I'm A Teenager And I'm Not Planning To Just 'Go Through' Life- I'm Going To Play It!

Akshay Tumunuri Akshay Tumunuri in Your Story on 10 April, 2020

You're a piece in the board game called 'Life'- what are your moves? Do you play brave or play safe?

Some of us have lived most of our lives already while some like me, are yet to navigate through it. It doesn’t matter that I’m a teenager. The point is, we all live our lives like we are going to live forever.

So, you might think of life as a journey, one where there are ups and downs, highs and lows. But have you ever thought of it this way - that life is merely a board game?

A board game has players. Obviously, you are one of them. But, a complex game like life cannot be played by a solitary person. Don’t believe me? Let’s do the math.

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Just in the game of chess, after the first 3 moves are made, there are 121 million ways the game can unfold in. And it is still no match for the game of life.

In my game, I have my parents, friends, relatives and I know more people are coming. Eventually, there will be mentors, colleagues, competitors, God knows who else. But I'm going to stick to talking about the people I have now- they guide me, help me and sometimes scold me. Some started the game with me, and if I am fortunate, will stay with me till the end. Others have joined in between and have left in the middle. All of this depends on our choices. I make a move, they make a move. And there are billions, maybe trillions of ways in which the rest of my life can go, just because I made that one move.

The choices we make, define a game and also our life. In a game, we may choose to buy an item or power-up which may change the course of it. Similarly, our choices in life put us on different paths. Unfortunately, there are no cheat sheets or spare lives. Our paths are majorly influenced by other players. For example, a crucial turning point in my life was when my father’s job transfer occurred and I had to move to the United Kingdom. Going there had changed me for the better, gave me different perspectives and opened my eyes.

There, I lived a completely different life. In grade seven I travelled by train and bus for two hours a day, so that I can reach my grammar school (a higher level of schooling than ordinary schools and they were located only in some places). The traversing made me braver and a more mature person. When I came back to India, everything changed. A different school, a varied environment and a contrasting group of friends. It was a drastic change, but I had to adapt myself in order to blend in. The past I have already spoken of, the future I have no idea. I will just have to wait and see what destiny has in store for me. I do have about 70 years more to live, so a simple move can change the route of those 70. Although I cannot predict the future, I can do everything in my power to make it a bright one.

Frequently in a board game, you gain rewards, by luck or by intelligence. The same way, you earn wealth, fame, name only by using our brain, supported by a bit of luck. At the end of a game, we might win or lose just like life because everyone has their fair share of ups and downs. I too have my fair share. Myself as a teen, I face a lot of competition in education. If I perform well, all the players (family and friends) appreciate and congratulate me. Otherwise, I have to face taunts. I have no idea how well the elders in my family performed in their academics but they've figured out life. Even if they did well in their education, they have to face the same problems as the others. So it's pretty strange when I think of why I have to waste my energy thinking about which relative will call home after my board exam results come out. 

So that's why I'm saying, life is a board game. I have learnt that the end result totally depends on the person I am, the people around me, the choices I make and the human beings I spend time with. In case you become a player in my game, be sure to play well and skilfully. Thus I shall play this game wisely and so shall you.

Editor's Note:

Hold on, just a moment. It's not every day that a teenager opens up and shares their life with us. Aren't we always complaining that the teens are being secretive? Well, if you've ever felt that way, this is for you-

You were a teenager once and you started out in life just like this. And you've probably forgotten that it's just a game, after all. So, what's stopping you, buddy? Make your move. Tell your story here.