Weekend Wisdom

Sloane Albright Castleman ’88

“Grit is essential to achieving your long-term goals.”
“When I entered KPS, at the beginning of seventh grade, I encountered a world both foreign and intimidating. I felt woefully underprepared yet fiercely determined. Much to my surprise, by ninth grade, I found myself exceeding expectations and looking for challenges beyond the curriculum. This led to an important life lesson: Success is not reserved for those with extraordinary talent, a high IQ, or a penchant for being lucky. Success comes to those who work for it. Not with a fingers-crossed, ‘let’s see how this goes’ attitude, but instead with a white-knuckled, passionate, do-or-die determination that doesn’t give up in the face of adversity or boredom. In other words: grit.

Grit is defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals. And research has found that grit is more predictive of future success than any other single factor.

“As an educational leader, I delight in talking about the importance of developing personal grit. The key to cultivating grit in children is to be really, really demanding and very, very supportive. My teachers at KPS were both of those things. Their expectations were extremely high, but I never felt those expectations to be beyond my reach. My teachers’ faith in me and their encouragement made all the difference.

“KPS friends, take this time to find your life’s passion and then pursue it with everything you’ve got for as long as you’ve got. Remember, to succeed, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room . . . just the grittiest.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.