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5 Things I Learned Playing Online Survivor

Greetings my avid readers (or something like that). If you’re still there–thanks for hanging in there with me. My life has seen a lot of changes since I last wrote. Finished up my first quarter of graduate school, turned 29 (WHAT), moved my life to Chicago, nursed my ailing cat (more info here: https://www.gofundme.com/helpforjuju). And  know that’s no excuse for my lack of musings, but I’ll always strive to get better. To make it up to you, here’s a nice light-hearted post!

If you’ve been paying attention, you might remember that I’m somewhat (ok, actually) a nerd. I may be ‘outing’ some of my friends by saying this but…I’VE PLAYED ONLINE SURVIVOR.

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It all started innocuously enough. I had just lost my first grown-uppy type job in 2011 and I was spending my days lurking on job boards, writing cover letters, and stalking friends on Facebook. One day a friend came over and all of a sudden HAD to use my laptop. Looking over his shoulder at him chatting with folks, making goofy videos, and competing in  challenges I thought to myself: “I like chatting online and am extremely bored with my life.” Naturally, I was hooked.

The gist of these games is basically just like the show– with tribes, challenges, and alliances, minus the whole exposure to the elements, lack of palatable food, and overall general discomfort thing — sans maybe some late nights talking on Skype.

I’ve gained many things from playing these games, not least of which is a kickass group of cool frands that I probably literally wouldn’t be where I am today without. Surprisingly though, I have learned some other important lessons too. And, even though now I’m currently “in retirement” a some of the lessons have stayed with me. Here are just a few.

1. Some people just don’t like you. (They have bad taste and it’s ok)

Oh man if I remembered this consistently it would save me SO much grief. In the context of online survivor you understandably run into a lot of walks of life. You’ll find everyone from really cool bored unemployed people to trolls who have nothing better to do with their lives then insult people online. The problem is in the world of the game you have to get along with all of them.

I remember several times in my youth and adult life where I was trying SO hard to get someone to like me. This person could be a peer, a love-interest, or a supervisor. Sometimes there are some people you are not meant to get along with. Sure, you can always be cordial and not a dick–but some people are just impossible to please and sometimes the best thing to do in those situations is stop trying. Their bad taste is NOT your fault.

2. Sometimes the best response is silence

Ever get in one of those arguments where your opponent will literally NOT REST until you are completely broken down? Or they’ll take the smallest thing you say and twist it all around and blow it up in your face? Yeah, those people suck. Or, you know those big juicy secrets that someone tells you? Yeah…maybe sometimes those are best kept to yourself.

Not only will you save yourself a lot of mental anguish by keeping quiet but people who matter will actually see you in a better light. Sure, in the context of online survivor sometimes this can make you come off as threatening but in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t you rather take care of yourself instead of getting embroiled in other people’s drama?

3. There are all sorts of weirdos who live among us and are still able to function in the real world.

This took me a long time to learn and it still surprises me to this day how huge jerkoff and idiots that I knew in elementary school and junior high somehow are out there and have jobs and lives and things. Sure, sometimes they are still dicks or idiots but even someone will give them a job and love them. And, they can even pay for their own internet!

The important lesson here is to always remember that if things feel tough and unmanageable for you — just remember that that even those people made it…so you can too!

4. To make it to the TOP, you ultimately have to look out for yourself and could end up sacrificing a lot. 

It’s lonely at the top…

There’s a reason that on the show the winner is always referred to as the ‘Sole Survivor.’ If you want to be #1 you’ll have to sacrifice a lot. You have to claw your way to the top and sometimes that involves putting yourself before other people. In the workplace, for example, some people might see you as too headstrong or bossy. You might get put in the position to make some hard decisions.

But if success is your thing then sacrifices must be made and you might have to step on some toes–or egos. In calculated and strategic doses I am all for this–just don’t be a jerk about it, ok?

5. …You can still make it pretty far if you’re “just here to make friends.”

If you’re alive and have a television you’ve probably heard this much stated line on reality TV.

And it’s true, for a lot of people these shows represent their big chance to change the course of their lives, and in this case they should go ahead and go for the gold y’know? But the great thing with online survivor is that there’s rarely a million dollars on the line and usually if you’re just there to make friends you can usually make it pretty far!

Friends push you to be better they motivate and inspire you to do things you might not normally. And sometimes, if you’re lucky they’re there for you when you really need them. In real life, you can get really far by relying on the village that is your friends.

Where have some of YOUR unexpected life lessons come from?