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On Dropping Out

For a book called The Dropout Manifesto, I haven’t encouraged you to drop out of high school or college as much as you might have expected. The thing is, dropping out isn’t about leaving school or the institution—it’s about dropping out of the idea that the institution is our only path to success.

In the end, this was all for you, dammit. I wrote this for you: the dropout. You made it all the way through this book to this page and absorbed every bit of knowledge that you could from these pages. You’re one of us. You’re a dropout, whether or not you decide to graduate high school, college, or get a PhD.

You’ll always be a dropout: one who goes against the grain, one who tries to do things differently, one who thinks they can make it happen against all odds.

I don’t want you to drop out of school. I’d like to see you graduate. I’d like to see you go get a degree and make your parents proud. I really would.

However, I’d much rather see you succeed. I’d much rather see you prove your doubters wrong. I want you to be able to lay on your death bed and say that you did it. You lived a great life. By dropping out. By doing things your way, even if it meant you were reasonably defiant. That’ll take a whole lot more than just a degree or a diploma.