I met my partner four years ago within a debate round. We were just little kids. At first, we would stand in front of a podium and utter profound things. The first year’s resolution was on reforming NATO. Me: “NATO is gooood.” Him: “Nuh-uuh.” The second year we progressed. Him: “Illegal immigration is wrong because the taxpayers can’t afford more people.” Me: “Well, that’s just hate speech.” We debated different resolutions each year. Ever so slowly, we progressed into more detailed and nuanced thinkers and speakers.
Debate requires solid research, writing, and speaking skills. An airtight case filled with credible evidence doesn’t hurt. It also requires authentic passion and 'on your feet' thinking and responding. Debating something you do not believe in gets stale really fast. For readers who think debate is the last thing on their list of fun things to do - let me assure you it is not as hard as it looks. And, it is enjoyable - consider it an academic version of sword fighting. As a female, I can attest that you do not have to forgo your manners to achieve success. On the contrary, you will need to refine them to be most effective. Like most things, you get better with practice.