College does not define your future: Personal attributes outweigh a prestigious degree

College does not define your future: Personal attributes outweigh a prestigious degree

Photo credit: Christina Shea

By Christina Shea, Social Media Editor

Over the last four years, thoughts and pressure surrounding college has consumed my brain. Every piece of work I submitted and every activity I did seemed to serve one purpose to get me into the most prestigious college possible. These selective colleges portray the notion that by attending, success is ensured. Yet, as I researched various universities during the college application process, I found that my success in college and beyond will be more so about the skills and attributes I possess than the school itself. Every school has value, but it is what one is willing to seek out and absorb from that university that ensures success. 

Though I have experienced rejection throughout the college application process, I do not see failure. Rather, I see the skill set I have built in high school which will allow me to thrive in any environment. The ability to reach out for help, serve as a leader, and pursue opportunities is beneficial to any further schooling no matter the ranking. Those are the factors that make students stand out amongst others and display their drive to utilize all the resources they are given. This skill set is ultimately the best thing one can possess as it is necessary for any career path whereas an Ivy League degree is not. 

After college, employers are not so much looking for where your degree is from or even your college grade point, but what you will bring to the job. Education is only half of that. A willingness to learn and work your hardest is really what they want in an employee. These personal attributes are something a college cannot provide. They can only come from within yourself. While there is no doubt that a highly ranked college degree is impressive on a job application or in an interview, without those personal traits of self-motivation and determination, it means practically nothing. A degree may define your education, but it does not define your success. 

College has always seemed like the end-all-be-all. Though with the realization that I am the only thing that can determine my future, I have found comfort. I am able to disregard the rejections and acceptances and focus on the skills and personal factors that will truly impact my future.