People Perform the Best When Their Backs Are Against the Wall

Essay by xemo69High School, 12th grade January 2007

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Independence! Who doesn't want independence? But the bigger question is can independence impact us in a positive way? Generally, lack of independence may result in bad decision making as one always follows, while on the other hand, too much independence may lead people to not have enough discipline. Should we always consult parents as our guides? I always doubt whether I am going to succeed in university on my own in the next few years, because I never lived anywhere by myself. However, through a school event held in Hong Kong last year, I realized how fun independence can be and how it helps people to mature along the way.

In my personal opinion, staying at anywhere else but home is inconvenient, despite the fact that I love traveling. The sign-up sheet on the bulletin board with the title of "2005 ACAMIS Pan-China High School Cultural Convention" attracted a lot of people in our school.

Under the title, it lists all kinds of activities including choir, dance, visual arts and more. I, at first, was interested to the title as well, being that it is held in Hong Kong. I took out my pen from my pencil case, and just when I was ready to write my name down, I hesitated. Even though I love anything that involves art, not preferring to live with a host, I put back my pen and walked to cafeteria for lunch. While eating lunch with my friends, I noticed how everyone has been to other sports tournaments held in other cities and how much they have appreciated the times they had together. Thinking back, I've only went to soccer tournament a year ago in Beijing. I asked myself, "Did I not have fun with them as well?"

"If I could do it back then, I can definitely do it again," I said to myself. Quite frankly, I did like the experience of going somewhere with my friends. Plus, my best friend has asked me to go with her.

"I'm leaving to Canada next year, so I might as well make this school year the best one ever," I then decided to go to this event hosted by Australian International School Hong Kong. What was different this time was that we did not live with a host; instead, we asked the schools if it was okay to live at my best friend's place. Both school finally agreed. The school therefore did not provide any transportation; we had to figure out which subway to take and how to walk to AISHK from the stop.

What was achieved at the cultural convention that was held at AISHK was phenomenal; when people come together to create art in any form, be it visual or performing, only great things can happen. Especially when young people gather together, problems are momentarily set aside, barriers break down and cultural boundaries are crossed. On February 24th approximately 160 students from seven different international schools around China arrived at AISHK and joined 52 students of AISHK for three days of creative arts. The time began with a welcome dinner and ceremony in the school auditorium. On the next morning, we began the intensive program that included a mammoth, collaborative visual arts project, an orchestra, a Jazz band, a dance troupe, a choir and a theatrical project. I was assigned to African drumming for Friday, junk jammin' for Saturday, and Australian didgeridoo painting for Sunday; for the rest of the time, I have practice for the orchestra.

On the last day we were to perform in front of everyone. We worked so hard to show the new and exciting skills we were able to develop in all the activities. The performance was a success; everyone came together and sung together. I made many new friends throughout the cultural convention. The next day, I left Hong Kong with a tear in my eyes and a smile on my face.

When I come to think about it, I am so glad that I chose to go to this event. Whenever people ask me about a particular meaningful event, 2005 Cultural Convention always comes up to my mind. I now understand that independence does not have to be bad or scary, because it helps us to mature and broaden our perspective. I look forward to my freshman year in university next year.