HoWSC 6 | Emily Peng

In April of 2017, I attended my first regional round. 

At the time, I’d just gotten out of the darkest era in my teenage life. Still recovering from a mild eating disorder and battling with self-hate; I was a broken girl who pretended like she was okay. 

I viewed World Scholar’s Cup as a weekend-escape. For two days, I could pretend I was the confident girl I once was. For two days, I could forget the sadness that tore me up, and put my all into debating - something I once loved.

Globals was a far off dream, and ToC wasn’t even a possibility. 

Yet, here I am. 7 months later. I’ve gone from my regional round in Shanghai, to globals in Hanoi, to ToC at Yale University.

Every moment I spend at WSC, is my favorite moment. No matter how bored, tired, hungry I am; the awe-striking fact that I’m surrounded by scholars from all over the world, burns brighter than whatever petty emotion I may be feeling.

In April of 2017, I came home from my regional round with 11 medals, and friendships that would later change my life. 

WSC did not heal me of my scars.
WSC did not force me to love myself.
WSC did not mute the hateful voices inside my head.

Sadly, many of my scars remain intact. Yet, World Scholar’s Cup helped me see myself as someone who was capable, someone who was worthy, someone who was good enough.

As my team-mates and I embraced each other after each success, as I made my way to the front after getting paneled, as I hugged my newly made friends goodbye; I realized that WSC was not a weekend-escape. WSC is an family. WSC is a safe-haven.

WSC is cheesy pop songs being blasted at top volume; stuffed alpacas; ‘too many’ medals; screams of joy; the feeling of acceptance and reward; and the most incredible group of people you’ll ever meet.

To: Cici Zhou, Angel Quan, Bern Schroer, Sarah Jiang, the OnePwaa team, Victoria Sin, Suzu Kitamura, William Ting, Nadine Hilman, Van An Trinh, Joshua Chien, Cynthia Xu, Cheri Zhang and many many more,
Thank you all for being such big parts of my first WSC season. I love you all very much!

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