For the past four weeks, I attended the University of Michigan debate camp, where I competed in the camp tournament, met amazing debaters, and learned more than I ever expected to learn. I started policy debate as a sophomore in high school, and for the first year, I did not seem to enjoy it as much as my varsity. I was always terrified to speak, and over all, I didn't do that great at tournaments either. Nevertheless, I wanted to attend debate camp to improve my debate/speaking skills and to increase my knowledge of the topic.
Well, here I am, on the last day of camp, wonderstruck at all the things I have learned. I would be lying if I said my debating hasn't changed. I am happy and proud of the progress I have made concerning my debating. Not only have I improved, but I have had the chance to meet some of the best people, who inspire me everyday, not only regarding debate, but also, in life.
Our first two weeks were filled with research about our topic, which is "The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its diplomatic and economic engagement with the People's Republic of China...". Almost daily, my friends and I would research all day, and in the afternoon, we would take a well-deserved break and get some coffee. In the mornings, we would have interesting lectures from acknowledged debaters, and in the afternoon, we would research. In the evening, we would have lectures about specific points of policy debate. We would rarely get free time during the day, so our nights would be filled with ping pong, cards, and chats about our day.
Our last couple weeks were composed of practice debates. After each practice debates, my partner and I would acknowledge the fact that we were both improving, but we weren't as happy about our performance. After two weeks of prepping, highlighting a bucketload of files, and learning, the camp tournament had arrived. To our astonishment, my partner and I did very well at the camp tournament and we were satisfied with our performance.
My love for debate as a game as grown enormously. I have met the most amazing people in my life, I have learned and gotten better at policy debate, and I cannot wait until the season starts.
P.S. The pictures included were taken on the University of Michigan campus.