A MUN ODYSSEY – PART 3: A SENIOR’S THOUGHTS

Hello everyone, it’s K here. I am unexpectedly motivated this evening so here you are, the third part of the series ” A MUN ODYSSEY”. In this post I am going to talk about my MUN experience as not only a high school senior but also a two-year MUNer. Let’s jump right into it!

cre: unsplash.com

Note: I will divide this post into two parts, the first one about my MUN journey and the second one about the shift in my aim in MUN.

1/ My senior year

Having attended 4 MUNs and 2 mock MUN/simulation over the last two years, my passion for this platform shows no sign of decline. I applied again for the MUN club in my school. The old core team was replaced by a new, refreshing generation. What do an old man like me do here?

This time I could attend two mock MUNs (in fact there were only two). The former one was in October. I, as many times, did tons of research beforehand. Coming to the conference, I was one of the most active delegates (mostly because the majority of the attendants had no previous MUN experience). Luckily, I was not the only experienced one. The debate, thanks to that, was still very intense. However, this time I got involved too much into the discussion and forgot the core mission- a DR. I had my friends did most of the work(my bad). At the end of the day, I did not win any prizes (quite reasonable). That being said, being able to participate in MUN and argue with other delegates after such a long time was in deed a relief to me.

Foe the latter one, it was a little bit special that for the first time ever, I was assigned with a really big, powerful country. Although it was not something I looked for, there was no choice left but to give it a shot. It took me nearly a day to prepare for everything, the agenda, the difficulties, the potential solutions,… Moreover, this time I kept reminding myself of the importance and the necessity of the DR. As a result, I focused like 100% of my effort on the DR. Having successfully presenting and protecting it, my performance was taken into consideration by the chair. After all, I did get the Outstanding Delegate prize; though it was just a mock MUN, it was enough for an old man seeking for nothing but joy and excitement.

Till now, it is temporarily the last point of the journey but certainly not the final one in the future. There is still one last summer before college, and I would certainly get the most out of it. I would definitely one day retire, it just have not come yet.

2/ The shift inside me

There is still one thing I have not mentioned in all the previous parts. Well, it all came back to my first MUN. I, a young boy at that time, was extremely nervous in his first MUN experience. As you have already known that in the part one “THE BEGINNING”, that boy remained silent during the first two hours of the conference. So if you happened to remember, what has motivated me to speak up?

Needless to say, it was thanks to everyone in my council. First of all, there were my chair and a senior MUNer (the guy sitting next to me). These two people were the first ones to encourage me to stand up and share my voice. They even offered me some kinds of support. And when I finished my speech, though it was terrible, they told me I had done a great job. I was so high!!! My speech had been listened and recognized. Moreover, during the break, both the chair and experienced delegates shared several tips and advice to improve our speech, as well as their first-MUN experiences. I was inspired and empowered. At the end of the day, it felt like not only I had talked more but also my speech was much better.

So what did I learn? Surviving your first MUN is in deed challenging. It was not an easy task for everyone to speak in front of a large amount of people about international issues, especially for someone with no prior experience. Staying silent and not having the guts to speak out in your first MUN is not uncommon. At that time, having someone to encourage and guide you would be such a relief. Once there has been that someone, things would be much better. He or she can inspire you, provide you with basic guideline to give a remarkable speech, identify your mistakes as well as how to fix them. After all, it is best to have a reliable mentor. Of course there would be always training sessions before MUN, but not everyone can really take advantage of these sessions.

Since then, I began to hope that one day, I could be a mentor to someone. I might not be an expert but with the pratical experience of the difficulties that a first-time delegate has to go through, I would definitely try my best to help them overcome their anxiousness and give it a shot.

Nevertheless, before guiding anyone, I need to go to more MUNs, get better and accumulate more knowledge and experience over the time. Going to several MUNs and mock MUN/simulation, I thought I was ready, thus waiting for the appropriate occasion.

That occasion, ironically, took place in the bad MUN in my hometown (the last one in the summer). There was one of the delegates that I had known before. It was only his second MUN, this time we were in the same council. One evening, he texted me: “What should I do?”. At that moment, I felt like me in the past was asking for help, a young boy wondering what he could do to be a part of the conference. I told him everything I know, literally everything. During the conference, I constantly gave him advice on how to improve his performance. At the end of the day, that boy rocked and won a prize. To be honest, I was over the moon. His efforts were paid off. Watching his growth in 3 days of the meeting, I really felt happy for him. In fact, I now understood what it was like for a teacher when his or het student achieve some kinds of success. Oddly satisfying!

It was then followed by the two mock MUNs in my senior year (mentioned above). Most of the delegates there have little or no previous experience. There was a girl whom I had already known. She had several problems with writing the DR. I, again, told her everything I know about the DR, for example, tips to come up with potential solutions. During the mock MUNs, I participated in writing the DR with her. Luckily, after two mock MUNs, she is now able to write a DR on her own, which is extraordinary (far better than me). As for recognition, she also won prizes for her excellent performance in the mock MUNs. This girl has great potentials, one day she would absolutely surpass me.

Finally, there was another boy. Unlike the previous two, I first met him in the first mock MUN. He was actually the one resembling me in my first MUN the most. Fear of being judged, worrying of screwing up his speech and not having the confident in his ability. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I approached him. I told him: “I know exactly what you are feeling. I have gone through that, let me help you.” I helped him draft ideas and prepare for his speech. I also did exactly what my chair had done, send him a note to cheer him up after each of his speech. Though his performance was still somewhat average, what I saw was a noticeable growth. He talked more and his speech was far beyond that in his first attempt.

3 people, even though each case is different from the others, they were MUNers in need of guidance from experienced delegates. They all faced initial difficulties at first, with the help from other delegates and their own efforts, overcame and improved themselves over the time. Being able to contribute to their development is simply my pleasure.

In conclusion, what is the “shift” in the title? As previously mentioned, from going to MUN to solve my inferiority complex, I now see MUN as a place to seek joy and satisfy myself. Nevertheless, there is now another purpose. Just like what my first chair and other delegates had done to me, I would love to help inexperienced delegates in their first attempts to MUN. I want to foster the growth of a new generation of MUNers, and to make this platform feasible for anybody, not just selected groups of academically intelligent people. That is, after all, one of my ultimate purposes.

That’s all! The third chapter in the series “A MUN ODYSSEY” is done. This series is far from over, so stay tuned for upcoming contents. See you all again!