Apex High Schooler to Talk at TEDxRaleigh Conference
Courtesy of alexmillos/Shutterstock
Early in August, I started my college application process. When preparing for the UNC-Chapel Hill application, I was approached by the essay question: write a TED Talk. I spent a lot of time thinking about this topic and what I could possible offer that would be TED Talk-worthy. After pondering upon my past experiences, I finally wrote an essay on a word that I believe to be the most important in the English language: "No."
As an avid TED listener, I wasn’t surprised when my dad forwarded me an email about TEDxRaleigh applications and encouraged me to apply. I thought to myself, “Well, it’s worth a shot!” I didn’t expect anyone to pick a high school kid to be a presenter at one of the most prestigious speaking events. On Jan. 24, a day before applications were due, I sat on my bed and used my laptop to create the 2-minute video required for the application. I took parts of my essay and used it as inspiration for my application.
After completing my interview as a finalist, I was unsure of whether or not I would be selected, but I was getting anxious. On the day that the presenters were going to be announced, I had my senior presentation.. An hour before my presentation, I told my dad not to come to my presentation, but to go to the TEDxRaleigh Kick-Off party to see if I had been selected. It was later that night when I heard the good news that my heart started beating fast. It was hard to believe that I was going to TEDx presenter!
As a speaker, I want to bring to light the concept of failure through the eyes of a high schooler. “No” is viewed as one of the scariest things in the world, but it shouldn’t be viewed that way. I believe that failure can foster unconventional and creative thinking. My hope is that other high schoolers will listen to a peer and be inspired to turn a “no” into a “yes.”
It has been less than a month working with the TEDxRaleigh team, and it is unbelievable what I have experienced thus far. I have had the privilege to meet with amazing individuals and hear their experiences with TED. The most interesting aspect, I believe, is seeing the other presenters and hearing their ideas. As we practice together, it’s great to hear feedback from such talented individuals. Sometimes, I get a little intimidated being the youngest presenter, but what I am learning from this, I could never learn sitting in a classroom.
I am grateful of the entire TEDxRaleigh team for making this event possible. I can’t wait continue this journey ahead. I hope to see you all on March 19!
Dhvani Bhatia is a high school student at Apex High. During the upcoming TEDxRaleigh Conference (sorry, folks, it's sold out!), she will explore the word “no,” which she says currently symbolizes rejection and inhibits people from traveling outside comfort zones to discover the undiscovered.