Washington and Lee University
Describe an extracurricular activity that has impacted you.
I used to hate podiums so much that whenever I stepped up to one to deliver a speech or present a project, I would clutch the sides and tremble as my nerves reverberated in my stomach.
Now I love them.
After participating in public forum debate for three years, the thought of stating my positions on an issue no longer fills me with dread; it genuinely excites me. Whenever I approach a podium, I recall all of the times when I have been in a debate round and the sense of power and passion that comes from knowing and being able to dispute all sides of an issue. I remember the shock of winning my first tournament, the elation from placing seventh at the National Championship, and the pride I feel now as captain of my team, teaching younger members the subtleties of debate.
It is difficult to quantify just how much debate has served to mold me as an individual. My participation has instilled in me a sense of confidence in my opinions and ideas and the capability to remain poised in pressured situations. These situations include those directly connected with speaking in front of large crowds of people as well as the ability be a purposeful and supportive leader. As captain of my school’s debate team, I try to maintain a receptive...
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