7 Secrets to Success from the Women of Oglethorpe University

When the Girl Talk Teen Advisory Board visited Oglethorpe University, we got schooled in success by some of the incredible women of the Oglethorpe’s faculty and administration.

Most importantly, we learned that success is whatever you define “success” as, whether it means doing what you love, having the salary to support the kind of life you want to live, or doing/having/being whatever else your definition includes to create a life that makes you happy.

Here are some other secrets they shared with us…

  1. College is hard, period. When choosing a major or starting out on a career path, do what comes easily or naturally to you, either because you’re good at it, or because you love it.
  2. Balance passion and practicality. Your definition of success will help you figure out what to pursue, and how to balance passion and practicality to pursue it in order to achieve the kind of life and happiness you want.
  3. Trust and be open to your mentors. A good mentor is someone who can see a bigger picture and see things that you may not be able to see. A good mentee is open to listening and considering those things, even when they are wholly unexpected qualities in yourself or possibilities for your life.
  4. It’s OK to question or doubt your passions. “You fall in and out of love with your passions.” (Dr. Amanda Printz Whooley, speaking from experience.) While that’s true, it is not necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean that your passion is wrong for you or that you aren’t supposed to follow it.
  5. Perfectionists, you don’t have to be great at everything you do. One more time for the people in the back. You don’t. In fact, you’re holding yourself back if you think you can’t do something until you’re perfect at it. And, just because you’re good at something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it.
  6. Your uniqueness is what makes you valuable and outstanding. Whether you’re applying for a job or internship or applying for college, there is something unique about you, your experiences, and your skills, that is more powerful and communicates more than any resume buzzword.
  7. You are your best resource. Every time.

Thank you to Dean Michelle Hall, Dr. Sarah Terry, Dr. Amanda Printz Whooley, and Dr. Beth Concepcion for the wisdom, inspiration, reality checks, and real talk. You are Leadership Defined.