In the past few years, I have noticed l have been labeled as an underdog, even if the direct term wasn't always used to describe me. Whether it was running for officer positions or in life in general, I have been an underdog.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Underdog is:
a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest.
When I first came to this realization, that people considered me an underdog in things, I felt embarrassed and hurt. People underestimated me; my strengths weren't on the surface. It definitely was a self-confidence killer, but as time has passed and I've thought about it before, I am proud to be an underdog.
I remember my senior year of high school when people were surprised I was selected to compete on an academic team and that I had the second highest grade in my Advanced Chemistry class.
People assumed I wasn't smart enough, and I had people chasing me down the hallway questioning what my GPA was or what my ACT score was.
Being upset, a few people made comments that I heard, and it definitely deflated my attitude about competing. It seemed that hardly anyone believed I was capable of being smart because I wasn't in the top 10% of my class or maybe because I wasn't vocal about how challenging my classes were. I worked hard, always trying to better myself, and hoping to achieve my goals, no matter if it was academic or personal. Even if some of my classmates didn't see the potential in me, my chemistry teacher did and the took a chance on me. Sometimes being quiet and focusing on the work you have been given, takes you off people's radar of achieving success.
Underdogs are all over pop culture and in history.
Whether it was Average Joe's from the movie "Dodgeball," David against Goliath in the Bible, or during March Madness when that one team no one expected to do well and then they wreck everyone's brackets.
My personal favorite underdog is Alex Karev from "Grey's Anatomy."
He came from a not stable or safe home when he was young, had to work, fight, and sometimes lie to become the doctor he is now. When he first came to work at the hospital, he was not on people's radars of success and not a favorite character in the TV Show, but slowly you became to love Karev and hope he keeps reaching for the stars. Being an underdog might mean you face uphill battles, doubts, and shocked faces, but those moments will motivate you to do more and be more. They are the people or teams, once they start being successful, you cheer for in hopes that the underdog will win. The concept that "everyone loves an underdog" comes this, but in the end, success, whether you are an underdog or not, can bring people hating you on the flip side.
Realizing you are an underdog can be a hard pill to swallow, but I realized this is one of my strengths. I have learned to fight for what I believe in, work harder than ever before, and to brush myself off and keep moving if I fail. Being an underdog, I have experienced the rollercoaster of emotions you have while competing. I have experienced the crushing feeling of being underappreciated and the extreme high of achieving your dreams. If you are labeled as an underdog, feel proud of yourself. Not everyone may see your strengths, but the people who matter will. As long as you believe in yourself and remember who you are, you will continuously succeed, no matter the outcome, and surprise the world.