Debating has taught me a lot

By the time I entered the university, I knew for sure that I would join the debating team simply because I want to learn HOW TO SPEAK in front of the people with confidence as soon as knowing my self as an introvert person. I felt its almost difficult to express my thought to other people about how is my current feeling.

Even though, many of friends know me as an outgoing, easy-to-go person who loves discussing new stuffs, and the one who start the discussion, I knew that joining varsity debate team will be beneficial in improving my communication skill that I would need someday in the future if I become a leader.

During the freshmen year, I started to join a student body that focus on English-improvement activities, Polytechnic English Club (that turn out is going to be my second home after the class). I sent common application, wrote mini essay, being interviewed and I was placed in Debate division (yeay!).

Debate was a whole-new world to me, and I had no prior debating experience in high school too. At first, I wasn’t sure if I will make it in a debating world.  But I always encourage my self to striving beyond the limit, and go out of the comfort-zone I have been enjoying this past months as a student.

I was fortunate enough to meet seniors like Deny, kak farah, kak roby, kak medy. They helped me to understand on how to debate, and taught all of new technical stuffs such as the role of the 1st speaker, 2nd speaker, and goes on. I met Wawa, and Ade as my teammate. I also met hundreds of students from different major in which I had so much fun activities with Polytechnic English Club. Ever since, I never thought that I would have life-changing experience with the debating world and PEC Organizations. Collaborating, working, exercising are the activities that we often do every week. Not to mention going to Margo City also included on a to-do list that we never missed after having tough and intense exercise.

After several months of exercising, my senior insisted me to join competition, it was Just For Fun (JFF) Competition back in 2012. Deny told me that the JFF would be usually attended by top-notch Indonesian debater who previously have world-class debating experience prior competing in the NUDC. So The JFF was like kick-off before the ‘real competition’ would be started. We started to practicing more  and more intense.

My first debating experience in JFF 2012 was….life-shocking yet stressful experience. I was coupled with wawa, another friends were Ade coupled with Gendhis. We went on FISIP UI earlier together with the expectation of : LEARNING. We came with confident even though We would not intend to win, but we want to gain insight, and learn from expert.

In Round 1, I met Hana Hanifah Bastaman and Dennys Victor Kappa. Damn I told you guys, they were really good at debating. They have good structure of speech, clear explanation of the case, they can define the spirit of the motion. But as the first-ever person who join competition, battling with them was rather an thunderstorm. Instead of learning, I was shocked and stressful. While beneath by their shining speech, I configured so hard on how to make a response even though I could not clearly think at that time. I am less-convinced, losing power even lower when the adjudicators call upon my name as it was my turn to deliver speech. My first-ever speech lasted for only 4 minutes (Bad bad bad model).

Proceeding to round 2, I was battling with kak riza aryani coupled with kak egalita Irfan. Damn again, I was in the middle of no idea how to make rebuttal for them. They are just flawless, bold, and fast. In round 3, and 4 I met another world-class debater who has successfully attacked my arguments, too.

We ended the JFF with countless experiences and all of learning process. However, I am going home with the sad experience, I was deprived because I failed to deliver what was inside my mind. I was disappointed, and frustrated and could not apologize of my self. I even promised to myself that I would not join any competition again in the near future because I was scared. Why am I willing to practice so hard until midnight amidst tight deadlines of homework and college stuff? How if I will lost (again)? Why would I try so hard? I can have fun with my friends, going to fancy coffee shop instead of making the difficult time I have yet to experience again?

I would stop debating because I would not make it.

Months after, wawa and ade, and all of ade kelas has always encouraged me to do another practice because they believe I have potential talent in debating. I said yes to have just practice but not for going to the competition. We were practicing, discussing hot issues, team-building and so on, so forth.

One day, Without my knowledge, turn out, they have registered another debate competition and have INCLUDED me as wawa and ade’s team. I said No I am not going to Lampung because I was so scared.

But that night has changed all of my perspectives that I have suffered this past months. Wawa and Ade asked me to come over the sekretariat room. When I came over, They eventually anger to me, and told to me that they didn’t care if we lose or not. They did not care if I would deliver speech within only 4 minutes. What they care was that me to go out comfort zone, and challenge the biggest enemy within inside my self which is my bad minded, and negative thought.

I reflected, and stopped for a while, that they might true…

I told to my self that I could not live in constant fear, and enemy. I have been surrounded by positive people, caring, and supporting friends who have believed to me. Why wouldn’t I believe to my self?

I challenged, and decided to go out. I started to practice a lot, intense, and serious. I don’t care what will be the result, because I have won the competition since I have pushed my self to go out of comfort zone.

That night has changed all of my life to see a world in different way.

We were going to several nation-wide competition and all of my fear are proven WRONG. We always managed to be a good team, and I was able to battle the real enemy inside my self. Since that time I decided to push the boundaries and chose to challenge instead of staying behind of my comfort-zone.

Debating has taught me to always believe in my self, and that all of negative thought might not to be proven. I now have a self-determination in pursuing the fullest limits I might always have inside my mind. I always encourage my self to see a everything as an opportunity instead of threats. I see strength instead of weakness. I face it, not leave it.

I now have a confident to talk in mass people. Speaking in good manner, structurally supported by the data, and giving a good comparison. I am now able to talk orderly start from the cause to giving the solution. I am now able to give right response over other’s argument. I could criticize current status quo, and to think out of the box.

Debating has taught me to how to build good teamwork, too because I would not be able to win if my team’s stance are weak.I am able to prioritize the schedule, and manage to make right time-table.

Other than that, Debate has lead me to meet inspiring people out there, people I never met who has ability better than you and that realizing I am not good enough requires me to always improve your skills and not stop learning. I Gained broad, multi-faceted knowledge cutting across several disciplines outside the my normal academic subjects. I learned a rigorous higher order and critical thinking skills.

Bonuses to that, I gain the value of life that until now I am holding. To not stop believing, because hard work never betray.

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