This past weekend I attended MIST in Atlanta for the first time at the University of Georgia. MIST, which stands for Muslim Interscholastic Tournament, is a full weekend of series of workshops and competitions to showcase the immense talent of both Muslim and non-Muslim students throughout the nation.
Going into the weekend, I didn’t know what to expect but I had heard of a lot of positive experiences from people who had attended in previous years and I was excited to make my own memories. The day started off bright and early with orientation and afterward, competitions began. There were numerous competitions for competitors to choose from. I competed in Poetry, Photography, and a Knowledge Test and those are only a few of the many competitions they have to offer such as short film, fashion design, and extemporaneous speaking. Although I did not place in any of my competitions, they were all fun to prepare for and I was also able to view my peers take parts in their own competitions. Since this was my first year, it was also my first time attending other competitions and workshops.
Personally, my favorite competitions were original oratory and improv. The speakers in original oratory were all incredibly powerful and spoke about relevant topics which connected to this year’s theme- mercy. They were clearly passionate about the topics they chose to speak about, such as mental health, which was reflected in their presentations. I also attended improv which was a fun experience. The people competing in improv had different scenes assigned to them, all of them getting funnier than the ones before and all of which added to the overall excitement and spirit of the weekend.
Saturday went by like a blur and soon it was Sunday- the last day. In the morning, many competitions had their finals such as MIST bowl and the Short Film Showcase in which parents and students were able to watch all of the short films created by the participating competitors. I was also able to support my friends in their intense final rounds of MIST Bowl and saw them take home the trophy. The competition came to a close with the Award Ceremony in which individual, coach, and overall team winners were announced. The spirit, the feeling of unity, and the overall experience were unforgettable and I look forward to returning to compete in my remaining years of high school.