The ambiguity of the term “success” can lead high school students and their parents to define it in a number of ways. Whether it be when getting straight A’s, making the varsity team, or gaining acceptance into the top Ivy League. How do high school students actually define the success that everyone is trying to achieve?
With numerous self-help books and articles outlining the process of being successful or examining the genetics behind one’s own accomplishments, being successful seems simple, almost inevitable. However, if everyone has an individual goal that they are aiming to meet while respecting their parents wishes, how can anyone actually define success for any individual, other than themselves?
Beckman student Daniel Botts concluded that “success is having good grades and getting into a good college, but to my parents, success also includes activities outside of school.”
In terms of high school students, from an educator’s perspective, success may be when their students all pass their classes, or get A’s on the final. To a parent, success could be when their high schooler makes the honor roll. Students peers may decide that success is growing up to be rich and famous, while others disagree because they think that they will be successful when they have a family and established career.
Considering that everyone defines success differently, how does one exactly achieve said success? In life: is it about money, raising a large family, being the CEO of a major company, or simply being happy wherever one is at in life? In high school, is success balancing school and a social life, being the star athlete, or meeting parents goals and standards? If individuals do not follow the path to success set out in front of them, are they then deemed failures?
“Success isn’t how much money you make or how big your house is. Success is having family, friends and happiness; regardless of you social status or what others think of you,” said Beckman student Josh Schlesinger.
“If someone is constantly pushed down, constantly rejected, but manage to get up again and keep pushing towards their dreams and ambitions, then they have been successful,” commented Katie Johnson, a student at Tesoro High School. Her mom, Debbie Johnson weighed in, “It’s about always giving it your best, and then re-evaluating goals and changing direction when you have steered off the beaten path.”
The point is, there is no right or wrong in defining success. The subjective term is different for each person in their lifetime as they strive for different goals. You may view success differently from your parents and friends, and vice versa.
The important thing to remember is to not let anyone bring others down because of “success” or “failure”. Success can equate to many different things, but only the individual can determine whether they have truly been successful, and know what is best for themselves on their journey. How do you define success?