By Round Square Conference participants, Dover Campus
A group of 15 Middle School students traveled to Scotch College in Perth to attend the Round Square Conference 2016, 'On the Edge'. Through the conference, students all over the world met and explored different aspects of living life on the edge by participating in a variety of activities: listening to speakers, supporting each other through ropes course, surfing, orienteering, taking part in service and more. The real purpose of the conference was to take students out of their comfort zones, and push their boundaries and endurance, both physically and mentally.
Through the conference students made many friends and lots of memories, but all agree that the biggest thing they took away from the conference was the understanding and awareness of how big the world really is, how much is really out there and even how much is within themselves.
One of the major realisations students made was how so many people, so many more than they had thought, live on the edge of survival. Students learnt this through hearing the stories of five young refugees who had been forced to flee their homes and find new lives in Australia. Students recognized that sometimes one ends up on the edge and it is not of one’s choosing, but even so you do what you can to make your situation better.
Through Sean Pollard, a shark attack survivor, students learnt that one can be put on the edge of survival within minutes, and how much personal strength one must have to come back. In both talks students learnt that it is not easy to come back to the metaphorical centre, and even after one returns, one’s struggles aren’t over. One has to learn to adjust and fit in your new surroundings which can be just as hard as coming back from the edge.
Through the Round Square conference students also realised that there was more in us than they thought and even though at some point in our lives we had been on the edge--on the edge of understanding, on the edge of discovery, on the edge of imagination, on the edge of our comfort zones. All these edges can be pushed further, further than students thought and that stepping out of one’s comfort zone is just a first, but meaningful, step.