This High School Dropout Went to Harvard! Your Life Is Not Over Because You Dropped Out of High School
While Not Recommended, Your Life Is Not Ruined Because You Dropped Out of High School
The message I heard as a young person and which seems to be alive and well today many years later, is that dropping out of high school dooms a person to menial low paying jobs for the rest of their life, if they can even get a job at all.
In this hub, I want to tell you there is hope for high school dropouts and that dropping out of high school is not the end of the world. I want to tell you a little bit about someone I know who turned that phrase “high-school dropout” into a success story. My purpose in telling this story is to give hope to people who may believe that a mistake they made as a teenager has ruined their life forever.
Harvard Law School
Harvard University was founded in 1636, but the Law School was not founded until 1817.
High School Dropouts Can Be Successful
Today that someone I know who dropped out of high school is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School. He dropped out of high school as a sophomore. After that he learned carpentry, how to build cabinets and do trim work, starting when he was only 16 years old. He is a bit of a perfectionist.
When he reached the required age in the state where he lived, he obtained a GED(General education degree which is the equivalent of a high school diploma), which despite what some people want you to believe, is just as good as a high school diploma. It will expand employment opportunities and give a person the ability to attend technical schools, colleges and universities. The someone I am telling you about also worked as a fireman and an EMT (emergency medical technician) for several years before entering the local state university. As you can see, the high school dropout with only a GED was pretty successful even before he attended the university.
Because he accomplished a 4.0 GPA (overall grade point average), the only student graduating in a class of more than 2100 with that distinction, and also got the highest possible score on the L-SAT, the high school dropout I’m telling you about received grants from Harvard Law School that paid for all of his tuition, books, and some living expenses. It had been his dream to graduate from Harvard Law School and he had all but given up on it. Like so many people, he believed it would not be possible to attend any university, much less Harvard Law School, because he had dropped out of high school.
Reading Room at Harvard Law School
High School Dropout Accepted at Harvard Law School!
Let me tell you, a degree from HLS is valuable to anyone who holds one whether they started out as a high school drop out or not. The University of Michigan, also a university with one of the most prestigious law schools in this country, was bidding for this particular high school dropout’s attendance as well. Yale Law School put him on their waiting list.
The year this high school dropout was accepted into Harvard Law School (1991) he was competing against more than 10,000 other applicants for 550 seats in that school. He received his letter of acceptance just 2 weeks after sending his application – on Valentine’s Day.
Grades Matter But Need Not End Your Dreams
Never imagine that grades and test scores do not matter. They can make the difference in not only whether you are accepted at a particular school, but also whether or not you receive the funding to pay for it. This is true regardless of whether you have a high school diploma or a GED. How badly a university wants you as a student determines the financial aid package they offer you.
You may say, “But I could never have grades that good or score that high on such a tough test.” That does not mean your life is over because you dropped out of high school, or because your grades were less than exemplary while you were in school. Even if you are not the world’s best student, you can dare to dream and you can accomplish far more than you may believe you can.
Harvard Law Library at night
You CAN Do It -- Dig Out Your Dreams and Dust Them Off
There are fewer barriers to your dreams than you may think. Henry Ford is quoted as having said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” If anything is holding you back, it is your own beliefs, your own thoughts. If you think you can’t, then like Ford said, you are probably right. What you believe about yourself is extremely powerful.
If you have been buying into the old message that high school dropouts can never amount to anything, or that only people with perfect grades can live their dreams, banish those thoughts. Grades can make a world of difference in the opportunities available to you, but they do not have to mean the situation is hopeless. The reason the tortoise won the race is because he did not give up.
So dig out your dreams from wherever you have buried them, dust them off, and see what you can do to make them come true.
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