Yesterday marked the first time I ever joined a debate tournament. Prior to yesterday, I didn’t really know what to expect from an actual debate tournament. Sure, I’ve been training with the team for a few weeks now but competing in an actual debate tournament was an entirely different experience.
As I entered the convening hall, I was surprised to see how many participants there were coming from several different schools. I couldn’t believe that this was supposedly just a minor tournament yet there were so many participants already. Everyone was either reading their books, writing down their notes or talking with their teammates.
I have to admit, I was a bit culture shocked at the start. I was really happy when the room assignments and the motion for the first round was announced. I honestly just wanted to start my first debate and get the first time jitters out.
My first debate which was THBT prisoners should be allowed to vote, went pretty well. The thrill and excitement I felt during this debate was just so amazing.
However, me and my partner were screwed over during the second round where the adjudicator, in my honest opinion was very very biased. We ended up with zero points during that round which significantly destroyed our chances of breaking.
I felt really bad after that round and didn’t even want to do the last round anymore. I couldn’t believe how we were given a zero for that debate when I we were able to present sound arguments and kill the points of the other side. The worse thing is that when we asked the adjudicator for comments after the round, all the things she said that we didn’t do were things that we did do. (by the way, the motion for this round was THBT the US should use military force in Syria)
I was really annoyed and at the same time, devastated. It really hurt deep inside for I’m a very competitive person and I really wanted to break during my first tournament. She didn’t even give us 1 point.
There was still one more round for preliminaries and I honestly didn’t want to go through it anymore because of what happened in the second round but I still did for pride. The final round’s motion was THW stop the funding of all space exploration programs. During this round, I was able to deliver my best speech and ended up with first but it didn’t really matter anymore since we got a zero during the second round.
Countless of Lessons Learned
At the end of the day, even if we didn’t break to the next rounds, I really learned a lot from this first debate tournament of mine. Things won’t always go our way but in everything we go through, there is always something to learn.
There are somethings we just can’t control. There will be times when we give our best yet it’s not enough. There will be people who are biased but we shouldn’t allow this to make or break us. Looking at it form the picture, it really is up to us what we make out of the different challenges and shortcomings we have in life.
To be fair though, thinking about it now, one day after the tournament, I could have done so much better. I am obviously still a beginner and I still have so much to learn.
It was such a humbling experience that right now, I feel really motivated to do better during my next tournament. There are so many talented debaters out there and if I want to be just as good or even better, I have to put in the work. Right now, I still have a long way to go but like they say, you have to start somewhere.
Mix of Emotions
After going through my first debate tournament, I can honestly say that debate is something I really enjoy. The mix of emotions you get during the entire duration of the debate tournament is simply amazing. One moment, you feel so scared, the next, you feel so confident. One moment, you feel so happy, the next you feel so devastated. Yet in the end, no matter the result, you always learn something after every debate!
The thrill you get before and after every round is priceless. After everything that happened during my first debate tournament, I’m really glad that I joined the debate team.
Overall, the experience was one like no other and I can’t wait for the next tournament I join! This is definitely just the start of greater things to come!