How do you define college success? The definition really depends on you. You might think that “success” is earning an associate’s degree or attending classes in a four-year college. Maybe success is a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a PhD. Maybe success means receiving a certificate of completion or finishing skill-based training.
You might be thinking of other measures of college success, too—like grades. For instance, you might be unhappy with anything less than an A in a course, although maybe this depends on the difficulty of the subject. As long as you pass with a C, you might be perfectly content. But no matter how you define success personally, you probably wouldn’t think it means earning a D or lower grade in a class.
To help you start to define what success means to you, take this quick self-assessment about your college goals and beyond. How many of these items are important to you?
|I Want to Be Able to . . .||YES||NO|
|Change my major during my college years|
|Have good relationships with my professors|
|Be eligible for financial aid|
|Be eligible for scholarships|
|Get reductions on my car insurance|
|Prove to my employer that I can work hard|
|Keep my parents happy|
|Make connections to get a job after graduation|
Finally, consider that we can’t be successful all the time at everything. We have to balance our energy and our focus, to get what we really want. The following video stresses the external factors that shape what we consider “success” as a society, and encourages us to think beyond these factors to determine what it really is that motivates us, personally–what we hope will define us, and our value, to others.