By Edward Rickford, History and Political Science, May 2016
I have been asked to define success many times throughout my life but I think the most memorable occasion happened towards the end of college. I was part of a speech panel and I was asked point blank to define success. I answered that success is when the happiness of an individual benefits others. I stand by that definition today.
I have a ways to go before I am successful but I feel confident that I am on the right path. GW has played a key role in putting me on that path, something I will always be grateful for. For many GW students, the opportunities provided by the school are unique to DC. To some degree, this is true for me even though I have never interned at Congress, the White House, or any other DC establishment of a similar stature. Nonetheless, I still feel like I have gained quite a bit from going to school in DC. Something about DC attracts a certain type of individual—that person with an intense interest in the world around them, that person that just has to understand the complex issues of the day. There is a reason after all that organizations like The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) are founded at GW even though there are plenty of other great schools all around the country.
Simply put, the people that attend GW make for ideal classmates. In many ways, I feel that I owe many of my achievements in academia to GW. Had I gone to school elsewhere, I doubt I would have qualified for membership in organizations like NSCS. Being a part of this organization has not only introduced me to some great people but also introduced me to some great opportunities.
My internship at NSCS has helped a great deal with making college more affordable and giving me a leg up when it comes to job applications. I am proud to be a part of an organization that recognizes and elevates high achievers and I am grateful to be a student at a school that produces so many high achievers. The path to success can be long, and arduous even, but I am confident that GW has helped prepare me for that journey.