I Don't Want Success by Lauren

Lauren's entry into Varsity Tutor's February 2021 scholarship contest

Congratulations to our scholarship winner!
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Lauren Crowhurst
February 2021

I Don't Want Success by Lauren - February 2021 Scholarship Essay

When the typical high school or college student thinks of their future success, what comes to mind is job stability, wealth, and the chance to climb the ladder to bigger and better things. I don't want that. College and graduate students are always looking toward the future with high hopes. Most of the time, they are very career driven, and they should be- they are paying to go to school after all. It is important for students to aim for success in college because it better prepares them for their future success. However, this traditional view of future success- the money, the fancy job title and fancier car -is what I have a problem with. Success in college and/or graduate school means something entirely different to me.
When I graduate and settle into my professional career, I do not want to come home from work every day feeling drained and empty, unable to fully enjoy the company of my family at home. I do not want to fall into bed every night exhausted, only to get up and start my tiresome routine all over again. I do not want to drive my fancy car off to work at my fancy job and come back home to my fancy house. I do not want to suck up to my superiors in the hopes of getting a promotion for a job I do not enjoy. The traditional definition of career success in a student's mind encompasses these things. But the truth is, life is not about wealth and climbing the corporate ladder. It is about finding joy in fulfilling the purpose that each person was made for.
My goal, my version of success as a college student, is like many others in that it is future and career oriented. But that is where the similarities stop. Rather than finding the future that gives me the biggest paycheck, I want to find what fills me up. True success is a career that brings personal satisfaction, contentment, and fulfills my individual purpose. I want to find the job that does not feel like work, even if it does not pay enough for me to have a big house or fancy car. I want to impact others for the better, and I want to make a difference in the world. I would hope that this is others' goal too, and that I can inspire other college students to step away from the idea of success in college being the "get rich" lifestyle of a prestigious future career.
Success in college and graduate school is all about finishing strong. This is the time in a person's life when they can explore different subjects and find what really inspires them. A successful college experience is not always one that leads to a prestigious job offer. Success in college is graduating with a clear purpose, an idea of what kind of job does not actually feel like work. Success in college leads to success in life, and the fulfillment of one's purpose. Every person is unique and able to find what brings them joy in life. As I travel through my college career, my focus will be on finding my unique niche. I hope that by the time I graduate, I will have explored my options and chosen the career path that I was meant for, one that will bring me joy and contentment throughout my life. So no, I do not want success as the world defines it. I want success as I define it.