Want to Be Successful? Avoid These 4 Pitfalls

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Want to Be Successful? Avoid These 4 Pitfalls

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Isabella Sorial, Editor-in-Chief

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All of us are going to leave High School pretty soon. Are you worried that you will have a hard time making it in the real world? There are ways you can prevent that. Here are some basic things you should avoid in order to boost your chances of success. 

#1: Do Not Drop Out of High School

Having a basic education degree is required for almost every job. You might be wondering why this is a high school and not a college degree. There are lots of jobs you can start online or get licenses for outside of a traditional college. But if you do drop out of school, it is a bad sign for most potential employers. The good news is that as you are reading this you are probably making progress toward this one already!

Around 25 percent of adults without a high school diploma are in poverty while just 5 percent of adults with a college degree or higher are in the same position, according to 2012 Data from The National Center for Education Statistics. Adults without a high school diploma are five times more likely to be in poverty than adults with a college degree or higher.

#2: Do Not Have Kids out of Wedlock

There is nothing wrong with planning to have kids with your boyfriend or having a child unexpectedly, but you should be aware of the instability you may face when you make this choice. Having children with someone who has not devoted themselves to you entirely makes you and your child much more likely to be poor.

For example, 26 percent of single moms are in poverty while just 5 percent of married couples are in the same position, according to 2012 Data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unfortunately, there may be some racial bias in this statistic to look out for. According to the CDC, non-Hispanic blacks experience non-marital childbirths at a rate of 73 percent, while non-Hispanic whites see a rate of 29 percent and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders see 17 percent.

#3: Do Not Get Arrested

Getting arrested can have more consequences than just prison time. The reputation of an “ex-felon” can make employers much less likely to higher you.

The racial and ethnic make-up of incarcerated populations is dramatically different from that of the U.S. as a whole, meaning there is some racial bias to this statistic as well. Nationally, according to the U.S. Census, blacks are incarcerated five times more than whites are, and Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to be incarcerated as whites.

Whites are 64 percent of the U.S. population, 39 percent of the incarcerated population, and have a national poverty rate of 8.7 percent – meaning that 0.45 percent of the U.S. population of whites are incarcerated. On the other hand, non-Hispanic blacks are 13 percent of the U.S. population, 40 percent of the incarcerated population, and have a national poverty rate of 21.2 percent. 2.31 percent of the U.S. population of non-Hispanic blacks are incarcerated. All data is from the 2010 U.S. Census.

#4: Get a Full-Time Job

This is so obvious you probably think it’s silly that I put it on here. Almost every job has the potential for growth and so even just starting at the mall or a McDonald’s can be a really big step toward building your resume and garnering connections that can propel you into better careers. You should not depend on someone else to make money for you. Being financially independent is the best way you can ensure a stable future for yourself.

To that end, 31 percent of adults not working are in poverty, while just 2 percent of full-time working adults are in the same position, according to 2017 Data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To conclude, here’s a quote from Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution when he testified before Congress on June 5, 2012:

“Young people can virtually assure that they and their families will avoid poverty if they follow three elementary rules for success – complete at least a high school education, work full time, and wait until age 21 and get married before having a baby. Based on an analysis of Census data, people who followed all three of these rules had only a 2 percent chance of being in poverty and a 72 percent chance of joining the middle class (defined as above $55,000 in 2010).”

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