Monopoly: A Life Lesson

Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you. Tell us how you will utilize the academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences to further explore your interests, intended major, or field of study.

When the dice directed me to yet another vacant property on the Monopoly board, I recklessly continued to invest. Young and naïve, I thought this was a foolproof tactic for winning easily. It was a strategy that I even attempted to conceal from my friends for fear of losing my “secret weapon.” Although my parents told me that this was no way to excel, I disregarded their opinion; whenever they bested me in a family game, I always convinced myself that my defeat was attributable only to bad luck. I firmly believed that their tactic of selective yet minimum expenditures was vastly inferior to mine.

My mania for marching my silver game piece across the Monopoly board ended by first grade, but the economic strategies embodied by board games continued to fascinate me. I sought out increasingly complex economic games, which required me to come up with strategies for everything from financing armies to buying real estate. Ironically, however, my strategy remained as unenlightened as before, disguised only by my greater sophistication and maturity.

It was not until grade six that I saw the flaw in my thinking. At Simon Fraser University’s Mini-University Summer Camp, a program aimed at introducing middle school students to popular...

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