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2018 USAP China Round: Never Overthink About Being the New Person

USAP, the United States Academic Pentathlon, is one of the most reputable middle school academic competitions in the United States. Back in 7th grade, I was just an observer, seeing my classmates leaving for Guangzhou then Minneapolis, and returning with trophies and medals. I did not feel capable enough to participate, and I was worried that as a new student of SHSID I wouldn’t know any participant. This year, I gave it a try and passed the qualification test. After all, it turned out I was worrying too much.



Out of a team of 9 people, I was one of only two who were new to USAP, but my teammates made me feel very welcome and patiently explained to me rules of the three most important events in USAP: Objective Tests, Super Quiz, and the Assessment center. Then they shared with me their past experiences of the competition in as much detail as they could. It took me only a couple of days to feel I belonged to the team and felt able keep up with the pace. This was the first thing I came to like about USAP – it is a team game.



This year’s USAP theme is Africa, which happens to be what we learned about in geography class in the first semester of Grade 8. However, looking at Africa from the angles of science, literature, art, math and social science is a whole new thing for us. Along the way of preparation, that remote continent became closer and closer, and the five subjects turned from plain knowledge into a great learning experience, especially when preparing together with the team. In the end, the winter break turned out to be a learning break and our Chinese New Year was full of African flavor. However, when I walked into the competition hall and worked shoulder by shoulder with my teammates to compete against over 100 teams from schools all around China, all the hard work was worth it.



At last, our team ranked 1st place overall and got the chance to become one of the twenty teams to go to the USAP final round in Omaha. I not only gained knowledge, but also learned the importance of teamwork, and to never overthink about being the new person. Good luck to everyone in Omaha!

(Written by Amy 8(11)    Supervised by Ms Gu    Pictures by Grades 7-8 parents)