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Giving Up (And Why It’s Okay)

“Winners never quit.” Have you ever heard that before? I know I have. It’s everywhere, in shows on T.V., in the books people read and, plastered on motivational poster. Sometimes if they are feeling very motivational they will turn it around to, following “winners never quit” with “quitters never win”.

I’m here to tell you they’re wrong. It’s okay to give up sometimes. While there are times where the road ahead, while hard, is not insurmountable (like exam week) that’s not true all of the times. Sometimes, sometimes you can look at the road ahead, look at your goals and see if they still align. If they do, great! Keep trying. If not, that’s also great! Then it’s time to step back and disengage. Its okay to give up.

Say you’re on a ship, (Why were you on the ship? Maybe you were on the cruise to Hawaii or some other really cool place) and at first it is smooth sailing. Then it’s not. You hit a storm and cower below decks and thunder rubbles and lighting crashes through the air. The rain feels like hail as it pelts against your skin. Then it’s over, except it’s not, not really. Now your boat is full of water and holes. It is sinking steadily and you are going down too.  

You could stay on this failing boat, bailing until your arms are sore and you just can’t. Then the ship goes down, and you do too. Or you could find the lifeboat and get off the ride. It might hurt to not be able to go to Hawaii (or where ever you were going). But that’s okay, maybe you can take a different trip instead (and if you still want to go back you can catch another boat later).

Sorry for the extended metaphor there but I figured it would be the best way to get this across. It’s okay to give up. Sometimes you want something, so you try for it. But then things get hard. Or your priorities change and it doesn’t matter so much. It’s okay to reevaluate your life and decide that something you thought you wanted, something that was your goal isn’t now. That’s okay. What matters, what really matters is not keeping up with an arbitrary path set out but evaluating what you want and deciding what you need to do to get there. So yes, it’s okay to give up, and sometimes, it’s even for the best.


Rachel Matz

Simmons '22

Freshman at Simmons University
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