My Crazy Teen Do-Over Moment…

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When I was 17 years old, I thought that I knew it all. Don’t most teenagers?

I decided sometime during the summer between 11 and 12th grade that I didn’t need high school anymore…I wanted to go out and start my life. I somehow convinced my parents that I would be better off dropping out of high school, taking the few credits I still needed to graduate in night school, and working on finding a job.

Now that I think about it, I must have been really convincing, because I don’t recall my parents arguing with me that much. Most likely, the fact that I only needed 4 credits and had been an honors student for all of high school was a deciding factor in their decision.

On the first day of my senior year, I marched into the office and removed myself from my high school and enrolled in their night school program.

It felt good.

Until I began attending my night school classes, and my teachers asked me on a daily basis “what are you doing here?!”

I hated night school.

So…the day I turned 18, I left the night school program and moved to North Carolina with my grandparents, spending the summer working on remodeling houses with them.

I was a high school drop out.

Just shy of being able to graduate by two credits, which somehow made it all that much worse.

It was, in retrospect, pretty ridiculous.

If there was one single moment in my life that I could do over, it would be that moment when I walked into the high school office and dropped out of school. It was a huge decision, and I decided unwisely.

That one action affected the next two years of my life in a huge way…and continues to affect me to this day.

I did end up going back to school – regular high school – the following year. I missed the structure, the more serious classes offered to regular students, that sense of accomplishment in getting good grades in a class that was taken seriously, by teachers who loved what they did.

And while I did end up going back and graduating with a regular high school class, that one action led to a chain of events that changed the course of my life.

4 months after graduation…you do the math.


Why am I telling you about this do-over moment of mine? I recently came across the following from Frigidaire:

The Frigidaire Gallery™Dishwasher gets dishes fully cleaned the first time, so there are no dish do-overs. Nearly half of adults admit to re-washing and/or re-drying dishes after the dishwasher cycle has been completed. To prevent dishwasher do-overs, Frigidaire® is stepping in with its new Gallery® Dishwasher featuring the OrbitCleanTM Wash Arm, ensuring dishes are cleaned right the first time.

So I’ve shared my larger-than-life teenaged do-over moment. What is yours?


I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

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  1. says

    My brother dropped out, but he never went back to finish. I wish he had. What you did took guts, girl. And you pushed through and made an awesome life for yourself (and have a great daughter to boot!)

  2. says

    Ah, but you did finish. I have a couple of things in my past that I sometimes wish I could do over, yet… everything I’ve done in my life has led me to where I am today. But I would do over some little things, maybe. :)

  3. says

    You are such an amazing person Jenn with such a great story! I love that you pushed through and finished high school.

  4. Donna George says

    Making decisions that change the course of our lives is what living is all about. Who we marry whether we go to college, what job we take, where we decide to settle down, etc, all have profound impact on the rest of our lives, but we may not realize it at the time. If I was your mama at the time, I would have insisted that you stay in night school and FINISH high school, dadgummit. No matter what it took. A few years ago I took in a teenage friend of one of my daughters. She had to move out of her home, was 17, and was going to drop out of HS to support herself. I was able to offer her a place to be while she finished a fast track high school, and graduated in 5 months. Now she has as many options to live her life that she could possibly want. (and I consider her my 6th child.)

  5. says

    Good for you for going back! Sometimes we think we know what we want but can never really know until we experience it. I’ve had a few of those moments in my life too, the best you can do is learn from them.

  6. says

    Your story really touched me. I’m so happy that you went back and finished school. I did the same thing with college. It took me 10 years to finish! That would be my do over moment, but the outcome was great with so many good things along the way.

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