How Debating Changed My Life

by Shama Mashroor

Writer’s Profile: 2014 HKMA David Li Kwok Po graduate studying English Language & Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong has just made it to the Dean’s list this year

I still remember my first ever debate. I remember being wildly aware that it was my first rodeo, and also a little self-conscious about being dressed like a Christmas tree that day – my knees were knocking so hard! But as the years progressed and I started immersing myself in the world of debating, I felt like a whole new portal had become unlocked. Debating can change a person in so many ways. Confidence is just the beginning. To be able to engage in a high calibre debate, you will have to be knee-deep in a pool of research and critical thinking. No fact goes unchecked, no article unclicked. Think piles of printouts strewn all over your living room, post-its covering every inch of your workspace including your forehead, and 5 different coloured pens lodged in your hair. No issue in the world is too complex for a debater who has done their research! In the long run, this no-Wikipedia research training has helped me write some of my most thorough and insightful papers at university. The scared bespectacled girl from 5 years ago has now grown up to be a bespectacled girl on the Dean’s List at the University of Hong Kong, and I truly feel from the bottom of my heart that I owe this success to my wonderful teachers in HKMA, especially my debate coaches, Ms Kingsley and Ms Fernandez, and my debate team who have stood by me from the very beginning. Thank you all for making this possible.

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