What The Arcade Taught Me

What The Arcade Taught Me

You have the choice of what games you want to play.
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Recently I had the opportunity to go with two of my friends to an arcade in Murfreesboro, TN. You pay a base price of $10 and you get to play until close. They give you wrist bands, so you can even leave and come back. You get an unlimited amount of credits for the games that range from the 70s to 2ks. Before, I had never been to an arcade of this sort. However, I have been to various arcades because I am a colossal fan of games in general. At Flashback Arcade, in Murfreesboro, I strolled in and was amazed. Pinball machines were straight ahead, fighting games to my left, and so much more all around. After spending weeks at college, constantly studying and stressing, it was nice to take a break and feel like a young child again. It was refreshing to have something actually fun to do that did not involve the typical college activities. The experience taught me three lessons that I can closely relate to life.

1. Not all of the games are created to be fair. Some of the games I played were close to impossible to win. Some of the games I played would be over within seconds of clicking start. Some games my friends and I played lasted for minutes beyond expected. I enjoyed playing new games and learning how to play them. Also, I was fond of the idea of finding games that challenged me...most of them. I would pick which games I wanted to spend my time on. At an early age, you learn that life is not fair. Sometimes we study for countless hours, make flash cards, match songs with the material but at the end of the day someone else in our class who cheats on the exam will come out with the same grade as you. You have to choose what things you want to invest in, and what will make you happy in life. Ultimately, you are the chooser of what "games" you pick in life.

2. FREEdom was upon us. As I mentioned earlier, I had to pay a $10 fee upfront. I spent close to three hours in the arcade. If I were to use $10 in an average arcade it would not get me very far and I would not have spent as much time there as I did. I continued to hit the credit button over and over again throughout the night. I did not have to worry about spending money or focusing on due dates. That night I was reminded how important it is to destress and relax. In life, it is essential to make time to have fun. As an adult, you have to be incredibly careful with what you are doing. At the arcade, you enter a realm of carefree attitudes and run around with not a care in the world.

3. Friendly competition is key in mastering the game. I played against two of my friends while at the arcade. We would take turns, and see who could do better. At times we would continue to play until we each got our desired score. Having competition drove us to learn how to better play the game. In life, we have to use competition to drive us to do better. Sometimes that competition is against your old self. You have to keep trying and keep rising above. If you want to master the game, then you need to compete to get to that point.

Playing many games throughout the night, I overall had an experience I will never forget. It was nice visiting friends from high school after we have taken separate paths. Seeing the two of them incredibly happy with each other, and enjoying their time together at the arcade. One of my favorite memories with my boyfriend is when we went to the arcade in Norfolk, Virginia. Going to the arcade with my friends caused my heart to be full and remind me of old times.

Cover Image Credit: Adrianna Roberts

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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