Is Competition Necessary?


By Summer Ward

May 5, 2021

Our society used to revolve around competition. Whether it was competing to be Valedictorian, first place at a game or even just the “hardest worker” — competition was always something that was valued and appreciated.

Over the past few years, I feel like the value of competition has dropped drastically. Many schools have gotten rid of class rankings, sports have become more about the participation trophies than the games itself and everybody needs to be catered to and made to feel “special.”

And personally, I am not too happy about it. 

Of course I can see the opposite view–with competition comes pressure and stress. I have experienced it– the constant pressure to be great and be the best can sometimes be overwhelming, but my question to you is: what’s the alternative?

The alternative to me seems to be no one getting truly appreciated for their hard work. Kids will spend all four years of high school trying to be the best in their class, just for everyone around them who barely put in any effort to get the same diploma. 

I have personally spent my whole life working to be the best student and athlete I can be. I have looked up to people around me and competed with some of my very talented peers. Even though sometimes it was stressful and sometimes I wasn’t the best: I got better from every one of those competitions and grew through them. 

Without competition, society is going to fall into a pattern of being average. We will be raising a generation full of kids who are satisfied with participation trophies and have no drive for being great at anything. 

Kids have already lost motivation in many aspects of life. I feel like it’s rare that I see someone who even wants to get better or compete with me anymore. Everyone believes that it is okay to be average. It’s okay to let people be better than you. It’s okay to not care. This mentality leads us further into the path of mediocracy. 

Without the motivation to be great or do better, what are we even doing with our lives? I would rather live with some stress than live never content knowing I had potential that I wasted. Competition pushes society beyond being average and allows for the greatness that people have within to be shown and then appreciated.