By Emily PLA Team Leader
It took four years in Queen’s Commerce before it finally dawned on me: you can’t knock it out of the ballpark every time. No matter how hard you train, no matter how long you practice, it is impossible to land consecutive slam-dunks.
Now some of you may chalk up my epiphany to my lack of sports skills. You’ve finally realized the reason I’m in Commerce and not, say, PhysEd or Kin.
I had this realization when completing the last module in the “Capstone” course of my Commerce Degree. To put it in perspective, this is supposed to be the course that brings it all together – the climax of my Commerce experience.
But instead of rising to the occasion, I was sinking like a rock. I couldn’t engage with the material. The major project is a computer simulation where you compete against your classmates to sell electronic sensors. I ‘trained’ religiously: meticulously reviewing the industry reports the simulation would spit out every Sunday night informing me how much debt my management team and I were putting our firm into, and how far our stock price had plummeted since we last went to bat. I tried to remain dedicated: this was my Capstone project! I was in the top 10% of my class! Surely I should be able to figure this one out.
I crunched the numbers to extract some insights but really only extracted my hair. I was not going to win this one.
As soon as I admitted that this was not the game I was going to take home the trophy for, it became easier to work on. I accepted the fact that, unlike my other courses, this was not going to be a homerun project. There would be no drinks celebrating my team’s marks at the end of it: only drinks to celebrate survival.
And that was okay. Just because I lost this battle didn’t mean I would lose the war. Just because this one didn’t make it over the fence, didn’t mean I was any less capable of a home run next time.
It was a matter of playing to my strengths, and realizing that home runs, slam dunks, and hat tricks are special because they don’t happen every time you step up to play.