Teaching Me How To Debate – A COM 267L Reflection

As a requirement for my Leader Advancement Scholarship, I took a debate class during my first semester of college, and I can honestly say that it was arguably the best! Haha! Not only did I learn many interesting facts about the history of debate, but I also learned how to properly debate an issue at hand. I was looking forward to learning this because I know that understanding how to properly back up an opinion or idea I have will greatly help me in my future career.

For my first debate, I was partnered with my great friend Emily and we had to argue against the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in sports. Though the subject matter wasn’t the most interesting, I soon realized that we had to plan a lot before going into this. Emily and I spent a few hours in the days before our debate researching the topic, planning counterarguments to anything our opponents could possibly say, and trying to learn everything we could about the history of PEDs in sports. It was a lot of work and definitely tired me out, but we were incredibly prepared for the debate and took home the gold! Every debate we did from that day on was stellar and we became a force to reckon with at the podium.

Debate taught me the importance of being prepared in every way. You never truly know what is going to happen while doing a presentation, and you need to have your next move ready to go even when you don’t know what that move will be!  If I am not prepared to handle the unexpected, I cannot succeed. Yes, at a basic level, Debate taught me about Aristotle, the gamblers fallacy, and proper debate format. What I learned in this class applies to real life by showing that I always need to be prepared for what is ahead of me; ready in an instant to adjust to anything that life throws my way.

After class everyone used to go get lunch together. Sadly, I had another class directly after so I wasn’t ever able to partake in class meals. Except for this day, where I finally got to share a meal with my pals.  But then I held my knife up and acted like a doofus in this picture, effectively ruining the moment.

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