I started to attend a debate class outside of school since Grade 9. My initial purpose was to raise my confidence of speaking in front of a group of people and develop my skills to communicate with others.
In November 2015, I participated in a Public Forum debate tournament at Princeton University. It was my second time participating in a tournament like this. I went through a three day extra training camp where I had to prepare for the tournament from the 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I thought of giving up at the mid way through the training because the day seemed so long, however I was able to go through these challenges by adjusting my mentality from a negative mood to a positive one. Then I participated in the tournament, it was massive, hundreds of teams have attend this tournament either from U.S. local school or International schools from China, Korea, and such. Even though, I did not bring back any awards, I still feel happy that I went to this tournament because it helped me to practice and improve my debating skills, and I was able to make some new friends outside of Canada.
This Month, I went to another debate tournament at Harvard University. My initial goal is to win at least three rounds out of six rounds. Thus, I prepared very hard for this tournament and attended a similar debate camp during the February long weekend. Luckily, my partner and I were able to broke into the triple final and ranked 48th out of 396 teams. We still have a lot of spaces to improve, but I felt that I have achieved the goal that I had set before. Through these tournaments, I was able to enhance my debating skills which also affects my communication skills. In Middle School, I was always shy to talk to people who I am not familiar with and I barely talk during class. Now I am more comfortable of talking to people whom I don’t know either at school or outside of school. These debate experiences have helped me not only enhance my critical thinking skills, but also how to corporation with others effectively, especially those who have the exact opposite perspectives.