Luck and effort generate success
By Channey Williams–
I guess I should start off by saying I’m really surprised I got to write for the paper. When I regard myself, I don’t see myself very high on the ‘getting the things I want’ scale. Call it bad luck I guess. What is bad luck, anyway? My dad says there’s no such thing as bad luck, only a lack of preparedness. I think my track record would wish to disagree. Recently, I’ve chosen to go out for the rowing team. I’m doing it so I can get into law school. You see, a few days into the beginning of school, I went to the admissions office at the school of law and- well maybe I should start a bit further back. Let’s see… Oh yes, that Saturday. Ok, so there was this acting workshop one of my friends used to go to, and the first weekend you could bring people for free, so she invited me and a few friends she knew to come along. It just so happened to be the same Saturday that this ACT prep workshop was going on on the other side of town. My parents decided that I was going to the ACT prep instead of the acting workshop. About a year ago, the Hunger Games movie came out. I remember being in my friend’s car and saying, “That girl in the poster looks familiar. Like really familiar.”
“Yeah.” My friend said. “I think I saw her at a thing.”
Then it hit me. “Remember when we went over so-and-so’s house? That was her friend! Oh my gosh!”
“Oh yeah! She was at that workshop thing, right? I remember that. She was cool.” That hit me. Like a freight train. For the record, I bombed the ACT test.
I gave up acting a while ago, but I was still drawn to the industry. Then I got it; I would be an entertainment lawyer. I would be near the industry I love, doing the thing I loved more than acting. Rhetoric. Which brings me to the day I went to the school of law and talked to an admissions advisor. He told me they were looking for well-rounded people. People who did things outside of their field. In other words, play a sport. There are a lot of reasons I chose rowing; I’m tall, it’s in the family, and the school is paying for everything. Also water. I went to the meeting, I got a physical, and I did the tryouts. I tried my best and I probably won’t make the team. Why? Because there are 30 spots and 50 girls. What is bad luck? It’s the wrong timing. It’s being two steps too far back or two steps too far forward. It’s about being on the right side of privilege. Sometimes if you’re too light or too dark, too tall or too short, not enough or too much, or sometimes too average, it doesn’t matter how hard you tried. Let’s make something clear, me getting onto the team doesn’t mean I’m going to get into the law school; I could get onto six teams and not get into the law school. A meteor could fall out of the sky and destroy the only copy of my application. That’s just luck. But I also know myself and I know my luck. Would going to the acting workshop make me the next Jennifer Lawrence? I don’t know. But I know where the ACT prep workshop led me. Success, in my opinion, is half luck and half effort. It was luck that I heard about tryouts for the team, and it was luck that I heard about the acting workshop. But if I had put effort into studying, I probably wouldn’t have had a reason to go to the ACT prep workshop in the first place. I put in effort to the newspaper, and here I stand. I put effort in to the rowing team, and whether that pays off is yet to be seen.
There’s this movie called “Jugface” about a girl who is a part of this family-cult in which a person is chosen to be sacrificed to a demon, and she ends up being chosen. Toward the end, one character asks her why, when everything is hopeless, she will not give up. Why does she continue to resist. And she says that she doesn’t know. And I think that’s beautiful. That’s human. It’s the reason we go to school, and lose sleep, and shed tears for people that don’t even remember our names. Why we sleep with slimy people, or why we become the slimy person people sleep with. It’s why we blow our whole paychecks on a single night. Every. Single. Time. It’s why we fight wars for peace. It’s why we pray, or don’t pray. It’s why we invent, even though we know we’re just recreating the wheel. Why do we resist, even when everything seems hopeless or pointless, when bad luck hits us again and again? I don’t know. If I knew that I would be telling you the meaning of life. And no one knows that. But resist anyway, because a sea without a few waves would be pretty boring, you know? Maybe I’m just being over dramatic though; maybe all the post-rowing pain is getting to my head. Seriously, I am in a heap of ouchies. Remember when my thighs used to touch? Let’s go back to that.