This past November, myself and four students from Heritage Woods competed at The World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions at Yale University. We placed in the top 5% out of over 1800 students at the final and most competitive round. Going head-to-head with students who had debate coaches and curriculum guides, we managed to prevail victorious without these resources. However, doing well doesn’t begin to compare to the memories we made.
We met people from all over the world, people we are so happy to call our friends. Friends from Australia, Bulgaria, France, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Manitoba, Moldova, Nigeria, Slovenia, and so many more places. Even though it was only five days, every second we spent together was special. The scavenge, where we met for the first time. The ball, where we had more fun than imaginable. The closing ceremony, where we cheered louder than most ears could handle and where we promised it wasn’t the last time we would see each other. These relationships are what make it all worth it: but also what makes it so hard to leave.
Those five days we got to spend with each other are priceless and something I will never forget. The World Scholar’s Cup is a place where students from all over the world come together to debate, write, and do a test so difficult that you can feel your brain melt. It is not only a place of competition and work but a place of acceptance and joy. A place where students share their cultures and hear from different perspectives. I am so grateful to have been given the privilege to be a part of something so amazing. And though my bank account is screaming, this experience has been priceless.
Written by Maya Tharp