In it to win it: college success skills

By James-Brandon S. Christopher

Many people begin their college careers with a preconceived idea of where they would like to be once they have completed their college career. Between choosing majors and choosing which clubs and organizations to join, there are many tough decisions to make regarding your college career.

What a lot of students do not realize, however, is that their path to personal satisfaction in life is chosen only by themselves.

There are certain pre-requisites to most industries, but everything else in college is determined by what you make it. A lot of different conflicting ideas and situations may present themselves during this 4 – more or less – year journey.

Often times, beginning with your best foot forward is how you will be able to best get on your path to your definition of success. While one could argue that this best foot is preparation, I would argue that starting with your best foot forward begins with starting with something that you are truly passionate about. Having priorities that reflect one’s internal register is important, as international relations major and senior Gordie Nash notes.

“I have found that I have the greatest success when the goals I set accurately reflect my priorities and beliefs,” Nash said.

Being able to be a part of something that aligns with everything that you believe in allows you to become more passionate about you are doing. Being able to have this balance will turn what others call work or a chore into a good time for the right person. However, these goals need to have some relation to reality.

“[Goals] must also be realistic,” Nash said.

Setting a goal to make a million dollars in one month is a goal that most people would not be able to make happen, so it is important to assess what a realistic goal would be when you begin on any kind of project.

When deciding what major you want to be, you should go with what interests you. Sometimes, this means not making a decision at all, according to sophomore Will Ewart.

“I am an undeclared major, but I make my decisions based on what interests me,” said Ewart.

People may not always know what their exact beliefs are, but if they choose what interests them, they are bound to do well. Many Pre-Med (and other pre-professional) students later realize that this is the approach that they should have taken with their college careers.

Many people choose majors simply because they feel that graduate school will appreciate these majors more than any other. This gets a lot of students in trouble because they take on majors and classes that do not interest them and do poorly as a result. What many students can do is choose a major that truly interests them, and take the pre-requisites required by the grad schools of their choice. This will most likely lead to a higher GPA as well as allowing one to stand out amongst a bunch of applicants that all chose the same major.

Not falling short of your goals because of any external factor is also very important, and choosing success is how you get past these moments in life. Not only this but not quitting when things get hard is also a key to making this happen. Communication studies major and junior Farrah Coltrain knows that reaching your goals isn’t always easy.

“Success is never handed to anyone,” Coltrain said. “Success is attainable for any person who puts their mind and efforts into achieving their personal goals.”

Things are bound to come up in anyone’s life, but what you do about these unexpected issues is more important than the issue itself. Make it happen for yourself, and you are certain to find that you have made decisions that have made your college career successful.