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.