Dropping out of high school or college is never a top priority for those broadening their minds. But in the United States, it’s become a major problem. Over 1 million students drop out of high school every year, which equates to around 7,000 dropouts per day. When it comes to making it as a big star, everyone has their own story. The ones that have struggled always tend to have a happy ending. We take a look at 10 stars that managed to become something bigger after dropping out of school.
All the first person on this list had to do was “Believe” in themselves.
While Cher was quite the genius in Montclair College Preparatory School, performing was her calling. The platinum selling artist dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and decided to get acting lessons. The major reason for her leaving school was her dyslexia, which she was diagnosed with as an adult.
9. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey dropped out of Aldershot High School during freshman year in order to take care of his family. Thankfully, his sacrifice was a part of something bigger; the Canadian became one of the most sought after comedic actors in the ’90s with roles on In Living Color, Liar Liar, and The Cable Guy.
8. P. Diddy
At the age of 19, P. Diddy dropped out out of Howard University to become an intern at Uptown Records. His time at the record label was short-lived; he was fired after a confrontation with label owner Andre Harrell. Shortly after getting the boot, P. Diddy started Bad Boy Entertainment and signed The Notorious B.I.G. 20 years later, the music star has a net worth of $750 million.
Another fellow rapper also managed to make it big after leaving school.
High school just wasn’t in the card for Eminem. The platinum selling rapper dropped out of Lincoln High School after having to repeat the ninth grade three times due to poor grades. While he made it out just fine later on in life, he did manage to get his GED.
6. Quentin Tarantino
When he was only 14, Quentin Tarantino wrote his first screenplay, and the desire to do more with his passion led him to drop out of Narbonne High School and take acting lessons at James Best Theatre Company. While he was waiting for his opportunity to shine, the director worked jobs at an adult film theater and a video store.
5. Ozzy Osbourne
Before becoming the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne was being bullied consistently at Birchfield Secondary Modern School in Birmingham, England. At 15 years old, the rockstar dropped out of school and got into some mischief before landing his iconic role as the frontman of Black Sabbath.
This next person had to make a life-changing decision when it came to college.
4. Alicia Keys
While Alicia Keys enrolled at Columbia University, she was also signing a record contract with Columbia Records. With no way to properly juggle the two, Keys dropped out of college one month into her freshman year. The Queen of R&B hasn’t slowed down since the release of her 2001 debut album Songs in A Minor.
3. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of Santa Monica High School at the age of 15 to pursue a career in acting in New York City. While a portion of his life had more downs than ups, the actor quickly bounced back to become one of the highest-paid stars in Hollywood.
2. Johnny Depp
When Johnny Depp dropped out of Miramar High School to become a rock star, he never would’ve imagined his principal telling him to chase his dream. While he didn’t get to see his band headline Madison Square Garden, Depp’s transition into acting turned him into a beloved icon.
The final person mentioned became a legend in the sci-fi and action movie universes.
1. James Cameron
James Cameron is one of the biggest film directors of all time, but if it wasn’t for a change of heart, he’d probably be working as a teacher instead. The Oscar winning left Fullerton College during his freshman year. For the short time he was there, Cameron was studying English and Physics.
Is this a strong indication that school isn’t worth it? Absolutely not. While there are plenty of stories of dropouts achieving success in their respective fields, there are even more people down on their luck. It’s always important to get a great education in order to get a step closer to your dream job.
What other celebrities have accomplished great achievements without a high school diploma or college degree? Do you know someone that defied the odds without that special piece of paper? Let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!