Paul '18 reflects on first Model UN conference
Posted 02/10/2016 05:00PM

English Teacher Matt Federico and Economics teacher Stephen Moon took 14 students to The Hague at the end of January to participate in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference, one of the largest Model UN conferences in the world. Below is sophomore Tanya Paul’s impressive account of the trip.

We step off the train and feel the wind push us back. The wind is strong and forceful as it crashes into us. There is a light smattering of rain as we walk towards our hotel. Crossing the tramlines and roads we narrowly avoid bikers who career towards us. This chaotic and beautiful city is The Hague.

We see a motley of people from different backgrounds and ethnic groups pass us by as we walk in the city center. Twisting roads and large walkways greet us at every corner. Everything is fascinating and unique. The first few days are spent exploring the beautiful city and prepping for the conference. We write and edit our resolutions and tour the small lanes of The Hague—both integral parts of our experience there.

THIMUN was a step out of my comfort zone but just what I needed. It left me with lasting impressions, confidence, and a desire to really change the world.

Finally the first day of the conference comes. I make my way to the Disarmament Commission room and walk in to see a sea of people. People from all over representing all member-states was a sight to behold. The bustle and chatter of old friends reuniting or new people discussing resolutions was overwhelming to me. I sat in my seat gazing at all this chaos. As the chairs brought order to the house and read all the rules, motions, and points (trust me there were many), I felt very out of depth. It was an intimidating experience as everyone seemed to know what he or she was supposed to be doing and I was simply lost. As we split up into our resolutions I finally met the people I would form great bonds of friendship with.

The next few days passed in a blur of resolutions, amendments, and crazy lunch breaks. There were thousands of people it seemed like. Everyone was interesting and unique and open-minded. I met tons of like-minded people who shared a desire to change something in the world and be a leader. I met people who were well on their way to being entrepreneurs and diplomats as well as those coming for the connections they could make on the trip. The things I remember most clearly are the friendships I made with the delegates of Honduras, Moldova, and Brazil. They were amazing people who were engaging, open-minded, and intelligent.

Although stressful and extremely tiring, the experience is one I shall forever cherish. Learning to speak in front of large audiences, improvise counter arguments, pay critical attention to resolutions, and make lasting bonds are only a few of the important lessons I’ll take from the conference. THIMUN was a step out of my comfort zone but just what I needed. It left me with lasting impressions, confidence, and a desire to really change the world. As a wise man once said, we need to “heal the world and make it a better place. For me and for you and the entire human race.” And THIMUN has given me the opportunity and the skills to do just that.

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