‘Laws of Life’ essay contest inspires students


Emma Young

Language Arts teacher Alex Wallace (right) stands with Media Specialist Brian Montero (left) in front of the Laws of Life Essay Contest poster, in the media center.

Emma Young

As you walk into Language Arts teacher Alex Wallace’s freshman class, students are hard at work crafting essays about personal sayings and growth. They are writing these essays to enter in the Georgia Laws of Life Contest.

This contest, hosted by the Buckhead Rotary Club and the John Templeton Foundation, gives students a way to reflect about one of their laws of life. A law of life is a guiding lesson or value that people carry with them. Some examples include ‘Manners make the man’ and ‘You reap what you sow.’

“The lesson I wrote about was something my dad used to tell me, in Spanish,” former Midtown student Mia Isaac said. “It was ‘El flojo trabaja dos veces,’ and that translates to, ‘The lazy man must work twice.’”

Isaac was the school and grade level winner her freshman year in 2019. Her awards included a $150 cash prize, special recognition from the district and an opportunity to read her essay aloud for the Buckhead Rotary Club. Since winning, Issac has integrated her lesson in many other parts of her life.

“I try to do a great job of anything that I have to do the first time around, whether it’s doing my school work or anything else,” Isaac said. “Just trying to do the best that I can the very first time, so that I don’t have to do it again.”

Midtown Language Arts teacher Wallace serves as the school’s contest chair. Students in all of his classes participate in the contest. There are several requirements that students must meet in order to be considered for the competition.

For the Laws of Life Essay Contest, essays must be between 500-700, one and a half pages long, include the law of life, and be based on a personal experience.

For Wallace, this contest serves as a way to expose his students to new experiences, new writing and reflection on their lives.

“I hope that my students gain an appreciation for writing and I hope they gain an appreciation for competing against other students outside of Midtown High,” Wallace said. “I hope that they gain a better understanding of their law of life.”

Top essays within the grade, school and district each receive their own recognition and award. Students who advance to the state level have a chance of winning large cash prizes there. The school winner earns $100 and the grade level winner earns $50.

Sophomore Olivia Allen is participating in the contest and has entered with her law of life, “Always stand true to what you believe in.”

“I think that especially in today’s modern climate there can be a lot of misinformation and hateful information,” Allen said. “It’s important to stand up for what you believe in, and at least live your life by it, even when you can’t control the beliefs or actions of other people.”

The contest has assisted Allen in expanding and growing her skills through new styles of writing.

“The contest definitely helped me touch into more personal writing, because I hadn’t really tried that before this competition, where I was prompted to write about my own life,” Allen said.