finish your high school diploma, whether it means going back next semester after things are settled down in your life a bit, or finishing the credits you need at a local community college, or through distance/correspondence high school courses, or getting a GED.

If you’ve come to the conclusion that dropping out is your only option, just remember it doesn’t have to be permanent. We try to stay factual here without giving strong opinions one way or another, because we think the facts of the reality speak for themselves, but with that said: I really, really don’t think you should drop out without a plan on how you can finish high school and get your diploma at a later date. I really, really want you to get these credits and to graduate or get a GED. I don’t want you to go through the rest of your life without finishing high school. You can do it, even if you can’t do it right now.

Good Reasons to Dropout of High School

It’s possible to drop out of high school and still succeed in life, but it’s hard for us to sit here and say that there are GOOD reasons to dropout of high school, you know? TheRoot has a very tongue-in-cheek list of “good” reasons to drop out.

Other reasons that people drop out are that they won’t graduate on time, pregnancy, financial reasons (needing to work to survive), feeling unsafe at school, having a teacher that behaves inappropriately, and more.

Most, if not all, if these reasons can be overcome. It’ll be a bigger challenge to stay in school than to quit school, but it can be worth it in the long run.

Again, you’re the only one who knows your exact life and circumstances, so that’s the elephant in the room that you’ll need to navigate.

Someone else might have more support and resources to overcome the challenges that you’re facing, so try not to compare yourself to other people, but also don’t take the easiest way out. You can do incredible things if you set your mind to you. Dropping out now doesn’t have to mean you never go back, and it doesn’t have to mean your education is done.

Going into trades is a reason that some people will use to justify their decision, but trust – you can get started in trades before you’re done high school, and by the time you graduate, you’re ready to move forward in a trade and you’ll have your diploma – it’ll make things a lot easier on you if this is your plan.

Mat Woods

Author Information

Mat Woods is the lead writer at He works tirelessly alongside the rest of the team to create useful, well-researched, trustworthy articles to help parents and their teens.