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VPSA Blog: September 13, 2018


Illustration of VP Holmes sitting on his desk with "Tea with VP" in the background.



September 13, 2018

On Monday, US News and World Report released its rankings for colleges and universities in the United States. Howard University was ranked No. 89, breaking into the top 100 for the first time in its history. We achieved this despite experiencing some significant challenges and obstacles during the academic year, including the steam plant rupture during the severe weather in January and the student protest in April. Obstacles are often our blessings, putting what we need in our way to bring out the best in us and help us discover our inner strength, a strength that is necessary to break through to success. (I have yet to see a strong person with an easy past.) To be sure, if we continue to persevere with the enthusiasm and dedication that we’ve shown thus far, this is only one of many wins ahead for Howard.


Howard students and congratulatory text on ranking No. 89 in best colleges.
Howard University soars 21 spots to number 89.


For institutions and individuals alike, successes like these are milestones on the journey to achieve our full potential. We work hard and make sacrifices to be successful, but that work is not done once we’ve reached a milestone. Consistent success requires consistent persistence.

Maybe you’ve experienced this: You start out the semester strong, earning A grades on every assignment and test. But then you get comfortable with your success, put in less work than you had before, and your grade starts to fall. It takes consistent effort to maintain the A. Hopefully, there’s still time to course-correct, and you can put in the work to earn the grades you had before. It may seem easy to make changes for short-term success since we’re able to see the implications of our decisions right away, but how do you achieve long-term success?

In our society, personal success is often portrayed as the attainment of financial and material wealth. But success for one person is not necessarily success for another. Sometimes, our markers for success change over time. Make sure that your understanding of success is truly yours instead of something that’s been placed upon you.

Think about why you want to achieve the things you’ve set your sights on. A wise man once said: “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.”

Your career may bring you wealth and influence. Your career may bring you joy and fulfillment. What other things do you hope to gain from your career? If any of those are missing, can it still be considered successful?

Everyone goes through successes and failures throughout their lives. Each of those is an opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow to become the best versions of ourselves. The college years can be a time for self-discovery, with more successes and failures than you’ll be able to count! Do not let those moments go to waste—use each one to get to know more about who you are so you can chart a course that guides you toward your personal definition of success. And be sure to celebrate your achievements along the way.


What does success mean to you? Let us know!




Our Mission

The Division Student Affairs supports the mission of the University by providing student-centered, high quality programs that promote an appreciation of diversity and foster a strong university community.


Address & Phone

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
2400 Sixth Street, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20059

Telephone: 202-806-2100 
Fax: 202-806-9302