Aaliyah McMillian November 3, 2011



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Aaliyah McMillian

November 3, 2011

Definition Essay

Honors English II

The definition of success in High School

What is success? The definition of success is the gaining of fame or prosperity. Or obsolete, a result or an outcome. The most common definition of success is the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. That definition, I think strays more toward the aspect of success in high school. I think the three ingredients of success in high school is being honest/ask questions, remaining determined, and setting limits.

I used to tell myself all the time “I can do it” or “That seems easy enough.” The phrases I spoke to myself were all blatant lies. Saying those words to myself made me feel better about not knowing what to do. I didn’t want to ask questions because I felt people would feel I was stupid. I now know I was stupid for not asking. Not being honest with myself hurt my chances for success. I’ve failed my classes before. The reason was because I never liked to ask questions or get help. All of my peers in my class knew the information and how to do it. I was scared, terrified even, that they would think I was dumb. When I began asking questions my grades improved. I went from F’s to A’s. I now know that asking questions doesn’t make me stupid. Knowing that you can’t do something and being honest with yourself is a big path in gaining success. Don’t ever lie to yourself; it can hurt you in the long run.

You must not only be honest or ask questions to win success; you have to be determined as well. But, what is determination? Determinations to me means don’t ever give up. Most of us in life set goals for ourselves. When we were younger most of us would have said “When I grow up I want to be a firefighter, policemen, doctor, president, or astronaut.” Those were just child dreams back then, but when we start to set goals we start to think of a career path we want to take. If you are determined to get that job and go into that career path you have to stay focused and do it. With the career path I want to take I am very determined and I know that if I try my hardest it will reward me. The classes that I take now are a pathway to my success. If you want something bad enough you will try and work your hardest until you get it. No matter what anyone says, you can be the best. If someone says you can’t do something, don’t listen to their taunts. Be determined to be the best you can be.



Of course you must be honest with yourself, ask questions, and be determined, but I think the most important factor of success is setting limits. To understand success you must know your limits. IF you can’t achieve something at the moment that doesn’t mean you ever will. No, it just means you’re not ready at the time. I had to learn this the hard way. I used to do so many activities that it would take up all of my free time and stress me out. I would try out for sports, audition for plays, student government, and band. On top of that I had to tackle my core classes. It was very tiring and I was always on the move. I never limited myself. I learned from that. Now I only do marching band and I’m slowly working my way up to do other things, such as club activities. Now that I limit myself my schedule isn’t as top heavy anymore and I can still balance my school work with band. Learn to limit yourself and don’t force too much on your plate that you can’t handle. It’s ok to say no.

Do your thing and be you. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re a failure. As long as you’re trying your best and you are improving you will be successful. Follow your heart and the three ingredients. If you follow the three steps I know you’ll be successful in high school.

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