Success about more than popularity, sports

Sunday , May 14, 2017 - 12:00 AM

TX. Correspondent

How is success defined in high school? That depends on what kind of success — social or academic?

Social success is typically defined by how many people say “Hi” when they pass you in the hallway, how many events you are invited to, who you sit with at lunch, the list goes on. Academic success is more about how often you raise your hand in class, what shape the ink is in on your report card, the number of college-level classes and tests you take in high school, and more.

But wait; there are other kinds of success besides just social and academic in high school. There is athletic success, creative success, relationship success, personal success, and so on.

With so many ways to succeed and so many different levels of expectations, is it even possible to determine a method of measuring success? Maybe not.

To your parents, perhaps a “B” is a great achievement, but to your friends’ parents, a “B” is a huge disappointment. Maybe your best friend is praised just for making the team, but your brother is scolded for not making more points.

So there is one way to define success, though it is not universal: How well we measure up to the expectations of those around us. If we are not making our coaches, teachers, parents and friends happy, it is easy to feel like a failure.

However, that is an interesting definition because what you may feel is failing would be, to someone else, succeeding. And yet what others think of us is how we measure success in the workplace, our homes, schools, and even just walking down the street. The letters on our report cards and the score on the board at the end of the night are one way to measure success, but the way others react to those numbers and letters is what affect us most.

Of course it is good to be pushed to do your best and reach your potential, but do not forget that you need to set your own realistic goals for success. Sometimes when you are juggling a job, family responsibilities, a demanding academic schedule, relationships and other things, it can be hard to have enough time to study for hours to get those perfect grades.

If you feel you do not fit that definition of success — maybe you think you are not smart enough or popular enough — think about everything you are doing and if it is even possible to do more. Chances are, you are successful; you have just been setting your expectations higher than the sun. So, congratulations!

School is almost out and whether you are finally leaving high school or just about to begin, make sure you know what success means to you and decide what you are willing to do to reach that, keeping in mind that setting the bar too high or relying too much on what others expect can mean having a difficult time reaching success.

You are more than capable of being successful in high school as long as you know that success means reaching your goals — not others’.

Courtney Kendrick is a senior at Clearfield High School. Her many interests include literature, music, spending time with friends and sleeping in her rare spare time. Contact her at

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