By Cindy, age 17, Texas

First place. Second place. Third place.

Usually people don't like to hear anything below that. Fifth place? Ugh!

But who is to blame that person?

All of our lives, the world has instilled the word 'competition' into our minds. Sometimes all we think about is winning. Of course, sometimes we realize this colossal mistake, but the next second we have forgotten about it.

People might say 'nice work' or 'good effort' but they never put as much emotion into it as they would if they saw a first place trophy. Due to this mentality, everyone at a school or competition is seeking the coveted trophies. The gleaming gold or silver trophy reflecting the face of the winner. That's the real triumph.

When people are working and putting in all their efforts, they are usually after the victory. They are not assuming that they might not win because they'd give up sooner. Rarely is someone after the valuable experience and skills they will gain even if they fail.

Just recently I was at a Saturday competition, arriving at the school of the event, and I spotted the multitude of people there. Not knowing them, I noticed how confident and focused they seemed. I wondered what I looked like and if I would have any of them in my competition event. When I entered the cafeteria, I immediately saw the coaches instructing their students and cramming in last minute material. Minutes before the competition, it seemed like the coaches wanted their students to win so badly, recounting advice and reminding them repetitively about certain topics. The atmosphere had never been as intense.

But competition isn't only at schools; it pretty much dominates the world. Countries are constantly being ranked in terms of economies and power. It's always about the winning. Only those who manage to stay on top can still hold onto their steps.

Sometimes it seems as if competing in every aspect of our life is the only way to find success. At least that's how the world has portrayed it to us every day. It tends to be the ones who place at the top who have the coveted jobs or schools of their choice. Everything in the world is competition, whether it's school or the real world, and honestly, I don't know if there's a real solution to this. But you can be a part of those who are not "trophy hungry" and actually seek the skills and experience you'll be gaining at the end. Remember, failure and mistakes are often the quickest path to success.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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