Typical Dropout This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   He doesn't look like anyone else. He doesn't think like anyone else. Yet, he is the typical dropout. He is supposedly the "rebel without a cause." But what exactly is he? What possesses him to drop out of school? Is it in search of a better life? This may be the answer, but dropping out isn't the solution.

It is easy to depict a dropout, for he has a distinct aura about him. Primarily known by word of mouth or by personal encounters, "Spike"* has no direct goal in life. He can be seen on school grounds or at school functions for the sole purpose of displaying his rebellious image. Spike, along with his followers, wanders the streets at night in search of parties to crash. After plundering a party, Spike and his party pirates head to their nightly hangout where they proceed to get hammered. Later, Spike picks a fight with an unwilling chum. Spike, following several boots to the head of his combatant, feels a sense of achievement. Achievement is not felt often by him, for he has had nothing to achieve since his dropout in the tenth grade.

Every school week finds for every teenager busy at school, except Spike and he lets all the other students know it. He thinks kids will think he is cool and, in turn, drop out of school themselves. This is not the case with his fellow teenagers. What does Spike care? He doesn't have to bother with anything. He has no job and no classes, what a great life.

The truth is that Spike does care. He second guesses his decision day after day, but is afraid to tell anyone for fear of losing his "James Dean" reputation. He is not cool because he drinks or smokes. Spike is not cool because he has no job or classes. He is not cool because he wears torn jeans, denim jackets, earrings and a bandana. Spike is not cool, and he knows it!

Spike thought he knew what he was doing that day when he smoked his first joint and chugged his first whiskey. He thought he knew what he was doing when he first beat up a classmate and stole his first car. Did Spike know what he was doing when he dropped out of school? Did he really think he would amount to anything? Did he really think dropping out was the answer at sixteen? Perhaps, at that time, he did.

What ever happened to Spike? Well, right now he is jobless and without a home. Spike could never find a job good enough for him, or a job anyone would hire him for. Spike lives in a cardboard box nowadays. The box reads: "Magnavox 36 Inch, Wide-Screen Television, equipped with V.C.R.-campatible remote, built-in stereo with Dolby noise reduction." The price tag reads $3,200 and dangles in front of his face every night before he passes out. It is likely that the T.V. itself is owned by one of those well-educated geeks Spike would pick on and trash their house. Now, their trash is Spike's home. Who said "Spikes" are cool? n

* Spike is not his real name.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Savan said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm
i understand you're steriotypical veiw of highshool dropouts, but it is not always the case. i feel you must cnsider their backround; everyone has a past. BOTH of my parents were highschool dropouts, and we live in an up-class neighborhood in a large house. my mother became a Regestered nurse and makes$50.000+ a year, and my dad is a manager if a lumber company making $34,000+. i feel you're article, while well written, was highly srereotypical.
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