You know, I'm actually somewhat intelligent but I failed miserably in basically all my high school classes. I did alright in anything creative, but by nature I just don't work well in any situation where I have absolutely no choice about what kind of work I have to do.
And yet I'm not independent at all either, but I feel that's more because I never learned how to be. I'm working on that. That's my goal over everything else.
In college, I did beautifully. I could actually chose what classes to take and I had only myself to account for my success.
I still have a long way to go, but failing high school doesn't mean failing at life. And graduating it didn't mean shit either. In America, with only a high school degree you can hope only for a minimum wage job, which is not even remotely enough for a person to live off of unless they worked maybe 80 hours a week. So by that standard, it's pretty worthless.