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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at LUC chapter.


In this day and age, life is all about getting ahead. People my age want to be successful, they want to make money, and they want to change the world. Everyone has a different definition of success.  With that being said, no matter what one’s definition of success is, everyone wants to meet the expectations they have for themselves. I asked five different students’, from Loyola and two other schools (Marquette and Indiana University), what it means to be successful, and the steps that must be taken to reach their goals.

Meet Bree Coffey, Andrew Swanson, Christina Villarreal, and Graham Colwell.


Madison Freeman: What does it take to be successful?


Bree Coffey (Loyola): I think it takes a myriad of things. I think it takes hard work more than anything. If you think you’re working hard, there is definitely someone working harder than you. And you always have to think that way, and try to beat them out. You never stop trying to be the hardest working person in every aspect of the field. The second thing I think it takes is self-reliance. You have to be able to rely on yourself to get things done. There are going to be a lot of times, in all facets of life where you’re not going to have any help. You need to be able to figure things out on your own. Third, is to know when to back down. Sometimes, something isn’t meant to be. It’s essential to know when to give up and put your effort elsewhere. And I think the last thing is passion. You’re never going to be great at something without passion. Put your whole heart into it.  


MF: What does it take to earn success?

Andrew Swanson (Marquette university): I’ve always been told that you just have to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities you earn. I once heard a quote, “how you do anything, is how you do everything,” so just do everything to the best of your ability.

MF: What have you done as a student to ensure that you are successful?

AS: I create what I think are challenging, but realistic goals for myself at the beginning of every semester. I then set “check up” dates throughout the semester where I gauge my progress and see what I can improve on, and where I have bee doing well. Also, I am constantly asking for advice from the people I consider successful in my life. Trying to imitate them and their success, is a big part of learning how to be great.


MF: How does one obtain success?

Christina Villarreal (Loyola): I personally believe that showing up and giving everything your best effort, will push you to become your best self. Those motivated to be engaged with the world, will teach you strengths about yourself. These people will also teach you valuable lessons about the world around you.


(left:Graham Colwell, right: Andrew Swanson)

MF: How do you define being successful?

Graham Collwell (Indiana University): The first thing needed to be successful is to not be complacent with mediocrity. This means that you don’t settle for the minimum, and strive to achieve the most out of every opportunity. Another key to being successful is the ability to prioritize. It is important to evaluate and choose what things are important to you and believe that those things will make you successful. Finally, success requires a large amount of time, effort, and perseverance even when things don’t seem to be going your way. Success can be seen in all aspects of life, and is not always related to your career, or monetary income.


More than just about making money

What I learned talking to my friends, and four of the hardest working students I know, is that success is not just about making money. It is about learning. It is about taking what you learn and striving to create something great. 


“The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”  

– Barack Obama



I am a fourth year student at Loyola University Chicago. I am highly interested in journalism, and social media marketing, especially when it comes to news and fashion. My current experiences consist of sales in different companies throughout the Midwest, such as Ann Taylor and Kate Spade, and editorial work with various companies, including Her Campus and Orange Coast magazine.