Defining ‘accomplishment’ for Daisies

Success can have more than one meaning


Graphic by Zariah Arrington

At a rigorous academic institution like Hockaday, the idea of “success” is pushed onto every student. Often we can forget that success is an abstract idea, and everyone has a different idea of what makes them successful. 

Whether it’s in math or science or performing arts, every student at Hockaday has unique talents that can shape their future. 

It’s often easy to judge each other’s talents or rank one as more useful for success in the future than another  – such as saying a mathematician is intrinsically more talented than an artist – but the truth is, we can’t define success so narrowly. Each individual has a definition of success, and we as a community should promote and encourage everyone’s success, no matter what field it’s in.

Nowadays, it seems as if all anyone cares about is how many internships you have or what college you’re going to. However, this viewpoint can sometimes forget about those people who aren’t necessarily planning on going to top-tier universities, either out of a lack of interest or some other situation. 

At Hockaday, we have students with a wide variety of skill sets. As a school, we pride ourselves on encouraging young women to be the best, most successful version of themselves. This is evident in the paths some of our alumnae have taken after graduation.

Our alumnae have proven that the path to success isn’t always as simple as it seems. Holland Roden ‘05 went on to star in shows such as “Teen Wolf” and “Lost” while Lisa Loeb ‘86 became a famous singer. Other Hockaday graduates have gone on to own art galleries, edit magazines, and compete in national-level athletics. Our history has proven we cannot quantify or constrict different ideas of achievement.

Unfortunately, during the hustle and bustle of the school year, we can lose sight of what makes someone successful – sometimes it isn’t about winning the Nobel Peace Prize or a Grammy. 

We should celebrate the little things in life, like getting an A on a paper or acing a math test. Receiving a grade we don’t like isn’t the end of our path to success – everyone has the potential to be successful, regardless of the obstacles in our paths.

So next time, before judging a peer for how “successful” they are, remember that their version of accomplishment in life may be different from yours. We all have different paths in life, and our success isn’t determined by other people’s opinions of us.