Podcast: Competition

Nicole Chiang: Hi. My name is Nicole.

Sarah Lew: I’m Sarah.

Angela Cao: I’m Angela.

Chiang: And today we’re going to be talking about the advantages and disadvantages of competition.

Lew:There’s a constant striving to be the best in sports games, school grades and social status.

Chiang: This is actually a really unhealthy mindset because people don’t really realize that you can’t always be the best all the time.

Cao: However, that’s not to say that you can’t be competitive, because the idea of having someone go against you often serves as inspiration and motivation to do better. What do you think about that, Sarah?

Lews: I’ve noticed that at our school, the environment is mostly focused on getting better grades and being the top student, like when teachers put class grades on a wall and people count to see what their ranking is. It can also motivate them, but some people lose self esteem from it.

Chiang: Yeah, and other than the loss of self esteem, I feel like some people, they lose the ability for self improvement because all they want is to beat out others.

Cao: On the flip side, though, seeing a lower score in comparison to a higher score you wish you had, maybe that would serve as inspiration for you to actually work harder than before, so I guess this begs the question: at what point is competition too much?

Chiang: I know people in some of my classes that are unhappy with an A- because they see somebody with an A, or even people with A’s are unhappy because they see people with A+’s. So I think maybe it’s important to set goals for yourself before you do anything, and see if you reach those goals, instead of looking at how everybody else is doing.

Lew: I think people need to realize that it’s not always possible to be the best and they should see what their abilities are and potentially how to improve.

Cao: Yeah I agree with that I feel like it’s better to almost compete against yourself rather than look at your own achievements in the perspective of another person, because we all have different standards and so as a result of that we all have different expectations when we’re receiving our grades or our awards or whatever.

Chiang: But there are actually teachers at school that announce top scores on a test and this can actually be pretty beneficial to the class, because after you take a hard test, morale of the class is really low and everybody’s like “oh that test was impossible. Nobody could’ve done well on it.” But knowing that people studied for it and working towards a goal will help you achieve it really does make you feel like there is something worth persevering for.

Lew: Adding on to that, i think that when people see how others have gotten really high scores on tests it shows that they can also work hard and try to get a high score on a test too.

Cao: What about other times like is it just for grades or does it also apply for maybe competitive events, or clubs, or anything else that requires any sort of competition.

Chiang: I feel like popular films actually really talk about competition when it comes to social status, such as Mean Girls when all the characters all want to be the most popular, and in these films it’s actually portrayed as very toxic as well, because people start to believe that the end justifies the means.

Cao: Yeah I agree.

By Angela Cao, Online editor-in-chief and Nicole Chiang and Sarah Lew, Opinion editors

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