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Reflections from an AGD debater - Yuchen

My name is Yuchen Zhang, a student from Xiamen No.1 High School and I participated in the Xiamen Regional in April this year.

I am writing this reflection to share about my experience and take away from the competition and I wish you, the reader, can take some time to read it.

To be honest, AGD is one of the most fantastic activities I have ever seen. Before participating in the Xiamen Regional, I was inexperienced in debate. I used to be taciturn and would not express my opinions unless absolutely necessary, even if I have very different view on the matter. However, the exposure to debate by AGD made me fall in love with the genre. It also made me realize that debate shapes our critical thinking skill and strengthens our ability counter arguments, and I believe these are all necessary skills for one to be enrolled in the top universities of the United States. Out of the many things AGD taught me, the following are especially crucial in my opinion:

First, communication skill is the one of the most fundamental skills you can have. As debaters, we are supposed to have the fluency in the language and logic. We ought to express ourselves effectively, “If you cannot let others understand what you say in three minutes, then you never can.” This statement is especially true in the real world context. In today’s fast-paced society, our attention span is increasingly short and what we need is a brief introduction that can arouse our interest. This skill of communicating effectively in a short amount of time is well taught by AGD.

Second, AGD has also built my confidence. Confidence is the key to seize opportunities in life and it is only with confidence that we can convince others. When I communicated with David during Xiamen Regional, I was immensely impressed by the level of confidence exerted by him and I was also, of course, very persuaded by David. Thus during the competition, I constantly remind myself of the importance of being confident and consciously forced myself to act confidently. And it worked, not only I have persuaded my opponents with my arguments; I was convinced by myself too.

I am now applying to further my studies abroad. No doubt that there must be numerous obstacles for me to overcome. However, obstacles are challenges, and challenges are opportunities. I have the faith that I will be able to conquer all these upcoming challenges and turn out better, thanks to AGD!

Thank you for taking your time to read.

Best wishes to you and to AGD!
-Yuchen Zhang

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