People change and grow, and Owlypia is no different

by Uma Hamzic, August 2018

Last year I sat down at a different laptop, in a different place, and wrote about how excited I was for Owlypia. It was just before the competition itself; an online test, challenging in every way, enticing me with the hopes of a wonderful prize at the end of it. For hours I read articles, watched videos, and talked with my friends about the topics they’d chosen. Most of my work was done to gain a place at The Intellectuals’ Challenge, which last year took place in Cambridge, UK. I went in the end, but not in the way I expected.

The day after I took the test, I was unsure of how I’d done – I felt that my hard work hadn’t paid off. Funnily enough, the theme that year was on ‘Failure: The Road to Success’, and the irony of not heeding this was soon to dawn on me.

Eventually, the night before the results were published, I looked through every person I studied and used them as a measure to my own experience. I loved the idea of Owlypia teaching me what I needed to know but didn’t learn in a classroom, even before the competition started.

If failure was the road to success, and Owlypia taught students life lessons, then tomorrow I would hold my head high. No matter the result I got, I would see it the way Owlypia had taught me. I would take it as my road to success.

I got third place… Out of over nine-hundred participants! My perception of my own failure morphed into an overwhelming realisation of my astounding success.

Unsurprisingly, this experience sparked changes within me, posing questions which have brought me back again this year.. There’s a new theme now ‘Creativity: Beyond the Borders’. This year you study what you want and 80% of the questions are in that subject, but the other 20% come from the new Common Ground area. Just looking at the website made me realize how ten years from now, I’ll still be reflecting on this last year; my first road to success.

People change and grow, and Owlypia is no different. But what doesn’t change is the core of a person, or the essence of an idea. Owlypia started as a way to educate and excite students. That hasn’t been lost, and I doubt it ever will be.

I’m still somebody who wants to be better. I want to learn what I can do and where I can go. I want to see new people and try new things, but most of all, I want to stay with Owlypia.

I wonder what I’ll learn this year.

Who will learn it with me?

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