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  • Grace Campbell

yours truly, grace

My ability to resist most pressures from deterring me of doing something I want, has been something I pride myself in. That’s probably why when it came to channeling a career path, I felt pressure from angles I didn’t even know existed. Growing up, I always managed to skate by as appearing successful because I had the privilege to try many different things; the age where your pursuits would “really matter” was always in the distant future. I guess it doesn’t really hit you until you’re there, in your freshman dorm room logged into DegreeWorks, forced to make a choice that determines the rest of your life (well, sort of). For the first time, I was ungrateful for my personal strengths. According to the top search of “average salary estimate” on Google, and every “what your college major says about you” TikTok on my fyp, utilizing my talents would lead me to a low starting salary, and therefore a sad, pathetic, and overall unfulfilling life. Right?

I’m embarrassed to say there was a time I really believed this. Not just because it isn’t true, but because I was letting others’ opinions control me and my life choices. Instead of spending my time working on projects to demonstrate my interests and abilities, I was suppressing them further. I would have rather worked towards a goal I didn’t actually have, then to risk appearing foolish to someone who knows nothing about me. And if you knew me or my values regarding my confidence and individuality, I think you’d agree that this was not the path for me to take.

What truly helped me gain the confidence to go after my dreams of a creative career, and to release my pressing fear of failure, was redefining success. We too often let someone’s image of success equate to what “successful” really means, even though most would acknowledge that everyone’s journey and purpose is unique. My definition of success once was once to just be considered accomplished by everyone else, and to be able to provide a satisfying response to the nosy people who nag “what are you going to do with your life?” I now run the rate of my success by the only judge who matters- and that is myself. Redefining success has done much more for me than just lifting the weight of inadequacy off my shoulders. Time I’d usually spend in self-pity is now spent by celebrating small successes. Confirming small wins such as a good grade or scoring an internship opportunity, is far more productive than stalking the same mutual’s LinkdIn a dozen times, trust me.

yours truly,



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