Judges Didn’t Prepare Me to Debate

Walking into debate the first day was intimidating. I hate confrontation, I hate speaking in front of my peers, and I’m horrible at arguing.

My dad told me before I left for college, “You’ll be fine. Your parents are lawyers, our parents are lawyers, you grew up debating with your brother, everything will be fine.” Little did my dad know I was debating against someone who scared the poop out of me.

Billy, Tessa, and Madeline were my debate partners. For all three debates we had, it was Tessa and Billy vs Madeline and me. Through the semester, we debated whether or not school officials should be allowed to have guns in school, if the grading system should be abolished, and if cosmetic surgery should be illegal.

The second I got up there to the second I was done talking, I was freaked out and shaking. One time during the Parliamentary debate (where we were talking about grades being abolished or not), I looked Billy in the eyes and ended my speech early so that I could be done.

Tessa and Billy weren’t scary people outside of debate, but when they were arguing why they thought their side was right, it was terrifying.

We ended up losing the two debates, but I think Madeline and I put up a very good fight for the second one so we’ll see who came out victorious.

Debate prepared me to be a good leader who isn’t afraid to talk in front of others. By the last debate, I felt pretty confident and comfortable about what I was saying, and how I was delivering it. Although most of the class wasn’t engaged with what I was saying (because our class was at 9:30 am…) I really enjoyed it! I enjoyed getting to see what it’s like to be in my parent’s job, and it solidified that I do not want to follow my family’s path in studying law.



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