A class that really pushed myself outside of my comfort zone was COM 267L (Introduction to Debate). In this class, all of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship (LAS) students learned how to make valid arguments, and present their points in a clear and concise manner. After every debate, I learned something new about myself and my capabilities. Debating/arguing with someone was an idea that made me uncomfortable before going into this class, but now I am much more comfortable presenting my points to a group of individuals.

What makes debate a challenging class, is that sometimes you are required to argue for points you do not necessarily believe in or are passionate about. Being in this type of situation teaches a person how to do great research and elaborate on points without having much fire behind them.

As I said in my intro, debating with others was something that made me uncomfortable prior to the class. I am going to be perfectly honest with you, my first debate was an absolute train wreck. During the debate, I did everything you are told not to do while public speaking. I constantly said “ummmm” and “annnnddd,” on multiple occasions I told the class I had no idea of what I was doing, and I kept on asking when I could be done. Let’s just say, this debate ranks high on my list of most embarrassing moments. It especially ranks high because I have had so much practice with public speaking, and I completely forgot everything I had ever learned about public speaking during this debate.

I quickly learned that the path to success is far from being a straight line. After doing horribly on my first debate, that gave me the motivation to do even better on the next one and prove to everyone I was capable of succeeding in the class. Needless to say, every debate got progressively better. I am very proud of how much I improved in the class, and how I overcame one of my worst nightmares. If you truly want to accomplish something in life, all you have to do is push yourself to accomplish that goal.

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