Debate teaches us all a whole lot more than just the subject matter at hand. It teaches us discipline, how to be a better person, and even passes on some subtle life lessons. Most people do not see it as it’s happening, but being a part of a competitive debate team provides you with an outlook that many students do not get on their own. Here are a few ways debate changes your life for the better – see what ones you identify with.
You cannot always win
Winning is not always everything, but giving your all is. You will more than likely not win every competition you enter in life – and that’s okay. Being a part of the debate team will show you this more than once throughout your debate career. You will fight hard, but still fall short. As long as you pick yourself back up and keep trying, you’ve learned a valuable lesson.
Listening is more effective than speaking
Most debaters think the delivery and attack are the most important parts of your strategy. The problem is, without truly listening to your opponent you will not be able to form a strong attack. Often in life, listening first has the same effect. You may not be forming an argument, but giving your complete, undivided attention is a vital life lesson. Luckily, for debate students, they have had a lot of practice.
Where you come from doesn’t matter, how you hold yourself does
If anything, debates show you that it does not matter where you come from. We have seen this first hand when a prestigious school is beaten by an underfunded, run-of-the-mill public school. It’s not about where you come from, it’s about how hard you work and how you hold yourself. Debate brings people from all walks of life and experiences together and amazing things happen because of it.
It’s okay to not be the best
There will be more than one time in your debate career (and life) that you are not the very best. That may be discouraging to some, but to debate students, they often see it as a challenge. If you are the best at something, there is nowhere to go. You’ve reached the top of the mountain. However, for the rest of us who have not yet reached perfection, it gives us something to work towards. Just because you are not labeled as the best, doesn’t mean you should give up getting the title.