Why Bother Earning Your High School Diploma?

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While attending high school may be a struggle for some, life beyond school without a diploma may be even more difficult to manage.
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Why Earn a High School Diploma

High school can often be a difficult time for students balancing extracurricular activities, friends and schoolwork. Some students may focus more on their social lives than their studies. It's important to remember that high school is a time for developing skills and earning an education. It is important to stay focused and earn a diploma, which in turn, will create career and life opportunities down the line.

What Does the High School Diploma Mean?

A high school diploma is the certificate students receive upon completing high school. It's given when the student completes a certain number of required units with passing grades, usually at the end of their senior year. Students may receive their diploma early if they can take classes in addition to the required number every semester. They can often take these additional classes at school or at a community college. Many schools will give students high school credit for community college courses if they are similar to the required courses.

Why Is It Important?

There are several reasons why a high school diploma is important, and students might not realize just how much having (or not having) a high school diploma can affect their future lives.

Life after High School

Students have many choices after high school. Some students choose to attend a college, community college, or technical school. If you want to attend a university, you will probably need to have a high school diploma. It's not the actual diploma in which they're interested, but rather the education this document represents. Some community colleges or technical schools may not deny you admission because you lack a diploma, but you may need the education from high school to act as a foundation.

While some students choose to continue their educations, others prefer to enter the workforce. Having a high school diploma can help graduates land positions other than low paying or entry-level jobs that provide little opportunity for career advancement. A high school diploma shows the employer that you do have an educational background and other skills, such as problem solving, that you've obtained through your classes.

Self Esteem

Those at Career Colleges (www.careercolleges.com) say that it is rather difficult and awkward to explain to a potential employer that you don't have a high school diploma, particularly when applying for higher-paying positions. They also say that when you try to convince your children of the importance of education, they might not believe you because of the choices you made. If you do have a diploma, you can avoid these awkward situations and feel better about yourself. You will have earned a sense of accomplishment and will be able to support your opinions with the knowledge you have from school, which can help you feel more confident.

If you are considering not earning your diploma, make a list of the benefits of dropping out of school and then one considering the benefits of earning your diploma. Compare the two and then decide. Think hard about your decision before leaving high school; it's much easier to leave than to return.

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