Work and education are both important. But they should be done in order. This is a time in your life to focus mainly on study and learning. While a part-time job that doesn’t interfere with your studies may be a good way to earn money and gain work experience, finishing high school is necessary to get more education and good jobs later in your life.
After high school, it’s a good idea to continue your education. For many, that will include attending college, but other possibilities include going to a technical school, taking online courses, or enrolling in community education. Whichever direction you choose, you will enjoy your career more and be in a better position to serve others if you take the time now to train your mind.
I too believe education is very important. My counsel is to stick with it. Your knowledge and understanding will be one of the greatest benefits you will ever receive. I have often put this scripture in my locker at school to keep me on track with my studies: “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:18–19). This is why I always try to do my best in school and why I am always trying to learn new things.
James M., 18, Utah
Although it may be tempting to follow in your friends’ footsteps, what’s popular is not always right. Know that education is important, and your friends will respect you for making the right decision. Stay in school, get an education, and have that great feeling that comes from doing the right thing.
Kathleen W., 14, Texas
Just because your friends are doing it is no excuse for you to drop out of school. The prophet counseled us to get as much education as we can. Don’t sell yourself short. The more dedicated you are, the more blessings will come your way. You can never have too much knowledge because that is something you can take with you to the next life.
Whitney N., 17, Arizona
I also find myself sitting at school wondering why I am here and not with my other friends making money at fast food joints. But you have to ask yourself, “If I quit now, where will I be in the future?” Dropping out will not help you, but staying in school will. Getting a good education will pay off.
Ewalani H., 16, California
Although it looks like your friends are making money without a degree, please stay in school. Your friends will have difficulty adequately supporting a family, and that is a commandment. Not having an education also makes it harder to study the gospel and limits how you can serve. We are also counseled to seek learning (see D&C 88:118). Get an adequate education so that you will have an increased ability to serve in the Lord’s kingdom and be happy because you can take care of yourself. Getting an education also increases your salary, job security, and the number of jobs you can choose from.
Ben S., 14, Pennsylvania
One thing that has helped me like school more is to think every day of one reason that you like school. For example, I like science because I get to learn about the world and how it works. This helps me find the good in things. Try this for a while, and you may come to know that you actually like to go to school. You can also study with friends and try to make school a fun environment. Pray that you will find a way to learn to like school.
Brittany F., 16, Alaska