The 5 Major Aspects of a Successful Life In and Out of College | Teen Ink

The 5 Major Aspects of a Successful Life In and Out of College

January 18, 2022
By SethFrendel GOLD, New City, New York
SethFrendel GOLD, New City, New York
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never be comfortable with just good enough."- Ray Lewis.

My plan for the future goes as follows: Graduate from High School, Graduate from College, Be making 6 figures within 10 years of graduating. I like to think that I hold myself to a much higher standard than most people. I strive to be the best in almost everything I do and I never take “no” for an answer. I believe that I can make an impact in the world because of my ability to take action and my desire to be the best. However, the only way I can be able to accomplish my future goals is with the proper guidance from the highest level of education. Today I will be discussing the 5 major aspects of the college experience that will be essential for me to have a successful life and career once I graduate. The 5 aspects go as follows: Major/Course Study, Sports, Location, Tuition Cost, and Campus Life. I believe that being able to experience these aspects to the highest degree will be more than helpful in steering me in the right direction towards making my dent in the world. I will be investigating the 3 schools that intrigue me the most with their status amongst the 5 major aspects of a successful life out of college. In order, my top 3 schools as of right now are Arizona State University, The University of Iowa, and The University of Arizona. Each of these schools is unique in its own way and offers its own, unique college experience. However, I will be looking into which of the 3 will provide me with the necessities I will need to acquire in order to obtain the high status I strive so intensely to achieve.   

What I believe to be the most important of the 5 major aspects of a successful life out of college is the area of study one chooses to endeavor. Some people choose to go into college with an undecided major, which may work for them, but I believe that it is vital to have a plan for your future. I have already decided what I want to pursue as a career. As an avid sports fan and an accomplished athlete, and with a hidden talent for writing, I have decided that I see myself working at a sports media titan such as ESPN or Barstool as a sportswriter. When I unsheath my pen and start writing, thoughts and ideas start pouring into my head and out onto the sheet of paper. I believe that I will be able to achieve my goals with only the best professors helping me improve to become the best version of myself. Although the amount of stress that goes with being a sportswriter may seem frightening to most people, I think that I am the type of person to look a challenge dead in the eyes and spit in its face. I would like to learn from others who go at challenges in the same way that I do. 

The first college I will be investigating is Arizona State University. ASU has a wide variety of very strong academic programs. Students take pride in the fact that ASU is home to one of the best journalism schools in the country, as well as a highly touted business school and an excellent engineering program. Additionally, for the past 7 years, U.S. News and World Report have named Arizona State University as the #1 school for innovation ahead of MIT and Stanford. As an aspiring sportswriter, and with ASU being my dream school, nothing excites me more than hearing that joining ASU’s journalism program would mean that I would be in the ranks of nationally recognized sports media personnel. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has been the home to some of the most famous sportswriters, journalists, and broadcasters in the world. Industry icons such as Al Michaels, who gave an iconic broadcasting performance during the semifinal hockey game of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, is ASU Cronkite alumni. Another thing that stands out to me is the fact that for most of the decade, Arizona State has been named as the #1 school for innovation in the country. As an extremely creative and innovative individual, I like to find the most unconventional ways to achieve my goals in life. At ASU, I would be allowed to be the most creative and innovative I can possibly be to make my impression on the world. 

The second college I will be investigating is The University of Iowa. The U of I is home to various fields of study, but none are more highly praised than its writing programs. “The Writing University”, as it is called, has produced more than 40 Pulitzer Prize Award winners, 7 U.S. Poets Laureate Consultants, and countless other award-winning journalists, screenwriters, and novelists. One of the most famous sports media personalities to have graduated from The University of Iowa is Milo Hamilton, who narrated Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th career home run and in 1992 was the recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award given to the broadcaster that provides major contributions to the sport. Of the 5061 students who applied to the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 2013 to 2017, only 135 students were admitted(2.7%). In 2021, Harvard admitted 5% of its writing program’s applicants. The fact that the overall most prestigious university in America accepted more students into its program shows just how hard it is to get into The University of Iowa’s program.  

The third college I will be investigating is The University of Arizona. The U of A offers 321 majors for students to choose from. Majors range from Veterinarian practices to Criminal Justice studies. Although it isn’t as well known as the previous 2, The University of Arizona does offer a writing program.

As an aspiring sportswriter, I would find it a lot easier to write about a successful sports team. As an avid sports fan, I would like to watch a winning team rather than a losing team. Not only is a winning sports team fun to watch, but they also tend to boost the morale of the entire student body. When a team is winning, spirits are high, people are more friendly, and everyone is happy. I know from my own experiences how it feels to be both a winner and a loser, and I choose to be a winner every time. Also, the more successful a team is, the amount of fans that attend games goes up. I think that being at a school with successful sports teams is highly beneficial for the emotions of an individual because no matter where someone might be from and what teams they have previously been a fan of, everyone comes together to root for their school.

Arizona State University is no stranger to success in sports. For more than a century, The Arizona State Sun Devils have achieved great success in all areas of athletics. As the perennial front-runner to be the PAC-12 champions in almost every sport, ASU athletics has been nothing short of magnificent throughout the years. With 165 national titles amongst 26 D1 teams, The Sun Devils are always seen as top competition around the country. As a writer, the thing that I find to be the most attractive is controversy, and, surprisingly enough, Arizona State Athletics was once home to one of the most controversial sports figures of all time. Class of 1986 alum Barry Bonds graduated as the holder of numerous Sun Devils Baseball records and went on to have a legendary career in the MLB, however, his success at the highest level wasn’t entirely pure, and he would be disowned by the game of baseball forever. Given the fact that perhaps the most controversial sports figure of all time is an ASU alum would allow me to have access to files that would help me write stories.     

Like ASU, The University of Iowa is no stranger to athletic triumph. The Iowa Hawkeyes have accumulated 26 national championships amongst 22 D1 sports teams. The historically dominant Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling Team has won 24 of the university's 26 national team titles and has produced 55 individual national champions, 8 Olympic medalists, and countless National and United World Wrestling Hall of Famers. The most accomplished wrestler in U of I history didn’t compete for the Hawkeyes. Dan Gable was asked to coach the Hawkeyes Wrestling Team after he was a 2x NCAA champion at Iowa State and won both a World and an Olympic gold medal. As the coach, Gable led the team to 15 NCAA Division 1 championships. In 2020, Gable was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The legacy of greatness offered by Iowa athletics would allow me to write some interesting stories. 

From Super Bowl champions to Olympic medalists, The University of Arizona has been breeding superior athletes since 1978. The Arizona Wildcats have accounted for 18 team national championships amongst 9 teams. Competing in the PAC-12, the Wildcats are archrivals with Arizona State University. Notable alumni include Rob Gronkowski, Kenny Lofton, and Deandre Ayton. Like ASU and Iowa, The University of Arizona would allow me to improve upon my writing because, in my opinion, it is much easier to write about success than to write about failure. 

When I go to college, I want to be in a place where there is never nothing to do. I want to be in a place where something is offered as an activity on every street corner. I see myself in a relatively big city, but I still want to have a college campus feel. I think that if I went to school somewhere in New York City I would immediately be overwhelmed with the sheer size of the environment even though I am somewhat familiar with the surroundings. At the same time, I don’t want to be in a place where there are one or two mediocre restaurants and only one or two places to watch the big game. I want to be at a school that has a balance of a city feel and a college campus feel.  

With 5 campuses in Tempe, Downtown Phoenix, West Phoenix, Mesa, and Lake Havasu City, Arizona State University allows students to experience college in the way they choose. The main campus in Tempe is home to over 50,000 students and offers students the full college campus experience. The Downtown Phoenix campus houses over 11,000 students and offers students more of a city experience whilst still maintaining the campus feel. The Mesa campus houses over 5,000 students and is much more isolated from the city. The campus in West Phoenix is home to around 5,000 students and is much more of a city campus than a college campus. At the Lake Havasu City campus, you will find that it is significantly smaller than the other campuses, as only 175 students live at the satellite campus that borders California. If I decide to go to Arizona State as a major in sports journalism, I would be required to live on the Downtown Phoenix campus. Even though I would rather live on the Tempe campus, if living on the Downtown Phoenix campus means that I get to pursue my career as a sportswriter, I am all in. Plus, I would still be able to go to the main campus whenever I want to because ASU has a subway system that goes to every campus.

A much smaller school than Arizona State, The University of Iowa has only one campus in Iowa City. With over 30,000 students, the U of I is smack dab in the middle of the State of Iowa. Having just one main campus is convenient for all students as all classes are held on the same college site. Although the State of Iowa is a relatively rural state, for the most part, students at Iowa are not anything like the rest of the state. Iowa City allows students to experience a small city feel and don’t overwhelm them with giant skyscrapers and the loud noises of a typical American city. 

As the flagship university of the State of Arizona, The University of Arizona’s main campus in Tucson is a much more suburban campus than Arizona State and Iowa. Like the U of I, all classes at the U of A are held on the same college site. The one campus houses right around 45,000 students. Although Tuscon is, for the most part, a suburban location, it isn’t too far away from the City of Phoenix. 

To no one’s surprise, college does indeed come at an unreasonably high cost. I use the word unreasonably simply because one should not have to pay so much money to be able to receive an education, no matter the level. I digress. The tuition is not the only thing one has to pay for. Housing, meal plans, and personal expenses do not come in a package with the tuition once you pay. For some people, money is not much of an issue, but for the majority of people, it is. I think the thing that fears people the most about college is having to pay off student loans, however, there are ways to not have to pay so much. For example, my brother is a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin. Instead of paying the full out-of-state tuition, my parents purchased a small property so that my brother could be a legal resident of the State of Texas and pay the in-state tuition, which is astronomically lower priced than out-of-state tuition. For the most part, college can almost be described as ¨pay to win.¨

The base tuition for first-year out-of-state students at Arizona State University is $28,800 with an additional $2,433 in fees. That is already an absurd amount of money, but you still need to pay for housing and meal plans, which cost around $14,500. Wait, you are not done just yet. You now have to pay for books and transportation, which is going to cost you around $2,500. Ok, so you have now paid for the college necessities but you want to decorate your dorm room and you go shopping for clothing to show school spirit. You spend another $2,000 and you are done cleaning out your bank account. The total amount of money you have spent is just over $50,000, which is just above the national average. 

The base tuition for first-year out-of-state students at The University of Iowa is $31,905 including fees. At Iowa, you have to break the bank too. Add in the $11,500 for housing and meal plans and another $5,000 worth of books, transportation, and personal expenses, and your stuck paying a bill for $48,435, which is right around the national average, which, I can’t stress enough just how ridiculous it is that people pay that much amount of money every year so that they can learn.

The base tuition for first-year out-of-state students at The University of Arizona is $37,000 not including fees. Add in your housing and meal plan expenses, transportation, and personal expenses and your bill reads around $50,000, which is just above the national average.

I think the second greatest fear people have about going to college is whether or not they will “fit in”. When I go to college, I don’t plan on staying in New York. I want to go to a much warmer part of the country. During the process of applying for colleges, I think that people tend to overlook an important thing that carries over into their adult life. The friends you make in college are important for two things after college. The most obvious thing is that if you form a strong bond with someone in college, they can be your friend for the rest of your life. For example, my dad still talks to his college roommate at least once a week. The second thing is sometimes less obvious at first. Sometimes, the friends you make in college can help you with job opportunities, which, depending on who their connections are, can be extremely beneficial in a financial aspect. 

Once you go to Arizona State University, you immediately become immersed in the numerous traditions ASU has to offer. From rooting for the Sun Devils Football team in the Inferno Student Section to hiking up the historic “A” Mountain, there are so many ways that you can make friends at Arizona State. What I forgot to mention earlier about student life is greek life, which plays a massive role in the overall college experience. ASU has over 70 fraternities and sororities to choose from. Greek life is often how people get connections, whether that be from alumni or brothers. I know that people often struggle to adjust to being away from home and not seeing the friends you see every day, but I don’t think that I have too much of an issue when it comes to making friends. For that reason, I think that wherever I do end up going, I will be able to find my group of people.   

At The University of Iowa, Hawkeye culture runs deep. The campus is beautiful, gamedays are crazy, and the overall school pride is unparalleled. It’s the typical Big Ten school experience. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be a sports junkie to fit in at Iowa. With more than 500 student-run on-campus organizations, The University of Iowa prides itself on being a place where students can find their people. The school uses the saying that “Every Hawkeye is a part of a family that spans the globe. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get lost in the crowd.” The greek life at the U of I is also very much involved in student life. Fraternities and sororities at Iowa provide students with the opportunity to belong, serve, lead, thrive, and succeed. No matter who you are, where you come from, and what your interests are, there is a place for you at The University of Iowa.

With more than 35,000 undergraduate students from over 100 countries and all 50 states, The University of Arizona provides students with all the tools they need to become the best version of themselves. At the U of A, the sun shines brighter and people are a whole lot friendlier. Greek life at The University of Arizona exists to empower brothers and sisters to tackle their greatest challenges, create change for the common good, and realize their full potential. 

After taking a deep dive into the 5 major aspects’ impact within the three schools I have researched, I am left with a difficult decision to make. There isn’t one bad thing to be said about each of the schools and they all provide the opportunity to be great. That being said, I do feel that Arizona State University is where I belong. As my dream school, ASU has always been on my radar and I think that with their innovative and creative approach to learning, I will be able to succeed in the world to the fullest of my capabilities. Although The University of Iowa’s writing program as a whole may be better overall, I think that the sports journalism program at Arizona State is above all others. I hold nothing against The University of Arizona, it’s just that I didn’t really have much to say about it compared to the other two schools.  

I’ll finish this paper in the same way that I started it: My plan for the future goes as follows: Graduate from High School, Graduate from College, Be making 6 figures within 10 years of graduating. Now, after going through this whole process, I’d like to add one more thing to my plan for the future: Be happy. Writing this paper further deepened my love for writing. I don’t think I can recall a time when I have been more at peace and more focused on school than during the week it took me to write this paper. What may come as a surprise to whoever is reading this is the fact that I was genuinely excited to be writing this paper. I viewed this assignment as an opportunity to show off. An opportunity to express myself and the love that I have for writing. I think that when someone graduates from college, they are so focused on making money that they forget the most important thing in life: being happy. I view it as such an advantage to be able to say that I love what I do. Whether that be on the mat in a high-stakes match or with pen and paper, I love what I do. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have that love and passion to be the best at my craft. So, my final thoughts about this process? I hope the next year and a half goes by fast because I can’t wait to go to college!

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