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Jun 21 2015
by Sandy Gooen

Why Winning Isn't Everything

By Sandy Gooen - Jun 21 2015

Once upon a time, there was this grand idea presented to many of you. Maybe it was a relative who told you or perhaps a teacher. That person or those people told you that the key to life is winning all the time.

This concept of “winning at life” is a ruse. I extend my sincerest apologies to Charlie Sheen. The fact is, whether you were first or 401st in your high school class, you made it. Even if you were first in your class, there was no guarantee that you would get into your top choice for college.

Even if you do make it into your top choice for college and you’ve yet to ever lose a single thing in your life thus far, now’s when it’s going to happen; if not today, then tomorrow. Perfection is impossible and success comes in many forms. I know people with 4.3 GPAs and terrible home lives. I know people who got rejected or waitlisted from a majority of their schools, but found a beacon of hope in their significant others. People are meant to be different. Life has too many variables to be a game.

One great thing about college is the ability to become a new person and to meet new people. You don’t want to be that friend who makes everything a competition of who can take the most classes, take on the most responsibilities and burn the candle at both ends. I want you to do you a favor, not me, you. You don’t know me, I’m guessing, but even if you do know me, just do this one thing for yourself. Think about what you are trying to prove and to whom you are trying to prove it.

Your life is not graded or scored. No one should be marking up your actions with a red pen. If you’re trying to prove something, anything, to someone else, cease and desist. Fortunately and unfortunately, people have their own reactions and priorities in life and they don’t care about whatever it is you’re doing nearly as much as you do. No valen la pena. (They aren’t worth it.)

Now, if you’re trying to prove to yourself that you are worth something in this world, you already are. If you need to prove to yourself that you are capable of individual things, take them one thing at a time.

There is no cheat, no combo, no pause button. When you die, you don’t get to wait to start over (we’re not in Black Ops). To be yourself and know yourself is to win. Free yourself from the deception and see how much better it is to be alive and unbounded from the overachiever mentality that may or may not have gotten you into your college. The act won’t maintain so I’m saving you some time and energy.

Lead Image Credit: William Warby

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Sandy Gooen - Barnard College

Sandy Gooen is a first-year at Barnard College studying neuroscience and music. She loves rugby, writing and performing. She’s best known for spontaneous jump-splits. She once took her cello, Tawny, to banquet as her date. You can check her out on Facebook as herself or on as Di Gaon!

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