Competition In Student Life: How Healthy Is It?

Posted on April 13, 2012 in Specials

By Anubhav Das:

They say it’s tough living an adult; I say it is tougher living a student. From a seat in that “Prestigious College” to a mere line of fetching burger in the canteen, anything and everything in a student’s life is defined by only one word-‘Competition’. Do you dare to compete? Can you beat him? What’s the use of getting a second rank when there is another guy ahead of you? Born and brought up with so-called motivational quotes like “My child, when the going gets tough, only the tougher get going…” A student in every sphere of his life is running, but alas! Not to win but to defeat somebody. Even Mr. Darwin wouldn’t have meant it so hard-core when he wrote his theory of natural selection.

What competition does most of the time is that it makes a 90%-ter slave away for a 95% in such a manner that it only ends up bringing him down to an 80%. I agree that it does raise the bar sometimes which leads to unexpected output from a particular section of the student community which is fitted with extraordinary senses of a horse which runs at a faster pace when rewarded by a hunter for his efforts. But for most of the others who are not so ‘evolved’ from inside tend to break down under the pressure of performing; perhaps not just performing, but ‘outperforming’ others.

Actually, I am not trying to label a particular group as super-human but I am just trying to make a point that their number is less and it is just a quality that they possess and thus it should not be made the norm of the society. The blame is not to be only borne by the victim; the society he is being “nurtured” in is equally guilty. When a child was born in those days, he was taught to be a “Good” but that concept of being good is now being converted to being a “Better” and unfortunately, it is so happening that in striving to be better the essence of being good is lost. When surveyed, it was found that most of the students were not affected by the absolute figures of their own performance but had extreme reactions when told about the performance of their peers. Now this is something which I feel is against the very sense of development.

It is often said and felt that the joy lies in the journey but in this sheer competition for the goal often supersedes the sense of travelling and it is only when we reach the goal, we realise that something was wrong all along. Mr. Harsha Bhogle in one of his famous motivational speeches said, “Work hard and try to achieve what you want but don’t let the pressure of competition choke your efforts.” But he is discounting the current scenario where only competition defines the sanctity of your efforts. Being a student I can safely say that I have seen and felt it all along that while competing you do not win from others but you sure lose yourself and become somebody you were never meant to be.