Sunday, January 23, 2011

Experiences: The Rule of Three

    Yesterday, I took a trip down memory lane. This year I held the position as Student Volunteer Coordinator at the Region Future Cities 4000 Competition. Throughout the past weeks, I have been rounding up, organizing, and preparing for the students we had volunteer. Although the job seemed easy, it was very time consuming and a lot of hours were put into it to make sure that everything went perfectly.

    Three years ago I participated in the exact same competition. To be completely honest, the competition is grueling. Dedicating one's life to building a city with two other people for practically five months, is quite the task. This year, the teacher who I was fortunate enough to have my year and who retired thereafter was in charge of running the entire competition. She knew how the teachers felt, and could relate, in a way, to the students and their tiresome feelings.

     Monitoring the competition, I didn't really get to look at any of the models or listen to any of the presentations, but for what I hear they were better than the most recent years. The prize of winning the competition is an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national competition along with some scholarship money. The prize is big and many people want it so bad, that the competition is really competitive. You may find it weird that I'm writing a random blog about this, but there's more to the story.

    The year I competed in the competition my team went to nationals. No, I'm not trying to brag about the subject, because there were quite a few teams as qualified as my own that could have also gone. But, I'm merely establishing the concept that I know this competition like no other.

    When I competed I was on a team with two other girls. We were all pretty similar to one another, but each one of us wanted different things out of the competition. I wanted to go to nationals. Another girl wanted to make it to the final round. And the last girl, wanted the whole experience to be over. Preparing for the competition there were a lot of fights and arguments over different ideas. Spending so much time with each one of the girls was challenging and I often found myself frustrated and stressed out, resulting in disrespect for everyone involved.

    Yesterday, at the award ceremony, I was reminded of something. The feeling of success and the possibility of failure. The year of my competition, I easily could have failed. It was fractions of points that sent us to nationals. And during that whole competition day, it was failure that I feared the most. That is still something I fear on a regular basis. I enter competitions, put myself out there as part of the future generation, and I fear constantly that I may fail, be rejected.

    But yesterday, when my former teacher was talking to the crowd of students who had probably just accomplished the most labor intensive project of their life, she reminded me that there is a rule of threes out there, too, that make failure never exist. Yes, one may feel like a failure for not succeeding, but when looked at in a new light, failure is actually a true success. The rule of three is a way to mark your success. Three simple questions one can ask to themselves. 1. Did you learn something? 2. Did you give it your best shot? And 3. Did you have fun? With these three simple questions, the most devastating failure can actually be a success. Daily reminders from my past will help me to be successful in the future, and without having met these people and gone through this experience I would be able to sit here and type this today.

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