- 2019 “21st Century Cup” National English Speaking Competition – China – Champion
- World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships 2019 – Hong Kong Team & The Paul Holleley Award Commendation
- Hong Kong Model United Nations 2019 – Marketing Director
- 2019 R.A. Butler Politics Prize – Trinity College, Cambridge – Special Commendation
- South China Morning Post – Student of the Year Awards 2017/18 – Linguist (English) – Champion
“Wait a second… you dance?” is probably the most frequent response I get when people scroll through my socials, and I do not blame them. To most, I am just that one dude who does pretty well in his exams, who leads a couple of clubs in school, and who loves all things ‘public-speaking related’, probably a little too much. Now while my skills are nowhere near that of a professional dancer, dance has taught me some of the most useful lessons in life, and I want to bring you through the steps of my dancing journey.
Let’s start from the beginning when you pluck up the courage and decide to get your feet wet, watching a YouTube tutorial or attending a dance class, not caring about what others think about your flailing limbs or lack of balance. For me, I was lucky enough to have the consistent encouragement of my parents and teachers at SPCC as they guided me through my first ever public speaking tournament. But ever since then, I realized that our biggest critic is oftentimes ourselves. Once I got over the fear of ‘looking bad’ or of ‘failing’, I started treating each contest as both a learning opportunity and a chance for me to make friends with other talented people and learn from them.
Once you have the basic skills, you start to have the urge to test them out, maybe in a game of Justdance, or even a street dance battle, and after each one, you push yourself to do a harder choreography. ‘Continuous self-growth’ is one of the attributes I care about most dearly, rather than constantly comparing myself to my fellow peers, my biggest ‘competitor’ is my past self. To give an example I represented HK in the Worlds Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships for two consecutive years. After ranking rather poorly in my first year, I decided to spend more time polishing my speech, and being awarded the Paul Holleley Award was a testament to all my efforts paying off. This mentality of self-improvement also ties in nicely with my school motto – “pursuit of excellence”. But in truth, one’s path of self-improvement is never-ending, there will always be aspects in my life that I can continue to work on. That is why although it is important to acknowledge our shortcomings, we also need to take some time to appreciate all that we have done.
Now that you’re basically a ‘pro’ in one style of dance, you decide to branch out, learning other styles like hip hop or jazz all at the same time, just so that you become a more all-rounded dancer. Stepping into Form 4, I was already pretty accustomed to ‘trying new things’, but a new challenge arose – ‘time management’. However, armed with a lot of self-control, and a trusty schedule to help plan my day, I effectively juggled numerous academic and non-academic competitions, whilst also giving back to the community. Last year, I was part of the 5-person organizing team of the largest MUN conference in HK – HKMUN 2019, and the marketing team of the 24 Hour Race which aims at raising awareness for trafficking and children’s rights, both of which proved to be arduous but incredibly rewarding.
Having said all that, everyone’s path to success is different. The processes we undergo to become a truly ‘outstanding student’ are all different. But there is one thing that unites us – our unique goals and ambitions that we strive towards, doing everything we can to equip ourselves for the future. We dance to the tune of our own music, not the tune of others, and that, is what makes us truly “outstanding”.