My sister is now on her sophomore year at UCI. My 24-year-old cousin just got married last month. My dad lost his job the beginning of this year and is now starting over as he’s opening his very own shop. My little cousin just entered his first year at middle school. My uncle, after years of tough schooling, finally has a secure job as a pharmacist doing what he loves and making us proud. And my older cousin is graduating high school this following year. So, why am I sharing this, you might be wondering? Well, I wanted to make a point that our lives are all unalike. We control our lives differently. Individually, we are the ones who spin the wheel to make all our life decisions much like players of a board game, but not just any board game–I’m talking LIFE. I have played LIFE numerous times and like most people, I always want to win. Every time I play, I would carelessly choose the wealthy careers, life cards, and whatnot. It did not matter to me because my goal was to be the winner or in other words, the richest and most successful person of the game. But, it wasn’t until I had recently played the board game and won that I began to imagine the idea of how my actual life would play out. I started to picture the possibilities of what my life could become and, like the board game, which steps I could enter as I slowly pave my pathway. Obviously, the level of decision making for LIFE and real-life are exceedingly different, so I had a lot of questions. How can I avoid the debts and payments? How can I find my soul mate? How can I receive major pay days? How can I avoid losing my job? How can I find a career that is financially stable that makes me happy? Then suddenly, all I could ponder to myself was how do I win?
Everyone has a different perspective of what “winning” is. Some might say it is about playing it safe as long as it leads to security and less worries. Others might say it is about being risky and taking chances as long as it ends with happiness. That is what I am trying to find out for myself. LIFE gives a basic run-through of what doors are open right as you finish high school. You can either immediately follow up with a career, but have less salary options, or you can enter college incur major loans for dorms and books. After much thought, I chose to attend college and deal with the expenses that came with it. That was when LIFE hit me in the face. The game escalated very quickly leading to marriage, honeymoon, purchasing a house, having kids, and eventually repeating all of those steps for the “four kids” I was going to have. At that moment, being the sophomore I am today, it was hard to believe that that’s what I had to look forward to after the next two years. To be honest, I was and still am nervous and intimidated by the idea of starting school again, making new friends, testing new opportunities, and essentially starting a new life. That’s a big road to travel down and it’s freaky knowing that one step in the wrong direction can change it all and even lead to failure.
That’s when it occurred to me that I have to take chances. I have to recognize myself as the controller of my life and realize that in order to have a strong and fulfilled life, I have to be confident with my decisions. I have to spin my wheel with all my might, walk down the tracks to wherever life leads me, and face whatever lies in front. That’s what winning is. Winning is not planning everything out. It is not living life rule by rule, afraid to experience the world outside the borders. Winning is taking life in your hands, directing it to where you want to go. And yes, you might stumble once in a while, but to win, you must have the decency to stand up and face whatever trouble you stumble upon. That’s. What. Winning. Is.
To conclude, like LIFE, there will always be bumps in the road and unexpected twists and turns. Even so, that should not stop you from being successful and being the winner of your life. What I’ve learn is that LIFE and life are both unpredictable, but that’s the point of the game. You must learn to stand tall, be confident, spin your wheel, walk the track, face the falls, stand up, keep going, and You. Will. Win.