Educational Achievement and the Drop Out

It had become apparent to me that the ‘freshie’ was no longer going to school. She would be a high school drop-out.

I struggled, off and on, from twenty-five to forty-eight years old, to earn first an Associate degree and then my Bachelor’s degree with two majors, as I birthed and raised four children. Having moved and separated from my husband, when I returned to school I was then commuting a minimum two and three-quarter hours round-trip, to earn the final fifty credits, in a combination of part-time and full-time semester’s. All but the last semester carrying twenty credits did I do while holding down a job. At times I frightening myself as I had started to nod during this horrendous commute from the country to the city. The academics were doable, I never slacked and was rewarded with great grades. For many years I was exhausted, although I remained determined. During this time, I endured relationship difficulties, many family court appearances, financial struggles, and the challenges related to parenting a child with special needs. But I did it and commencement was one of the best days of my life.

That I completed my education in the mist of the job crisis and continue to remain unemployed does not my tarnish conviction: education is important. With my experience and education, I am prepared when the jobs return.

The ‘freshie’ being the youngest, has seen her siblings graduate high school, her mother and brother graduate college, and her sister work on her undergraduate degree, living on campus, loving life. Although her brother, who struggles with ADHD, has been suspended from college he is working hard to improve his social skills to return next semester to follow his dreams to become a licensed electrician.

I have told her dropping out of high school is not an option. Apparently, for her, ‘work hard, play hard’ does not include education. She is very social. She is responsible in going to work where she: waits tables, takes phone orders, and buses. She likes making money. I wish she could see the education:money correlation, the reward that is not presently visible.

As I have written of the peer influence and enabling of a particular young woman I affectionately call ‘friend’ I have also spoken to her regarding taking responsibility for enabling ‘freshie’s’ failure to attend school regularly, and had ‘freshie’ been under sixteen, I would have brought charges of endangering the welfare of a minor against ‘friend’ and sought an order of protection. All I got in response was “She makes her own decisions.”

It seems the ‘friend’ and the ‘freshie’ after yet another week of truancy have decided to opened dialogue on my blog (see comments) and has once again begun attending school.

One more hurdle jumped,

Effort infused,

Another beginning:

In a day in the life of the ‘freshie’.

Related posts:

Parenting Freshie | Aligaeta’s Blog w/recent comments referred to above.

Freshie: Sees the Light | Aligaeta’s Blog


The Adventure’s of ‘freshie and friend’ excerpt from: Family Vacation, Why Bother? | Aligaeta’s Blog

Last year, the freshie had insisted she bring her eighteen year old friend along with us. The girls had a great time meeting and hanging out with local boys, loitering on the beach, late into the night. Unwilling to follow my rules gained them a free pass. I bought them a little tent, booked them a campsite, and cut them loose. I found it was safer and much easier to checkup on them sitting by a campfire, at a designated campsite patrolled by park rangers, then it would have been finding them on a dark restricted beach. I had my reservations in doing so, but it was that or pack it in and go home. I couldn’t see forfeiting $1550.00, a dream vacation, and ruin everyone’s chance at a good time…

I admit I had to make some difficult parenting decisions over the years as my children have challenged me, but as I never gave up on them…


About Aligaeta

I am a life time resident of NY State. A graduate of Nassau Community College, AA in Liberal Arts and Queens College, BA in English and Sociology. I am the mother of four children, the survivor of divorce, and I love to write in prose. This blog will be a record of my journey... destination unknown. Read more...
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3 Responses to Educational Achievement and the Drop Out

  1. Lisa says:

    I wish I had words of wisdom to share, but I don’t. I just hope freshie recognizes that, as challenging as life has become even with a degree, the challenges of life as a high school dropout are never-ending.

    • Aligaeta says:

      Lisa, you are absolutely right and I try to convey this. She thinks she can drop out this year and go back next year. I’ve heard others in her alternate school doing this, but I am sure she will feel embarrassed and more reluctant to going back if she makes this decision.

      As she didn’t like going to the district school and doesn’t want to continue in the alternative school, when we move from my house to Fred’s house she will have the choice to go back to her old school district, where she was ten years ago before the divorce, where she has friends and can make a new beginning in her senior year. But if she doesn’t finish this year in the excelled alternative program she’s in: she will have to repeat the eleventh grade.

      All the considerations possible has been made on her behalf, I’ve done my best to instill my values, by example, her entire life. If she blows it, she will be the one who suffers. Thank you for your compassionate comment on a day when you are looking for a break.

  2. jannatwrites says:

    You’re in a tough place. The more you push her to go, the more she may resist. (Even though it’s ultimately in her best interests to go.) I’m guessing here, because I always liked school – I never considered dropping out, so I don’t know what makes one decide to quit.

    I know you’re doing the best you can. Hang in there 🙂

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