10 Lessons I Learned From My Dad

10 Lessons I Learned From My Dad

Sharing wisdom from the wisest man I know.

This past week a video of the GOAT QB Tom Brady emerged with him getting all choked up while talking about how his father is his role model. Similar to Brady, my father is one of my role models, and is the only one of my role models I’ve had the pleasure to meet. My Dad has taught me so much over 18 years, so I (with the help of my sister) have compiled a list of ten life lessons I’ve learned from my Dad.

1. "Don’t focus on who’s behind you, because if you’re looking ahead it is a lot harder for people behind you to catch up”

When my father told me this quote it was during my sophomore year of high school and he meant it in the context of racing sports (swimming, crew, track), and while it is great advice for all these sports, I have always thought that it may be one of the greatest pieces of life advice as well. If you’re constantly focused on whom you’re doing better than, it can and will eventually impede your own success.

2. Be organized

My father is one of the most organized people I know. He has a system and method for virtually everything, and treats his calendar like the Holy Bible. I never really understood it until I started using a calendar between some time senior year of high school and freshmen year of college, but it makes all the difference. It makes my day easier every day and makes me more productive.

3. Be Early

Similar to my previous point, my Father is often early for things; setting clocks 5 minutes early in his car. I always thought this was weird, but once I started doing I understood why it was genius. If you’re constantly 5 minutes early, you have a small margin for error one of those days, which you wouldn’t normally have and can be a lifesaver.

4. Hard work pays off

My Father always preached the value of working hard for something you want, and that talent isn’t enough. He is always reading books on how to improve him, and this has made him the successful man he is today, and a man I want to emulate.

5. Know your limits

Counterintuitive to the point on hard work, knowing when you can’t do something is important. My father went into college as physics major, placing out to most of the introductory classes his school offered, and his first semester grades show he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. After re-assessing what he could and couldn’t do, he switched his focus, boosted his grades, and came out in great shape.

6. If you love something, do it for as long as you can

My Dad loves to run, which is why I love to run. However, he is well aware that most guys at his age can’t run as often or for as long as he does. But he continues to do it, because he genuinely enjoys it, and wants to do what he loves for as long as he can.

7.“Cream rises"

A saying he inherited from his parents, my Dad has often preached to me the idea that in the best will be at the top. This message has often comforted me when I felt that something was unfair or stacked against me, even if I am the most qualified for something.

8.“Treat girls like you would want your sister to be treated”

I may argue with my sister occasionally, but will always hold a high standard to how others treat her. This reminder to keep myself to such a standard when treating others a certain way makes me a better person.

9.“It will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright in the end”

A lesson my father harps on, this phrase that you need to keep on keeping on at times offers the key lesson that sometimes you just need to trust things are going to workout.

10. Look at life with a glass half-full attitude

My father is an incredibly practical man, and while he likes to prepare for the worst, he always hopes for the best. In a world that can constantly disappoint us, it is important to remember that life is a lot easier and more fun if we hope for the best


It's all of these pieces of knowledge, as well as many others, put into action that makes my father such an incredible person. I cannot think of a single person who I have learned more from or want to be more like.

Cover Image Credit: James Neville

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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7 Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me

Your parents have been there from the start, and have no doubt shaped you into the person you are today


I'm so grateful for everything that my parents have done for me. Even more so, I'm incredibly grateful for all of the life lessons over the years. At this point, they've taught me way too many life lessons to list here. However, I thought I'd take the time to write down seven of the most important ones!

1. Be Respectful. 

If there is one thing my dad has instilled in me from a young age, it's to always be respectful. I have always been impressed with my dad's ability to stay cool and calm in situations where that's the last thing anyone would expect from him, and he has taught me the importance of maintaining a respectful and mature attitude, even when life gives you the sourest lemons.

2. Be bold. 

My mom is the coolest woman I know, and she has always taken on life the only way she knows how: with unbelievable boldness and fierceness. Being bold means not being afraid to be different or to stand out, and my mom has taught me how badass it is to be the true version of yourself.

3. Be forgiving. 

Arguments and fights are unavoidable parts of life, and ever since I was little, my dad has consistently reminded me of how important it is to pick your battles. Knowing when it's time to pick up the pieces and move on is essential in order to be a forgiving person, not only to yourself but to others as well.

4. Be generous.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be spoiled by my parents. Not only was I lucky enough to go on vacations and get beautiful gifts around my birthday and holidays, but I was especially lucky enough to be spoiled by my parent's love and kindness. Being generous, not only financially, but with your ability to love and respect other people is something I am so thankful my parents have taught me.

5. Work hard. 

Both my mom and dad are incredibly hard-working people. Growing up, there were times where my dad worked 12-hour days, and my mom juggled work, household chores, and taking care of me. Even though their hard work resulted in some sacrifices, they always did what was best for my sister and I. My parents have naturally pushed me to be a hardworking person in all aspects of my life, and I think it's a very admirable quality.

6. Be kind.

My dad is the type of person who will always stop in an intersection to give money to a homeless person, and my mom is the type of woman to never think twice about sacrificing her own needs to help others. Both my parents have shown me, along with the rest of the world, what it means to be kind and selfless, and I can only hope I will one day be as good at it as they are.

7. Stand up for yourself. 

Before I came to college, I often found myself doing what everyone else wanted me to do. I jumped into things quickly, hoping it would please others and make them like me. However, once I got to college, I quickly called my mom on the phone, crying because I regretted some decisions I had made. My mom told me how important it is to stand up for yourself, learn to say no, and only do the things you really want to do. Learning to live your life for you, and not let other people rule your universe is key to being happy, and I'm fortunate that my mom helped me realize this.

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