Reflection on Competition: Opinion Essay

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As I walk out the door into the courtyard, I’m caught off guard by the blaring sun. It’s summertime. The grass is vivid and freshly cut. Birds can be heard chirping in the distance. There are no clouds in sight, giving way to scalding temperatures. And, on that day, one that seemed like the hottest day of the year, I am wearing a suit.

The occasion was a competition at the end of MITE, a program introduced me to the process and cooperation of engineering. I had spent two weeks working on an engineering-based project, which happened to be a robot, with a group. At the end of the program, our robot would compete in a competition against other robots to see which team had created the most effective one. Along with this, my group and I would have to present the robot and the many engineering processes that had been considered throughout the course of the program. The competition was the easy part, as I had previously participated in events such as FIRST Robotics. The presentation, however, was an entirely different story. I could present the project in a small group without much stress and anxiety. But the thought of 10 people, even if the majority were parents, sent my heart racing.

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I continue walking through the courtyard until I reach the building I would be presenting in. I use the small towel in my hand to wipe away the sweat that continued to reappear, no matter how many times I had wiped it away. The heat isn’t helping my situation. As I enter the building, I am met with a face full of air conditioning.

“Finally. Something to help me cool off and calm down,” I think to myself.

The air conditioning was able to stop the sweat, thankfully, but the stress continued to mount. With the feeling of impending doom approaching, I sat through the competition, smiling to myself as the robot easily succeeded. I nearly forgot about presenting until the competition abruptly ended, much like a daydream during class. My heart began picking up the pace again. Even with such a familiar topic, I still had trouble keeping myself from shaking. I was absolutely terrified of public speaking, and terrified by the fact that I would be judged on it.

I enter the presentation room and quickly set up the PowerPoint along with my team. Just as we were finishing the setup, the parents and judges began to swarm into the room. I began to panic, more so than I already had. I felt embarrassed. I could feel my face as it turns the bright red that it usually becomes when I’m nervous. Everyone sits down, and the sound in the room drops to nothing. The presentation starts. My partners take the first few slides, so all I can do is sit and listen to the clock ticking in my head as the time slowly increase towards my part. The mouse clicks. It’s the first of my slides. I pause, as the voices of doubt and anxiety scream in my conscience. I take a breath, and I began.

Believe it or not, I survived the presentation by taking it slowly and thinking about what points I needed to get across. Three times over, to be exact. And, to be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. I have a tendency to overthink even the simplest of things, this being one of the many instances. Each time I get past another presentation, though, I feel more confident in my abilities. I know life is going to be more stressful than talking in front of a small group of people. I’m well aware of this. And, much like the presentation, I will work myself up about the many things thrown my way. But I know that each anxiety-riddled situation I live through will help me throughout life.

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Reflection on Competition: Opinion Essay. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Reflection on Competition: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
Reflection on Competition: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Jul. 2024].
Reflection on Competition: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 18 [cited 2024 Jul 22]. Available from:

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