As part of the Leadership Advancement Scholar curriculum, our first semester at college we must take Introduction to Debate and Psychology 100. Both of these classes are taken with the LAS cohort. There were both positives and negatives to taking the class as a cohort. Overall, I found that taking the classes as a cohort was beneficial even if it did present its difficulties.
Taking classes together was fun. Being in the same classes as the whole cohort is helpful when you have questions regarding an assignment. It is also helpful because you have 39 other people that are willing to help you study for an upcoming test. However, having classes with the cohort may be difficult because it means that you have class with your friends. This sometimes makes paying attention difficult.
I really enjoyed our Debate class. Coming into Introduction to Debate, I was not expecting to participate in philosophical and abstractly challenging discussions. I thought that all we would be doing was debating; however, I was wrong. This class ended up being significantly more thought provoking than I had originally anticipated. I also found this class useful because it helped me to become more interested in debate. I always thought that debate was simple and straightforward. How I understand the complexities of debate and find it interesting because I actually know how the process works.
I feel that knowledge of debate will benefit me for a multitude of reasons. Going through the process of debating, or even listening to a debate, helps me to further my knowledge about specific topics and issues. Becoming more educated about the issues in the world may help me to be more open minded. In my opinion, being open minded to new thoughts and perspectives and being willing to listen and learn about both sides of an issue is an important characteristic to have as a leader.
In addition to Debate, we also were required to take Psychology 100 as part of the Leadership Advancement Scholar curriculum. This class taught me a lot about what creates a leader. I learned that a leader is not only shaped through biological aspects, but also through what is learn from others as they grow up. Being aware of what helps to shape a great leader and what will inhibit someone’s ability to be a great leader will help me to better myself as a leader.
Although these classes were not specifically leadership classes or classes that tended to my intended major, they were still very beneficial. They not only fulfilled University Requirements but also were very informational. Overall, Psychology taught me how a leader is shaped which will allow me to help other become leaders while Debate taught me effective communication skills.