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Did you feel like you were wasting your time in high school?

  1. Feb 8, 2012 #1
    Did you? Do you think you were right or were you highly mistaken?

    I ask because I feel I should have enrolled in community college or some pre-university/foundation course when I was sixteen. Maybe a bit earlier but that's around the age where that *could* have been possible. I'm not going to cry in a corner of my room about this; nothing I can do about it any more. I am, however, curious as to what reasons could have led you to think of high school as such.

    My experience with high school was not a very good one. I was very bored and wanted to meet a more diverse set of people, which none of the high schools I went to allowed for. The more interesting people I met were through internet forums. So, on the social front, there was nothing keeping me there and as far as academics went, there really was nothing that caught my interest. Everything was very boring and I've been waiting to go to uni for a few years now...

    For me, the only positive of high school was that it taught me how to coexist with other people. People ranging from the "gossip kind*" to the "jocks" and "geeks".

    *These were the worst. I felt like I was in a Desperate Housewives or Gossip Girl episode. It was that bad. None of these people (mostly girls) seemed to like each other very well either.
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  3. Feb 8, 2012 #2


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    Absolutely not. I was as lazy as possible.....dreaming about girls and partying...doing the minimum....yet all the things they teach somehow still set in. Especially the algebra, Geometry, trigonometry. And you certainly take away something from classes you aren't interested in.

    If things are boring, either you have an IQ of 200 or you are not applying yourself. You get out of it what you put into it.

    If you are referrfing to the social aspect.....that is what it is. Again...what you make of it.
  4. Feb 8, 2012 #3
    I certainly felt that I was wasting my time. I too have been immensely saddened at my stupidity of staying in the public school system. Early college entry is really the way to go. The social scene was stupid. Maybe I'm too much of an introvert, but most people I met were sickeningly boring to talk to. HS certainly makes you tolerate this.

    Academically, I definitely made what I could of it. But I was still bored. I spent most of my time independently studying maths and physics, as I finished the school curriculum way to early to get any use out of it. Geometry and algebra in most American schools is quite terrible. No proof or rigor in the least. You don't need IQ 200 to be bored with HS math. It would have been better for me to just sit in a cave reading mathematics books and chatting on forums...

    But really, college is so much better, so you might as well forget high school and all the wasted years if you feel that way.
  5. Feb 8, 2012 #4


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    Got a GED and dropped out of HS after completing my electronics courses at the then new concept "Magnet School" electronics program at Skyline HS in Dallas, TX. (taught by some of TI's best) I did a part-time work and school routine until I joined the Navy a few years later for the Vietnam era GI bill.
    Never looked back with any regrets.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyline_High_School_(Dallas,_Texas [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Feb 8, 2012 #5
    WAIT!!!!Can I really take college courses in high school?
  7. Feb 8, 2012 #6


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    should have learned to get along with people in high school instead of trying to learn every single line in every text book
  8. Feb 8, 2012 #7
    Books are easier to deal with than people.
    Especially when the conversations they talk about is how they smoked pot out of a tampon. And all of them talk like they are African-Americans in new jersey. When they are all scrawny pale white Canadians.
  9. Feb 8, 2012 #8


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    There are no extra points for finishing school early.

    I wouldn't necessarily jump into more advanced classes without first having done the prerequisits. There are plenty of posts on these forums from people who have done just that and ended up in over their heads. But at the same time, it's not necessarily a bad idea either. Speak with a teacher whose opinion you trust on this.

    If you have lots of time on your hands you might also want to consider getting a job and starting to save for university. This can help you to develop a number of skills that you won't learn in academia, add weight to your resume so that your can work up to higher paying jobs later, and of course, give you a little extra cash to help you enjoy all that time you're apparently wasting.

    Other options to consider include starting on your own independent projects. Build something. Write something. Enter a science fair. Audition for a role in a play. High school is a time for exploring yourself. Later in life, when you have a mortgage and a career and kids, you won't have as much time for such things.
  10. Feb 8, 2012 #9


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    This is a pretty important aspect of high school, and far more important than the actual classes.

    As for taking community college courses, they really aren't special. Most intro courses in community college are about the same difficulty as a high school class, because a lot of students are there due to goofing around too much in high school to master the subjects needed earlier on.

    Whether or not you feel high school is sufficiently challenging will depend on where you attend school. I'm pretty amazed at the variation in schools even within the same county let alone across counties and states. I had a very rigorous high school experience and it was my first year of college that seemed too easy because it was easier than my high school classes. I work in a summer program with the top high school students in my state, and there are vast differences in the classes available to them. Some do take classes with their community colleges, because their schools don't have teachers qualified to teach some subjects nor enough students who progress far enough to need those classes, especially if all they plan to do is work on the family farm when they graduate. Others are in schools that offer the full complement of AP classes and prep kids capable of entering ivy league universities.
  11. Feb 8, 2012 #10
    Most of my high school teachers waisted my time. They took forever to get everyone to settle down, so that he or she could start lecturing. Sometimes the teacher waited for ten to fifteen minutes after the bell rang before starting class. I had seven classes everyday, and just about every single teacher did that. That's one hour a day!

    We went to school from 8am to 4pm with a 35 minute lunch break. With all the time teachers waisted, school could have ended at 3!

    They also got mad if a student brought homework from other classes to do while waiting. My friend got yelled at for it several times. I didn't though, I was sneaky.

    Also, my English teacher spent way to much time talking about politics, but oh well. She would write sentences about politics on the board to show us sentence structure. However, the sentences were very inappropriate and ignorant (For example calling certain politicians stupid, dumb, nazis). I am serious.
  12. Feb 8, 2012 #11
    I actually did stop going to high school at 15 and took a proficiency exam at 16, so I started at community college at 16. It worked much better for me. I was far behind starting college (I started college in Algebra II) but I pushed along and I am finishing this year and going to grad school so it all worked out.

    I thought HS was a waste of time. Too much time in class, too many completely different subjects at once but mainly I just didn't like the people around me enough. I was admittedly behind socially so I would of benefited from being around more people at that time but after years, I've corrected that too.
  13. Feb 9, 2012 #12
    Some of my classes could have been classified as a "waste of time", but then other classes were some of the best classes I've ever had (the classes that sparked the interest in what I'm studying now). World geography taught by a football coach? Horrible. Four years of math taught by the same excruciatingly difficult (in grading!) teacher? Loved every minute of it.

    High school as a whole had its ups and downs, but I certainly wouldn't label it as a waste of my time. I learned too much, socially and academically, to place such a broad label on it.
  14. Feb 9, 2012 #13
    While I did get increasingly bored and irritated with the "high school social scene" - that peaked when I was 16 - I learned a fair bit from it. One should consider that there are most probably more persons who are *not* geeks as opposed to persons who are.

    I would have very much enjoyed my math classes if I was actually doing more interesting work. The approach is one that is very monotonous and more focused on exam technique - we do standardised exams by an external body - rather than on learning. As a result, I got very bored quickly. When I find the time, I will re-learn geometry, with proofs and all.

    Sounds cool. What have you been doing since?

    For what it's worth, I think many of us here can relate to you! I remember reading an old post of yours, where you mentioned how your class mates in Physics at uni said to you.

    Thank you for your suggestions. I very much appreciate it.

    I'm currently being home schooled and as a result, I will actually go to college one year later than my peers, at 20. I am studying for A-Levels (some info on that below) in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, French and possibly History as well. In my free time, I teach elementary school kids - with the help of my mother - who live in my street how to read English. I'm hoping to expand, get funding for books and hope that when I leave for college, there will be a few persons who will continue this.

    In the United States and most places without a standardised high school diploma, yes. There is always the opportunity to transfer if one is in a school which is not a right fit for them. This might not hold true for everyone but if I knew of such opportunities beforehand, going to boarding school to attend a school more suited to my interests would have been a viable option. I'm not complaining as it's really my fault for not looking into such options then.

    It would be interesting to know why there are so many differences between high schools, especially those within one and the same state. Is this a question of teachers not wanting to work in certain areas and consequently, the course offerings at certain schools become more limited?

    I would have loved to have been in your high school. :-)

    Here, things are quite standardised and the only kind of "course selection" one can have is choosing their A-Levels, which they study for two years. Usually 3-4 subjects. The only variation being present is that a few schools are much more selective and they only accept students with the best grades. In my experience, this doesn't really change much in terms of "social scene" as the only difference between the students is that some just spend more time with improving exam technique.

    I believe that happens in *most* schools. I suppose those disturbances might have been more lengthy and frequent in your case due to the limited time spent outside of class. School was from 08 00 to 14 30, with one 25 min (or was it 35?) break, one 15 min and one 10 min break. After that, most students attend after-school classes for specific subjects (say, English) for an hour and a half to two hours. That usually starts at 15 00 or 15 30.

    How old are you now? 21?

    On the social front, the fact that I spent most of high school in an all-boys school didn't help too much. On the bright side, I took an interest in "soccer" (it was an obsession at some point) and I enjoy watching or talking about the odd game. I will probably always have a soft spot for United, even if I'm not as up to date as I used to be.

    Your world geography class sounds hilarious!

    Understandable. My experience was that while I did learn a few things, I could have not only learned more but also felt much less miserable elsewhere.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  15. Feb 9, 2012 #14
    I'm now 20, 21 in 6 months.
  16. Feb 9, 2012 #15


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    Academically, most of my time in HS was wasted. Socially, it was OK. I participated in every sport and activity that I could fit in, and since there were no "late buses" in our tiny district, I had to walk or run home ~3 miles home every night.

    When I got to college and had a great honors adviser, I found out how deficient my education in literature, history, etc, had been up to that point. He convinced me to switch from Engineering to Liberal Arts. Things worked out OK.
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