Illustration: Andrea Galvan
Illustration: Andrea Galvan
Illustration: Andrea Galvan

Each week, siblings Andrea and Amanda Galvan are presented with a topic and 30 minutes to debate that topic. The catch? They are not allowed to speak. Instead, they document this dialogue on a Google Document in separate spaces, but they can utilize whatever resources that the Internet can provide them to support their viewpoint.

Andrea: Every school year has that one point where everyone is stressed out and screaming about their grades (usually 3rd quarter). At that point in the year, it’s super important to stay optimistic because it’s the only way you’ll make it through. Optimism can save you when you’re at your lowest point.

Amanda: I agree with you in a sense, since optimism gives you enough positive energy to keep pushing, on. The only thing I don’t agree with is that optimism is the only way to get through a tough time or in this case, bad grades. If you think about it, being optimistic is solely staying positive. There’s no hard work involved in it, and it’s pretty much just hoping for the best. Hope doesn’t always get you what you want.

Andrea: Optimism motivates you to work hard. If you’re thinking in your head, “Oh, everything will be better soon!” as you’re studying for your Calculus test, you’ll feel like you’re going to do better on that test.  If you’ve convinced yourself you’ll do well, then you most likely will do well on the test. (I can vouch for this. I did it all last night.) All realism does is demotivate you. If you’re thinking about life as realistic as possible, you’re not going to want to do anything because you’ll think that your fate is inevitable.

Amanda: Being realistic doesn’t always mean you’re constantly looking at the world in a negative way. You’re simply acknowledging the situation for what it is and making adjustments accordingly. For example, you know that an assignment is due in two days, so you manage your schedule to allow time to finish the assignment and get some sleep. If you stayed optimistic, on the other hand, you might end up procrastinating since you keep telling yourself that you’ll get it done, but never actually work on it.

Andrea: Even if you’re realistic about your assignment due in two days, you’re most likely going to procrastinate and stay up until 2 a.m. finishing it. I mean, c’mon. This is high school. While you’re in your frenzied work mode, though, optimism can help you finish that assignment faster than you thought. It’s very common to motivate yourself, set a time limit, and then finish earlier than you thought you would just because you were thinking optimistically.  Honestly, thinking realistically 24/7 is only going to make you more and more negative about life.

Amanda: Although being realistic means accepting the world for how it is, that doesn’t mean you can’t be positive about it. It depends on your own thoughts if you see realism as a positive or negative thing. With the proper outlook and a good sense of realism, you’ll be able to increase your productivity while not sugar coating reality to make yourself feel better about procrastinating.