I first heard about British Council's essay competition from my father. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Vocational Training Institution in HK, and was somehow made known of this opportunity.
Since on the next academic year I will be applying for college and am desparately looking for whatever I can do to make my resume pretty, I decided to give this thing a try. To be completely honest, that was my attitude: just go for it; trying won't hurt. If you ask me, getting chosen as one of two individuals travelling to London with all expenses covered probably requires a better essay than what a High Schooler like me can offer.
So as you can imagine, "shocked" hardly began to tell how I felt when I was informed of my winning the competition. I was literally going to yell out in joy at the top of my lungs if it weren't for the fact that I was working at an office. It was like winning the lottery (although in truth I've never actually experienced that)!
I guess I learned from this that every opportunity, no matter how big or small it is, or however impossible it may seem, must be seized indiscriminately. If Nike was to hire me right now, I'd surely sign right up, for I fully endorse their slogan: just do it. Thank you British Council!
When I first saw the details of the London International Youth Science Forum, I was interested by how it would allow me to share ideas and interact with others studying within the same discipline. Science can be a subject commonly associated with being ‘boring and nerdy’. But in fact, it is fascinating and mind provoking providing that you take the time to understand how everything works. I applied for the conference because I was interested in meeting people who were as passionate as I was.
I wrote my essay without thinking of what people would expect as a ‘standard answer’. Instead, I took it as an opportunity to raise my concerns and tell others what I thought was the greatest threats to our oceans.
I remember the amount of intense focus I had writing my essay - I was ‘in flow’. I told myself that there should be no hard feelings if I didn’t get chosen… as I have raised my point and if I wasn’t selected, it’s simply because the judge didn’t agree with what I said – but it’s not because I was wrong.
I still remember the day clearly when I received the email of my successful application. In fact, I remember how anxious I was waiting for the email. I was checking my mail constantly on the street… I really wanted to win. When I found out the results, I did what any little kid would have done. I told everyone I could think of.
To read more about the London International Youth Science Forum, visit www.liysf.org.uk. This trip is sponsored by British Council.
Read Godwin's essay:
Read Youni's essay: