We all know that feeling. The moment we realize the last peanut butter cup must either go to us to or our best friends, the switch flips. Our eyes turn crimson red, demonic body armour appears and begins to encase us, and we gnarl our razor-sharp teeth. The next instant it all disappears into the thin air from which it came. We gesture with an open palm and step back with the opposite foot.  “I don’t want it. This one is yours.”

It’s just like two family men fighting for the dinner bill. No matter how hard they try to convince each other of the opposite, the fact remains nobody wants to pay for the bill.

School is a similar game of deception. If I were to spin around in a circle with a finger outstretched in a room of TOPS kids, the number of frown lines on my forehead when stopped will indicate the number of extracurricular activities the target doesn’t want you to know about. To get into this program we had to excel above others. We discovered that if we learned to play piano before we could walk, we would have an asset that few others had. Ironically, now it’s actually rarer for one not to know to play the piano than it is for one to know how to play. If it worked for your high school application then why not for your university, grad school, and job applications?

I don’t think it won’t work. I just don’t appreciate the consequences it has on the betrayed classmates. It is like the entire peloton quietly snuck ahead of you. You find yourself alone, losing, and skeptical of the people you trusted and learned to work with.