My mother dropped out her freshmen year of high school.
My dad dropped out in second grade. My grandparents on both sides of my family never went to school, let alone learned how to read or write. I come from a family of dropouts, yet those are the human beings I idolize the most.
Growing up, I would ask my parents for help on my homework assignments and time and time again they would try to help me, yet they never succeeded. They tried though, and as I grew up, I began to realize that my parents were unable to help me because they legitimately did not know how to do science projects, math problems, and so on.
Knowing that my parents were unable to help me, I stopped asking for their help and would work through my assignments on my own from a young age.
Now, as a double degree student from Washington State University, I have a vast amount of education and experience, yet I find myself always going to my parents and grandparents for advice in education and life in general. I idolize these dropouts more than someone would idolize me as a double degree recipient with other certifications from a 4-year university, and here's why.
1. Money is important, but money isn't everything
They taught me that it is important to be frugal and save your money but to also realize that money can't buy you happiness. Always balance money and you will live a better life.
2. A title means nothing
Treat the janitor exactly the same way you'd treat the CEO. A title is nothing. My family members range from janitors to bosses of a family business. Never be disrespectful to those just because of a title. In the end, character is more important.
3. Never take advantage of someone's kindness
Kindness is rare in this day in age, not because no one is kind, but because many people put walls up to protect themselves from those who take advantage of kindness.
4. Don't ever assume you are entitled to anything
One big lesson from my school drop out role models is that you should never assume you are entitled to anything. You need to be humble and confident, but work for what you want.
5. Trust your gut
If all else fails, trust your gut. Situations can seem ideal but don't be foolish. Trust your gut when things seem to good to be true.
6. Never follow the crowd
Being independent is something I learned from my role models and has very much helped me in many situations throughout my life. Following the crowd doesn't always go well. Be sure to remember that you are unique, even if the popular vote does not agree with you, don't worry about it and be confident in your decisions.
7. Never let anyone tell you what you can or can't achieve because you can do anything you set your mind to.
With being independent and confident comes with being able to have a good head on your shoulders. Be a person that does not need praise every time you do something. Be the person that works hard even without an audience. Let your success make the noise.
8. And my favorite — never forget where you came from
It's important to follow your dreams to succeed in life and create your own path, but always remember no matter where you go and what you do to stay humble and kind and always remember where you came from. As a double degree recipient who has had many of my own success, experiences, and life lessons learned along the way, this lesson has stuck close to my heart because as I move forward I like to think of myself as another successful product that high school dropouts have created.
In the end, the school dropouts I idolize have been successful in everything they set their minds to and have worked really hard to get where they are today. They have created a strong foundation for their family and have shown the family's younger generation much more than lessons taught out of a textbook, and for that I am truly greatful.