When failure now equals success later

Student urges peers to remember education is more than book learning

Luke Zack, Guest Writer

Luke Zack is a 5th year pharmacy student and has a minor in chemistry. On campus, he has done biochemistry research, helped co-found the Wilkes University Industry Pharmacist Organization and Teach Assisted in Medical Anatomy and Physiology. He is currently employed by Noven Pharmaceuticals which is located in the Empire State Building in Manhattan. Luke absolutely loves to read and write, and he enjoys using this skill to help others realize their full potential.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”- Mark Twain

Dear Students,

You might have been fed a lie. The lie is that if you study hard in school, get good grades, get into college and get a degree, then your success in life is guaranteed.

This statement might have been true 50 years ago, but not today. In fact a four year college degree is now becoming the new high school diploma.

Almost everyone has one.

Not only that, but there is little evidence that grades bear any causal relationship at all to real-world  results, success, achievement or satisfaction in life.

So what’s the deal? Well today, things are different, which means you must become different.

As stated above, there is little causal connection between academic grades  and future success and/or satisfaction. To further that argument, you can even suggest that college does not teach you to be a responsible adult.

Does this mean I am recommending that you blow off your classes and school?

No, not at all. In fact, I believe grades are correlated with work ethic.

What I am trying to do here is make an important point that may lead you to a better life with greater job satisfaction. It is something I wish someone told me earlier in my educational career. But why do I have the right to tell you any of this?

Well, this past year I have had two internships in New York City related to the pharmaceutical industry. These experiences in the city have shown me that no matter where you are in life, no matter what your age, or life circumstances, you can still strive to achieve more, to make a greater impact and to aim for higher dreams.

If you have the will and drive to better yourself, you usually can, no matter how much (or little) education you have.

With these internships, I got to see and experience what working in the real world was like. I got to see, do and live with the millions of others in our nation’s largest city.

These experiences I had in the city were tremendously insightful. They permitted me to compare and contrast the real world to the working world, and what I learned was incredible and somewhat scary. It is something that I desperately need to share with other students so they can be guided correctly.

With experimentation, and talking to hundreds of people, I have established a conclusion related to my success and the achievement of others.

I have discovered that real success does not depend on grades, but something else, courses you cannot graduate from.

Real success has to do with your drive, your initiative, your persistence, your ability to make a contribution to other people’s lives, your ability to come up with good ideas and pitch them to others effectively.

Success comes from your charisma, your ability to navigate through social networks and an unwavering belief in your own eventual triumph, no matter the amount of failures in your life, and no matter what the naysayers tell you.

Unfortunately, these things I just mentioned are not taught in college. College does not teach you how to deal with failure. And guess what, failure is much more prevalent than success will ever be, so you must learn to embrace it and use it as a learning tool.

From this internship over winter break, one of my coworkers mentioned that, “We all know everyone is really equivalent once they are done with school. “We all know we can probably teach them anything. What it comes down to is soft skills. We need to know if we can really work with this person and actually be friends with them.”

My advice: Take action! Get yourself out there; work in the field you are studying now.  Educate yourself in soft skills. Meet people in your trade and communicate with them frequently.

Look for ways to take risks, to innovate and to make a difference. Failure is necessary for learning!

Understand that all experience comes from mistakes, and mastery comes from taking action on those mistakes to correct them.

With that said, I will leave you with these words of wisdom. Don’t wait for the time to be right, it never will be. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect, it won’t be. Don’t wait until you learn just a little more.

There’s always more to learn.

Never Settle,

-Luke Zack