Assignment: Defining Success

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a personal definition of success and explain how grades play a role in shaping success in college

For this activity, create your own definition of success. Dictionary.com defines success as “the favorable outcome of something attempted.” For many students in college, success means passing a class, earning an A, or learning something new. Beyond college, some people define success in terms of financial wealth; others measure it by the quality of their relationships with family and friends.

Here is an example of a brief, philosophical definition of success:

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ultimately, before we can know if we are successful, we must first define what success means for ourselves.

Directions

Develop a 750-word essay defining what success means to you in college and beyond. To help you develop this essay, you might want to consider the following:

  • Find a quote (or make one up) that best summarizes your definition of success (be sure to cite the author and the source, such as the URL).
  • Why does this quote best represent your personal definition success?
  • What people do you consider to be successful and why?
  • What is your definition of success?
  • What will you do to achieve success?
  • What is the biggest change you need to make in order to be successful in college?
  • How will you know you’ve achieved success?

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