So when I first entered high school, I knew that my new ALARP class was going to be hard. ALARP is basically a research and presentation class, which means A LOT of talking was involved, something I was probably not the best at at the time. So, I did some thinking and decided to join our school's speech and debate team. The only reason I wanted to join was to improve my public speaking skills, nothing more. I thought debate sounded incredibly boring and lame, and once I had improved my public speaking skills, I would move on.
But I was wrong. On the first day, when I entered the classroom, I was astounded. When you usually first enter a classroom, everyone's kind of shy and sitting there, murmuring. But the room was full of jabbering people, people who didn't care one bit about being too loud. They just wanted to get their thoughts out, so the room was incredibly lively. It felt kind of strange, but over the next few years, I got used to it.
Debate was actually really fun. It's just like another sport. You work with everyone to build cases, and at tournaments, you present them and debate other people. It's a mental challenge, which I always found fun. At tournaments, you make a ton of friends, and learn new tricks and strategies that help you improve over time. And best of all, it looks great on a college application.
I've learned skills in debate that I know I will need later on in life. I've gotten great grades in ALARP, and since I go to Chinese school, I have to make speeches all the time. Now, because of debate, I'm not afraid of getting up there, and just have fun with it all. Debate is a great activity, and I recommend trying it!