A World Without Winners

A World Without Winners

Why Students are Unprepared For the Real World
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With my first year of college in the books and the second year right around the corner, I’m beginning to notice how unprepared I was to enter college and how unprepared I am to enter the workforce. The competitive nature of the United States is slowly disintegrating and the “everyone wins” mindset has taken hold of the country, specifically when it comes to students. However, this new phenomenon is causing students to be completely unprepared to enter the world outside of high school, just like I am.

The problem is this: no one will let students lose. With this comes the elimination of class ranking and honor roll lists in academics. Some schools across America no longer tell students where they stand in their grade, whether they are top in their class or not. In many schools more than one valedictorian is chosen each year at graduation because they can’t choose just one to represent the school. Schools are even no longer publishing the honor roll in newspapers or social media in fear that it will make students who don’t make the cut feel bad about themselves. Little do they know, this new mind-set is harming students. Students who don’t do well in their academic or athletic life are being told that they don’t need to work to do well, and worse of all students who are doing the work no longer receive the recognition they deserve. School is no longer competitive in any sense and students are losing the competitive drive they need in order to succeed in college and the workforce.

High school is supposed to help students prepare for the world after graduation. However, students entering college for the first time lack the work ethic they need in order to succeed in the fast paced environment. Students start to fall behind when it comes to homework and grades because they aren’t used to having to put work into anything in order to do well and get recognized. Yet, people are surprised when students struggle to adjust to life after high school. College is about getting ahead of everyone so you can get the best job after graduation, but students now are too busy trying to catch up to the standards than trying to set up a future for themselves.

A country like the United States thrives off of a competitive atmosphere, and still students today are being told that being competitive is undesirable.This new mind set is causing students to fall behind in the competitive drive this country holds and be completely unprepared for the world they are thrown into after high school. People are stuck in an environment where everyone wins no matter how much work is put in, which, as a whole, is causing the opposite effect. In a world where everyone is falling behind there are no winners. It is no longer a world full of winners, but a world without winners.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.reference.com/beauty-fashion/olympic-gold-medals-made-7f8d3dd0cefe19b5

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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