How To Actually Measure Success in College

Measuring Success In College Can Be Tough: Thoughts From A Current Sophomore

You shouldn't be placing your success on your final class grades

By Madyson Bryan

We all just want to be successful, right?

When I say successful I don't mean how much money you have, how many awards, how many A's, or bonuses. I mean happiness- the wealth in abundance of learning and understanding, of overcoming obstacles, of moments that stick with you, take your breath away, warm your heart- or even crush it.

To me, this is a true success, when you can balance your energy, make time for yourself, and love being alone with yourself too.

Success is experience, and mistakes, and learning, and living.

Now, this idea is very easy to lose sight of through the busyness of life, through school, through tedious routines, through failures.

So many times in college I also hear people stake everything on their grades, on how well a teacher likes them- I fall victim to this a lot- believing that my value is determined by the amount of time I am 'busy' getting things done, or over a GPA, a critique, or even caring deeply about what others think of me and hoping to get some sort of approval.

It is so easy to get caught up in the week to week or month to month activities that we often forget the longterm goal- that there really is no deadline or 'end'! The emphasis of our energy should be placed on trying our very best always, and not punishing ourselves for our failures- and learning from them.

We have to grant ourselves space and time to learn, heal, and grow.

I'm not saying "don't try," or that accomplishments and good grades shouldn't be celebrated- because they should. Just know that if you aren't there yet, it's going to be okay. Some people might be in chapter 5 when you're in chapter 1, but don't let that discourage you.

With the end of the semester coming near, don't lose sight of what's really important, don't lose sight of yourself, set goals and follow your dreams, but don't punish yourself if, and when, things don't happen overnight.

Be more kind to yourself, more empathetic, forgiving, and loving. Take study breaks. Go outside. Paint. Sit with a friend. Write. Relish in the simple things.

Never forget you have your whole life ahead of you! So take a deep breath, look in the mirror, and know that you are successful and that this is but one chapter of your book.... :)

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