(I'm not starting off with a debate question here, but more of a scenario. Let's see how it evolves!) I am friends with one person who happens to be with me in the valedictorian race. To be clear, I don't know that for sure, but I haven't heard of a higher set of CGPAs in my batch, and since selection is based purely on CGPA in my institute, I am assuming that we may qualify for it. Regardless of the valedictorian award, there's also the departmental award (highest CGPA in major) which, we definitely may qualify for. Anyway, point being, we're really close in the race--I guess his CGPA is 3.96, mine is slightly higher. So, in other words, even a slight lapse can tip the scales in his favor. Which is okay and fair game, if it happens I'd be bummed but I'd deal with it. Though practically, I do want the award. I don't lie about it; if I could get it, why wouldn't I? So I do keep an eye on his grades and ask him every now and then where he stands. (PS: I share mine too if he asks). Some time back we were chatting and I asked his marks in a quiz (we're in the course together). He didn't share, so I shared mine and when he didn't say anything, I noted that he probably got a higher mark than mine. Then I teased him that I better get higher marks on the next quiz so I could beat him. And he just flared up. He chastised me for being so competitive and having a lose-lose attitude. He impressed that I was being insecure and pathetic. I haven't spoken to him about it since, and I don't really care to, since I don't like being spoken to that way. But I'm just wondering--is he right? I don't mean to be petty, and he's my friend regardless of who wins the race. Is it bad to care for the award? To work hard for it? I'm just a bit confused now. I guess I'll get biased answers because competitiveness is valued as an individualistic trait, but collectivist cultures believe in cooperation. But any opinion is valuable.