The Opportunity Cost

If this past week could be described by a few words, it would be a cluster of problems to deal with. As with many other students, I want to be a part of many extracurricular activities, even if they happen to overlap with each other. However, at some points in life, one must choose the more important event to participate in.

The first decision I had to make was on this past Tuesday. I had been informed of a fascinating surgery that would take place from 7:30 AM to at least 10:30 AM on April 11th. I had been informed of this surgery by Dr. Polousky’s co-worker the Friday prior to this past week. This surgery involved a procedure in which an incision must be made along the entire upper hip to the leg so that the femur and ‘hip bone’ can be pulled out. After pulling out these bones, they are shaved away at to allow proper motion between the two bones, and then they are properly put back into appendages. It sounded absolutely amazing, and it sounded so different from the usual orthopedic surgeries and procedures. I knew that I would be watching a surgery on Thursday, yet he greatly recommended that I see the surgery on Tuesday instead. However, this is where the problem comes into play: I had a HUGE major AP Calculus AB test and a pretty large pharmacology test to take care of on Tuesday. I knew that since my calculus teacher was very strict on skipping class for ISM, she absolutely would not let me skip. Furthermore, missing that test at this moment would be very detrimental to my studies for the AP test. If I missed both of these tests, there was almost no chance that I was getting caught up soon as both classes would keep piling up the tests and homework for me to do. So in the end, I had to decide on which one would be more beneficial to me. I picked to stay at school because even if I really wanted to see that operation, I had many more chances to see operations, and maybe I would get a chance to see one that was even more unique or difficult than that one! In comparison, if I got behind on my studies this close to the AP tests, I would be pretty messed up in trying to prepare myself, which would mess up my only chance at these tests.

One of the biggest events of the year for NHS members was the induction ceremony which congratulated the incoming sophomores and juniors for making it into the National Honor Society. As one of the National Honor Society Officers, there was no way that I could afford to miss this event. However, this event took place from 6:30 PM all the way to about 9:00 PM. Furthermore, I had wanted to attend the first meeting of the volleyball club which took place immediately after school from 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM. While I really wanted to attend this first meeting, I knew that if I attended the volleyball meeting, I would most likely get ready and dressed up for the induction ceremony in time. Furthermore, I knew that since I had more tests coming up due to practice for the AP tests, I would have even less time to finish homework and study for those tests. In the end, I would be losing a very large amount of time for this ceremony. And yet, I couldn’t skip it. I knew the importance of being an NHS Officer from the moment I got elected to be one. While I do agree that the other members did their job, I feel that out of all the members, I have put forth the most effort in trying to enhance the National Honor Society because I knew that I had to carry the full responsibility of having over three hundred members to care for. I decided that I needed to push off the other tasks or try finishing those tasks, such as homework, earlier in order to make up for the time I would miss this event. Furthermore, while a plethora of things went wrong during this event such as the sound system glitching and eventually having to be shut down and the students being unable to light their candles, I believe that in the end, the event was worth the time I had to take out.

This last weekend was a four day weekend. Which, in brown person terms, means that practically every desi family in the area will be holding an event for some reason or another. For the past few months, I have been able to push those events back because I was preoccupied with homework and studying. Yet, I knew that if I did not attend some of the closest family friend’s parties, people would look down on me for not being able to balance my social and study life. Also, I feel like I really deserved a break. But putting that desire aside, I knew that by skipping every single one of these parties would not result in the best outcome, so I knew that I had to attend them. I had to show to others that I was indeed able to maintain a social life, even if that meant sacrificing time I could have used to be relaxed. Furthermore, I knew that in the end, I would have time to work on my homework and relax, as long as I properly worked on it throughout the week, not just piling it up for the last second.

Sacrifices, no matter how big or small, have to be made. Every decision, every chance, every opportunity comes at a cost. While we may be able to lower that cost down a little bit, it is up to us to decide what choice we must live through. We must make the choices that best help us prepare for the future. And we must make those choices by looking at the opportunity cost that we are giving up.

See y’all next week,

Saif Haque

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