I recovered from the trauma of compulsory school, and I am now a college honors student with a 4.0 GPA. While there are still serious problems regarding "education" in the world of academia, college is significantly better than high school. A GED, well written essays, and outstanding SAT/ACT scores will get you into some of the most prestigious institutions without a diploma. Most people think that you have to be miserable for the next few years because they were forced to be miserable and they think it's the only way to find success in the future. I believe that they are entirely wrong about that. Research "unschooling", Paolo Freire, and Summerhill school and decide for yourself.