This I Believe

Nina - Arlington, Massachusetts
Entered on March 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

How to Score High in the Game of Life

I have not met anyone who dislikes winning. I myself love to win. There is one game, however, which towers above all others, and this is the game of life. Like many others, the game of life requires a keen strategy. This is my tactic: To score high in the game of life, you have to make an effort, reach for the stars and give your best shot while keeping a sense of pride close in the heart. For example, I’m in several orchestras, and all of them require an audition to participate. My main program is the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, known as the BYSO (formerly GBYSO). There are four orchestra levels in the program, and currently, I am in the second level. Two years ago, I auditioned for the first time ever. It’s a big accomplishment simply to get in the program, even if you only get into the first level, for all the orchestras are exceptionally strong. The first year I was accepted, I made the Young People’s String Orchestra that was classified as level one. That year, as in every year, many people auditioned and many people were cut. I had to give 120% to even get considered. This required much effort and practicing, but it all paid off in the end.

Last year, in seventh grade, I had a new ambition on my horizons. I wanted to be promoted a level. One is allowed in the first level in eighth grade, but that’s the final year. I genuinely wanted to advance an orchestra. Again, to achieve this goal, I had to reach for the starts, and strive for success. I talked to my teacher to see if she could help me attain my aspiration. Together we worked to choose a piece adequate for my quest. Now the spotlight was on me to put in the effort. It really was a challenging piece, yet I worked my tail off until the audition. I was confident at the audition, and played the best I could. Several weeks later, I received a letter stating I had been accepted in to the next level!

This year, I am again setting my standards high to get into the third orchestra. Who knows if it will happen, but at least I will know that I tried my hardest when the auditions are over!

Music and sports are my main areas of focus, so my next example is from my interest in sports. Since I was five, I have enjoyed playing soccer, but three years ago was when I really kicked off, and started to excel. My goal then was to be admitted onto the top team in the town. I had never played select soccer before, but I knew that because they were expanding the teams that year, now was my chance to be accepted. In the months leading up to tryouts, I went to every camp I could in order to improve my skills. Additionally, my mom and I practiced nearly every day. The tryout was just around the corner, and we were working harder than ever, so when it loomed just ahead, we were ready to take it face on. When I got there, I pretended that I was the best girl on the field even though deep down, I knew that many talented individuals had shown up. It goes to show that extensive practice really can improve your skills, but real success comes from the confidence, saying “I can do this!” About a month later, I received a phone call with the news we have been anticipating: I had made the select A team! But my efforts didn’t stop there. I wanted to really fit in on the team, so I continued attending soccer camps over the summer to further improve my skills. Soccer has been an area I continue to shine in and I enjoy playing the sport.

Two examples should be enough to prove my point that there are three main points to scoring high in the game of life. You have to reach for the stars by setting a goal, and put the effort into achieving your aspiration. But confidence is, in the end, what everything boils down to.