8 Things Competitive Debate Taught Me That College Didn’t

Thought Catalog

1. Engagement matters.

Apathy is fatal, in more ways than one. It kills your mind, because you cease to think, question, and explore; it kills compromise, because you refuse to understand others, much less listen to them; it kills others and causes them to suffer, because you fail to act decisively on urgent issues. Debate has shown me how little engagement actually happens when it matters most—politics, social issues, economic policy—and it has both empowered and inspired me to constantly seek engagement.

2. There is a world outside of campus.

Academics aren’t everything, and there exist billions of people outside of your school. Don’t waste four years living in a bubble. Meet people, talk to people, befriend people who are different than you. Ask insightful questions to people who aren’t professors. Know the world beyond your classroom windows. Campus is the place you live for four or six years; out…

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