If you had to place bets on which graduating seniors were most likely to be successful in life, who would you bet on?
You'd probably bet on a high achiever, someone who spent the last four years working and succeeding like crazy. It would likely be someone who took the hardest classes and earned the highest grades, who succeeded in their activities and made an impact on their schools. Chances are, it's someone students and teachers like and respect, who will be missed next year. Students like that are a good bet, and probably the one that I'd place, too. But here's a question.
Would you change your bet if they weren't attending prestigious colleges?
If the smartest kid at your school turned down an offer of admission from Princeton and went to Oberlin or Colorado College or Juniata, would you change your bet? I wouldn't, and I hope you wouldn't either.
The traits those kids showed that earned your bets (and the same traits that likely got them admitted to prestigious colleges) are what will make them successful in the long run, not the names of the colleges they decide to attend.
That's what you can learn from those successful seniors. You don't have to be a straight-A student yourself to emulate their work ethic, attitude towards learning and commitment to activities. Develop those traits and you're going to be successful no matter where you go to college.