What Makes People Great
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What Makes People Great

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What Makes People Great

I believe that college is our last shot at growing up. We can choose to take responsibility for our lives, or continue to shrug it off.

College is meant to be the best experience of your life, but sometimes I think it may be for the wrong reasons. We tend to get caught up in our social lives and make choices that take us a step backwards from our goals. For most of us, we may not have tried too hard in high school, but we still had big dreams. College is our chance to make those dreams a reality, but it takes commitment and sacrifice. Prioritizing and following our principles are the keys to our success. I’m a firm believer that most people are content with being good, but some are meant to be great. It’s not determined at birth, or how you were raised, but by the decisions you make every day. Do you live in the moment, or are you concerned with how you stack up against your peers? Do you define yourself by your motivation and will, or by your insecurities? We can endlessly ponder these questions and try to come up with a formula for determining success, but it’s not that simple. It depends on what you value most in life. I can’t tell you how to become successful, but I can give you tips on how to live a better, more fulfilling life.

1. Pursue a major that you are passionate about. Coming into college, my high school teachers had brainwashed me into doing engineering. The job prospects are high, along with the starting salary, but not everybody, including myself, is meant to become an engineer. Find something that highlights your academic strengths and brings out the best in you. A degree and career that make you happy are worth far more than anything money could buy.

2. Be involved. Whether it be within your fraternity or sorority or through another organization, you can pick up important life skills that can’t be taught in a classroom. Keeping yourself busy will help you to better budget your time and avoid the things that detract from your goals. You will greatly expand your network of friends, and who knows when those connections will help you down the road. 

3. Surround yourself with uplifting, supportive people. College is too short to waste any time worrying about impressing people and fitting in with the crowd. If someone is constantly putting you down, why would you even give them the time of day when there are plenty of other people out there who would treat you with respect and courtesy? You deserve friends who motivate you and bring out your very best. 

4. Don’t give up on your dreams.They can be modified and changed, but having something to work towards will keep you on your toes. Goal-oriented people are the ones who are going to change the world. Where there’s a will there’s a way; you just need to convince yourself that you have it in you. 

5. Do not let Greek life get the best of you. It’s not worth putting your social life ahead of your schoolwork, exercising, other club commitments, and personal leisure time. The parties are always going to be there. Prioritizing and organization will help you to reach your goals while you still thoroughly enjoy the experience of being in a fraternity or sorority.    

6. Let you be you. You’re special in your own way, and don’t be afraid to express that. Live to please yourself and satisfy your own desires. Worrying about others’ expectations of you will bring out your insecurities instead of your strengths. 

7. Don’t second-guess yourself. When an opportunity arises, if you feel it in your gut, trust it and take advantage. It’s a risk, but you’ll feel confident because you trusted your instincts. Nobody wants to live with regrets.  

8. Persevere through the tough times. Things aren’t always going to go your way. Life is going to punch you in the gut and make things a little chaotic occasionally. How we react to setbacks is what shows our true character and grit. Whether your test didn’t go as well as you wanted or you got in a fight with your best friend, keep your head on straight and move forward. As celebrated author Og Mandino once said,  “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet it I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” 

9. Know that your best is all you've got. Once you accept that, you can never be disappointed in yourself. We all have talents and weaknesses. Understanding what yours are will bring closure to your life and enable you to focus on more important things.  

10. Take responsibility for your life. Nobody is going to hold your hand as you immerse yourself in the real world. The decisions you make now, while you have a taste of independence, will foreshadow the ones you make when you’re completely on your own. Stop waiting around and make your own success happen.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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