Finding opportunity in spite of adversity at HOSA competition

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is an organization that gives students opportunities to broaden their knowledge of healthcare professions. Bhakti P. and Akshita P., students in the Academy of Health Science and Law at McGavock High School, took steps to compete at the regional HOSA competition held at Middle Tennessee State University on February 3, 2012. When the teacher in charge of the program left the school, community partners stepped up to help the students prepare. Yesterday, we heard from Bhakti about the lessons learned from this experience; today, Akshita tells us about learning to find opportunity in spite of disappointment and adversity.

I am part of a student organization called HOSA in which students from different schools compete against each other at the regional, state, and national level. In order to compete, each student who is a member of HOSA must choose a skill. The skill that I picked was Biomedical Debate. This skill required competing in a group of three to four members. Along with me were two other members: Bhakti and Kathy, who are also ambassadors in the same academy, as well as active members of HOSA.

In order to compete at the regional level, we were required to pass a written test. All three of us took the test, but we did not learn the results until we actually got to the destination where the competition was held. When we got there, we received our results and realized that we had not passed the written test; we were, therefore, not able to compete. Listening to this disappointing news decreased my level of confidence and my hope for the competition. However, even though I was not able to compete, I learned many things and had a great experience from just visiting the competition.

The regional competition was held at Middle Tennessee State University, a university I had not visited until the day of the competition. Visiting this university gave me a chance to explore and learn about many of the programs offered there. This exploration gave me second thoughts concerning my future and opened more choices for me to make a decision regarding the university or the college that I will be attending after I graduate from high school.

In addition, I also learned a new lesson: never give up hope when losing. I know winning would have been the biggest achievement in life, but losing did not harm me. It saddened me, but it taught me many life lessons. I learned that I did not have to think of myself as an underachiever if I thought about what it took to even try to compete. Many of my fellow students refused to do that, but I recognized that I at least took a risk. I learned that I need to prepare more and earlier next time to compete in a competition. I learned that sometimes losing opens doors to other opportunities. Therefore, I learned never to give up hope upon not achieving a dream or not winning, because there is always a second chance and there is always something great to learn from that experience.