Hello! I’m a freshman in highschool, and I wanted a second opinion on my thoughts and possibly the right decision. So I currently am part of my debate team, and I’m a new member with some background in debate, but none at the high school level. I have found that I’m not exactly passionate about debate, and every time I even think of it, I get instant feelings of stress and anxiety. I just feel that while I might have had fun debating in middle school, in high school it is completely different, and I feel very behind and stressed. On the other hand, I am super interested in tech, computer science, programming, software, etc. I am actually part of a club related to this interest, but I have to miss part of the meetings because of debate. I just feel that if I am more interested in tech and comp sci, should I join those clubs instead? Or am I missing out on the benefits of debate if I choose to discontinue? I think I am a little weary because of the fact that I do have some familiarity with debate, and especially because my parents urge me to do it. If anyone has any feedback, that would be amazing. Thank you!!
I would focus on your passions. don’t do something that you don’t like and takes up a big chunk of your time. colleges see through that anyway.
I thought I would do debate in fresh year but didn’t like it, so I didn’t bother with it. I used my time focussing on my true interests which I wound up founding a club for. This and along with music, boxing and golf and several leadership positions.
Take what you like, enjoy, and become very good at it.
Freshmen and sophomores are expected to try several activities to find which one they like best, then take on a leadership role as juniors/seniors.
Don’t do things you don’t like. Debate is an awesome EC but not if it makes you feel sick. There are lots of other related activities. High school is a good time to try new things. You might find something you really love.
I would echo the comments above - freshman year is the time to explore different interests. And you really can’t go wrong learning about tech and CS.
My D22 has just taken up a new sport and, even though she is an absolute beginner and learning the basics, she beams after each practice session.
Do what you like/have a passion for! If you feel that you don’t like debate anymore then I wouldn’t recommend forcing yourself to keep doing it. After all, you only live once so you shouldn’t do debate if just for the sake of impressing colleges:)
You may feel “behind” in debate because you are a freshman and others are seniors and have more experience.
How are your public speaking skills? If you feel anxious, it is because you need to work on these skills?
Freshman year is a great time to try things and decide what you want to concentrate on.
It is good to have clubs on what you are interested in (CS) but it also good to have some activities that give you a broader view into the world.
Can you get rid of debate, keep CS club, and then add something new that doesn’t conflict but may have a community service aspect to it?
Another vote to explore your new interests in CS for now. As your interests mature, you can always go back to debate later on, if desired - I know people who didn’t even discover debate until junior year, joined primarily for the skill development, and eventually found that they really enjoy it. Be open to personal growth in all directions, but you don’t have to do it all at once.
Some prime activities in, say, robotics and debate are very time consuming and do conflict. It’s possible to be involved in both at the same time by alternating which weekend tournament you are participating in. However, that’s a significant time management challenge. Even if you wanted to do both, for now give yourself the breathing room to choose only one.