Opportunities Are NOT Overrated

June 21, 2008
By Lauren Warner, Weston, MA

One of my favorite quotes has always been “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” To me, what it means is that you really need to take opportunities even if you are scared, because you’ll never know what you can get out of them unless you try.
Around this time last year, I sat in the auditorium for an informational meeting about field hockey, debating whether or not I was going to play. I was hesitant because I hadn’t set foot on the field since 7th grade and didn’t think I would be good enough, but I decided to try out anyways. I started the season with a negative, “I’m not good enough” attitude, but ended it with one exactly the opposite. In fact, it turned out to be the best sports season I’ve ever had, and if there’s one thing I can tell you about that team, it’s that I would have regretted it beyond belief had I not joined.
You don’t lose anything by trying; in fact, you lose more if you don’t. You lose what you could have had, and an opportunity with great potential. People say the worst that can happen is that you don’t accomplish what you originally set out for, but really, there is something far more horrible . And that is the feeling of regret that comes with passing up an opportunity. It’s okay to be scared or nervous. As a matter of fact, it’s completely normal, but you still cannot let that fear stop you . Plus, even if you don’t reach your original goal, you might achieve something else along the way that’s just as good or even better. As the saying goes, each time one door closes, another opens.
It seems that time goes by faster and faster as you get older. It is already the end of my freshmen year, and surprisingly it upsets me to some extent. It may sound weird to hear someone say they are sad to end school, but I really will miss this year. However, one thing that helps is being able to look back and know I made the most of it because I took every opportunity I had. I find it hard to look ahead to the future sometimes, because, in a way, it can be so daunting. But, that’s where living for the moment comes into play. You can’t slow down time or stop the clocks, but what you can do is make the best of every single moment and take every opportunity placed in front of you. It’s easy enough to argue this idea and say ,” well why should I do it, if I KNOW I won’t get in? If it’s not worth it, then what’s the point? “ But, I too, know what it feels like to have these thoughts. I know what it’s like to be nervous, or even afraid. I know what its like to be at an audition, your hands shaking, your heart beating, going through all that trouble to find out… you didn’t get in. But, the most important thing I know, is the feeling of regret after not even trying. When you do get called back to an audition, or make a sports team it feels so good. And when you don’t, well, it doesn’t feel so good. But, you can’t have laughter without tears and you can’t have wins without losses.
If you wanted to get technical, you could easily estimate your chances of achieving whatever task you have to do. For example, you could say there is a 50% chance or even only a 10% chance of accomplishing your goal. But one thing you will always know for sure without even having to guess, is that if you don’t try, there will be an 100% chance you won’t reach whatever you set out for. That’s stating the obvious, but sometimes opportunities can wear the guise of a pointless effort or work that just seems too hard. You have to look past that though and see each opportunity you get as a chance. Not making the team or getting called back for an audition is bad, but to feel regret because you were too scared to try is one million times worse. You just have to take the opportunities set in front of you and hope for the best, because if you don’t you’ll never know what you can do.
I know I am just one high school student out of millions across the country, but I don’t see why my experiences can’t apply to everyone else. It’s kind of like if someone was to set a silver platter with a huge chocolate cake on it in front of you. Well, of course you would take a slice. It’s the same with opportunities. If someone set an opportunity in front of you, why wouldn’t you take it? Maybe it is easier said than done, but I hope my experience will carry over to other peoples and encourage them to go out for their goals. I say this only because having the confidence to take your opportunities and realizing just how important they are might be one of the very best in the world.

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