This is a question that I’ve asked myself almost every single day whilst growing up as it was something that was drilled into me ever since I was able to construct a sentence. All I remember from my schooling years was sitting in my classes and being told that in order to get somewhere in life – you need to study hard, get a good job and THAT’S how you’ll be successful.
See, for me, this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had 0 interest in school (sorry mum) and I much preferred the excursions in photography where I always got my next Facebook profile picture and I loved mucking around in Drama class. I didn’t care for the square root of pie or what cells my body is made up of – I much preferred to be the class clown and make people laugh. I’m gonna be honest, there were times that I paid people in the currency of hot chips for them to write my essay due the next day simply because school wasn’t for me.
Fast forward to today – I’m 22, have moved out of home and am now live interstate. I’ve travelled the world (sometimes even for FREE), I’ve established my own business and a source of income from just being myself and I work in a job role that in traditional circumstances requires a 4-year tertiary qualification which is something I don’t have. What did I have to offer when I walked into the interview room for the first time? Life experiences which I made happen for myself while not spending half a decade locked away in a classroom, a personality big enough to fill the entire room and the drive to show that I’m just as good (if not better) than all those other applicants who wanted that role.
Am I successful? I’d say so and you know what? That’s okay to say. There’s a huge stigma around talking about your achievements and how it looks like you’re ‘bragging’. Nope, I’m just proud of myself of what I’ve achieved even when for most if my life I was told that if I didn’t follow societies standards of what they deem to be ‘the right life pathway’, I’d be a failure.
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not saying to drop out of Uni and live as a hippy in a van travelling Australia (unless you want to of course, then by all means see-ya later) but what I am saying is that ultimately in the end, you need to do what makes YOU happy. Not what society wants, not what your parents want (I’m looking at you Troy Bolton) and definitely not what your teachers in class want because they get paid to say that stuff, man.
Not everyone has to follow the same path – some of the most successful people never even finished school. Steve Jobs, for example. Make your own path and do what it is that’s going to make you successful by your own standards because at the end of the day, thats literally all that matters.
So the answer to the above question? No.