If Only Real Life Were As Easy As A Board Game

If Only Real Life Were As Easy As A Board Game

Is the Game of Life as simple as it seems?
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As a kid, one of my favorite things to do was play board games. Employing financial strategy in Monopoly didn’t interest me, Sorry was too much a game of chance, and one can only play Candyland too many times. But there was the Game of Life. A game where you could choose your career, have a husband, and retire a millionaire- what more could you ask for in a game? In hindsight I think the allure came from the relative tangibility it presented- in 10 years, I would be in college, in 15 years, hopefully married, in 20 years, buying a house, what flaw could a game that presented a tentative look into the future have? None, it didn’t seem, until I played the game as a college student.

The truth that obtaining a college degree isn’t a guarantee of wealth or security.

In the game we played, my brother decided not to go to college, chose a career as an entertainer, and earned $60,000 per year with benefits. I went to college (accruing $100,000 in debt), emerged as an accountant, and made $30,000 annually. Not to say there isn’t merit in a college degree, but it is no longer a golden ticket (metaphorically and literally).



The Game of Life requires you to get married.

We live in a society that is notorious for its bold embrace of individuality. Subsequently, the marrying age has significantly increased, while marriage rates per capita as a nation have declined dramatically. The Game of Life forces you to stop about 10 paces after college/a career decision for marriage, implying not only that marriage is an expectation immediately after you have a semblance of a future, but that marriage is a societal obligation rather than a choice. Success is measured by wealth, not experiences.

Periodically throughout the game, players collect “Life tiles” to commemorate achievements, varying from the birth of a child to winning a game show to becoming mayor. However, at the end of the game, players turn over their life tiles and are awarded money based on the degree of the accomplishment: i.e. $10,000 for publishing a novel to $100,000 for earning a Lifetime Achievement award. This negates the value of collecting tiles throughout the game, and deduces the reward of life experiences to monetary value- after all, the winner of the game is the one who earns the most money. Inadvertently, it poses a bleak and capitalistic assumption that life is measured by financial gain.

Is it appropriate to consider life a game?

Do I believe that the Milton Bradley company intended to make a moral or philosophical assertion about life by creating a board game fashioned like life? No. But the game itself demands introspection about whether it is fair to consider life a game, and ourselves as players. And I think that considering life to be a matter of strategy, something that can and should be “won” in a specific manner, isn’t all fun and games.

Cover Image Credit: Word Press

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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