Illustration by Chelsea Lam

Significance of online competitions loses their appeal

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Competitions are one of the highlights of a high school student’s career, as it is an opportunity to network with students from other schools. However, with the continuation of social distancing, competitions have adapted an online format, undermining the significance of these events. The intensity of competitions motivates and teaches students about life while granting an amazing feeling of victory.  

Oftentimes, the key to victory in a competition is being prepared, which is an essential life skill. In-person competitions require preparedness to be practiced, as there is less time for last-minute preparations. However, with online competitions, entering a virtual meeting takes mere seconds, which could have students under the impression that cramming is possible. As a result, an opportunity to teach students about what they might encounter in the future is lost. 

Competitions also teach another key life skill: networking. When competitions are held in person, students have time to socialize with peers after competitive events have concluded, laying the foundation for long-term relationships with certain benefits. In a virtual competition, students simply join the competition meeting, complete the tasks for their event, and log off. As a result, competitions are stripped of the social aspect, eliminating an opportunity for students to make potential connections. 

For some, attempting to be productive at home is not easy, as there are too many distractions. Electronic devices and the common mentality that home is the place for relaxation are a few examples. In turn, students are less inclined to perform at their best and, in their mind, have a diminished regard for competitions. Students come to the deluded realization that victory is not worth the time that they could spend enjoying their life in whatever form they wish. 

In many instances, adapting something that thrives in its traditional setting to another form diminishes it. Competitions are no exceptions. But, by moving these events online, the components that make competitions a significant part of high school students’ lives degrade even further compared to other events, essentially making competitions not worth the time that is required to make the transition possible. 

Despite the possible loss that competition hosts can suffer, the prospect of replicating the exact in-person competitive experience still lingers. In an attempt to simulate this, hosts can develop methods to mandate that students stick around after the competition for other activities that are interactive, promoting the importance of both networking and fun.

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