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Best player on weak team -OR- weakest player on best team ?

A photo of ateen ateen
In sports, would you rather be weakest player on best team or best player on weak team?

With an 83% gr 12 avg, would you rather be the last person accepted at U of T or one of the top students at Ryerson?
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A photo of LindaS LindaS
I think it's important to stand out. That way, profs will notice you and you will be given opportunities to take part in projects and maybe get a few scholarships. If your the weak link, all you're really doing is paying for other people's projects and scholarships. With that said, you also have to ask yourself if you want the brand of a prestigious university.
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles
Worst player on the best team. It's harder to compare when the difference between the "teams" becomes smaller, but I'd rather be the worst player on a Stanley Cup winner rather than the league MVP playing for the last place team. But obviously the difference between U of T vs Ryerson is a lot smaller and may not even be that significant.
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A photo of Bscit Bscit
Sounds like some great question for a debate. Id rather be the weakest in the best team, pretty much going to UTSC lol. It is better that giving up and going to Ryerson to a bunch of people. Id feel like id be lying to myself by making myself feel superior. Also there wont be much room for improvement.
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A photo of ktel ktel
I'm going to address your sports analogy as if it's for real. I recently moved from a stronger team to a weaker team, and got noticed a lot more at the weaker team. Part of that was because I was a new face. Part of that was because I was given more playing time on the weaker team. And part of that was just because I stood out as contributing a lot more relatively on the weaker team.

Now when it comes to university I don't think "strong" and "weak" are as clear cut.
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A photo of albud289 albud289

@ateen wrote
In sports, would you rather be weakest player on best team or best player on weak team?

With an 83% gr 12 avg, would you rather be the last person accepted at U of T or one of the top students at Ryerson?



In sports, I'd rather be the weakest player on the best team. I am not competing against my peers, we are all on the same team.

With university however, I may be competing against my peers for coop placements, internships, jobs and other opportunities. So, if it meant having better opportunities, I'd rather be the top student at a lower reputation university than the last student at a higher reputation university.

Also, since this is the "Math, Engineering & Computer Science" section, if you are going for engineering, coop and internship experience matters more than reputation.
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A photo of plato plato
The key word in the question is team. This implies that although you can stand out on a weak team, your team will never achieve glory, or win a Stanley Cup as turtles put it. I agree with ktel, the sports analogy is not good.

That aside. I would choose to be the weakest player on the strongest team, solely based on the fact that I could learn more from the better players.

You can only wallow in your own ego for so long before the stench becomes unbearable, even for yourself.

Surround yourself with smarter, stronger, faster people, and you are sure to be the beneficiary.
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A photo of ateen ateen
Studying engineering is like playing on an elite team. If you do not keep up, you will be cut from the team. So, you may learn a lot from your excellent teamates, but will you survive the cuts. I hear first year has lots of cuts. Maybe if you work really hard, but is hard work enough?
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A photo of broodp4 broodp4
Best player in the worst team. Why? Because u will still be better off than the worst person on the best team. Trust me. Yes, trust me
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A photo of greygoose greygoose
Interesting hypothetical question. One's choices immediately illustrate this...

I think there is no debate: it is best to strive to be the weakest player on the best team. In order to even qualify for that position, you're going to have to be better than the best player on the weakest team, which means you're still going to stand out from the crowd.

I mean, sure, it's humbling. It's a hard decision to make. You'll be surrounded with people that are better than you constantly, which can hurt the self-esteem. But you come to realize that there is no strict ordering on how "good" a person is, and over time you improve yourself to the point where you're able to compete at an eye-to-eye level. You can't improve yourself if you don't have an ideal to strive for or competition to get better.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
The weakest player on the best team still gets to say he won the Stanley Cup, the world championships or the Olympics Gold Medal. Always better to be a small fish in a big pond.
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A photo of SUMmer123456 SUMmer123456
Best player on a weak team easily. You get the star treatment. If everyone is a bigshot, then no one is when you think about it.
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A photo of yls2011 yls2011
I've actually experienced this analogy so I think I can shed some light on my perspective.
In grades 9 and 10 I played for my school's ultimate frisbee team in tier 2 (for those of you who don't know, ultimate frisbee is divided into two "tiers". Tier 1 being the more elite level, and tier 2 is for more amateur teams). I was given the title of MVP in grade 10 and led my team to the semi-finals. It was a truly amazing experience and I felt like I belonged and my contributions to the team were valued.

I moved schools near the end of grade 10, and the following year I tried out for my new school's frisbee team, which happened to be in tier 1. I barely made the cut. This school has a long history of frisbee, and the athletes are all extremely dedicated to the sport. I, being only 5'4 (most of the girls on the team were at LEAST 5'7. talk about intimidating) and not the most skilled, was automatically ignored for much of the season games and practices. I can honestly say not a single male teammate passed me the disc during the entire season. The only time I had actual physical contact with the disc was when a girl sprained her finger in the middle of a game and passed it to me out of desperation to get off the field. Although my team won the championships, I didn't feel the same sense of pride and belonging, to say the least.

I know many people would probably choose 'weakest player on best team' because it seems like a noble answer. But the reality is, being the weakest player on a strong team can be a scary experience, not to mention humiliating and disheartening.
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles

@SUMmer123456 wrote
If everyone is a bigshot, then no one is when you think about it.


That's the point of being on a team, not one person gets all the credit and not one person gets blamed for all the problems. For most of my life I played on a pretty crappy hockey team up until grades 9/10 when I moved to the 1st/2nd place team. Going from winning 3 games a year to only losing 3 games a year was the best feeling in the world. Even the worst player got a gold medal and a jersey with his name on it.
Also, there are plenty of athletes who take huge paycuts to play on great teams. Ilya Kovalchuk is one of the best players in the league, and he took a paycut to leave Atlanta and play for New Jersey instead.
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A photo of ktel ktel
Keeping with the sports analogy, you're typically going to have to and want to work up from a weaker team to a stronger team anyways. At some point you're going to need to be the strongest player on the weaker team in order to move up to the stronger team.
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles

@yls2011 wrote
I know many people would probably choose 'weakest player on best team' because it seems like a noble answer. But the reality is, being the weakest player on a strong team can be a scary experience, not to mention humiliating and disheartening.


I don't think this quite fits if you made it to the semi finals with your former team, chances are they weren't that bad. The idea here is that you're a star but your team wouldn't even make the playoffs, that's a huge difference.
Also, being part of any team should never be humiliating or disheartening unless your ego needed some deflation anyways. If anyone on a team feels humiliated and disheartened, chances are it's not a very good team environment.
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A photo of computerengineer computerengineer
k lol is it just me or is the sports analogy really bad. I don't know if my point of view on this makes sense, but I would rather go to U of T with a 83% average than Ryerson, and I wouldn't even think twice about it. If I go to U of T that means I am ready to take the challenge of studying and graduating from one of the best universities in the world. However, If I choose Ryerson, that would just mean that I want the attention from people of being considered "smart" and I want to take the easy way out. Really, I know that undergraduate degree might not matter, but in the end, I think that when I get older, if I go to U of T, I will pat myself in the back for challenging myself and pushing myself to my limits. If I go to Ryerson, I might regret the decision later and when I see some more successful people who graduated from U of T, I will probably say to myself "What if I went to U of T too."
Sorry about my English. I am still learning.
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A photo of yls2011 yls2011

@iliketurtles wrote

@yls2011 wrote
I know many people would probably choose 'weakest player on best team' because it seems like a noble answer. But the reality is, being the weakest player on a strong team can be a scary experience, not to mention humiliating and disheartening.


I don't think this quite fits if you made it to the semi finals with your former team, chances are they weren't that bad. The idea here is that you're a star but your team wouldn't even make the playoffs, that's a huge difference.
Also, being part of any team should never be humiliating or disheartening unless your ego needed some deflation anyways. If anyone on a team feels humiliated and disheartened, chances are it's not a very good team environment.



Yes, I'm fully aware of that. But to be honest, it doesn't matter if we made it to semis or failed to make it into playoffs. I was one of the better players at a tier 2 team, and one of the weaker ones on my tier 1 team. My point was that my experience in tier 2 was much more positive than at my present school.

I suppose the team environment isn't very good at all when weaker players are looked down upon and ignored. That's kind of what I wanted to address; the fact that it's possible to have an experience similar to mine when you're one of the weaker players in a strong team. Just my perspective though, I get that it isn't always the case.

ANYWAYS, I'd choose U of T over Ryerson haha :)
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A photo of ktel ktel

@computerengineer wrote
k lol is it just me or is the sports analogy really bad. I don't know if my point of view on this makes sense, but I would rather go to U of T with a 83% average than Ryerson, and I wouldn't even think twice about it. If I go to U of T that means I am ready to take the challenge of studying and graduating from one of the best universities in the world. However, If I choose Ryerson, that would just mean that I want the attention from people of being considered "smart" and I want to take the easy way out. Really, I know that undergraduate degree might not matter, but in the end, I think that when I get older, if I go to U of T, I will pat myself in the back for challenging myself and pushing myself to my limits. If I go to Ryerson, I might regret the decision later and when I see some more successful people who graduated from U of T, I will probably say to myself "What if I went to U of T too."
Sorry about my English. I am still learning.



I think when you get older you will probably have forgotten all about where you did your undergrad and will realize how little prestige really matters. It's not like success is only available for U of T grads.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
I think we can throw the sports analogy aside and just answer ateen's question: "Should I go to Ryerson even though I think it's rep is less than stellar ? Or should I wing it with an 83% at the ever so competitive and prestigous U of T?"

BTW, there's no way ANY school's top applicants are gonna have an 83%, especially with the number of Ontario "Scholars" these days.
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A photo of SUMmer123456 SUMmer123456

@iliketurtles wrote

@SUMmer123456 wrote
If everyone is a bigshot, then no one is when you think about it.


That's the point of being on a team, not one person gets all the credit and not one person gets blamed for all the problems. For most of my life I played on a pretty crappy hockey team up until grades 9/10 when I moved to the 1st/2nd place team. Going from winning 3 games a year to only losing 3 games a year was the best feeling in the world. Even the worst player got a gold medal and a jersey with his name on it.
Also, there are plenty of athletes who take huge paycuts to play on great teams. Ilya Kovalchuk is one of the best players in the league, and he took a paycut to leave Atlanta and play for New Jersey instead.




The converse is also true for others. Ilya Kovalchuk's decision has no direct bearing on what you/I would do/prefer personally, so examples don't really play a significant role in the analysis. The point is, it ultimately depends on your priorities. To me, individual recognition is more important than my team necessarily doing well; to you the inverse may be true. I see the basis for your opinion, I just think it wouldn't work for me personally; I can see why my opinion wouldn't work for you either. I'm not going to argue with you because I couldn't care less about your opinion (no offence intended; just being honest); you should, by all means, feel the same way.
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