By Juyeon “Sarah” Lee (from South Korea)
Last February 13th, I went to one of the most fabulous conference in my life in Boston with my friends and dear advisor Mark Blaisdell. The Conference is called Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) 2013. HNMUN is held every year for Model United Nations clubs in four-year colleges around the world. This club gives chance to students to learn about UN through simulating the meetings in the United Nations on current issues. There are many big and small MUN conferences, but HNMUN is the largest, oldest, and most prestigious conference of its kinds. This conference lived up to its reputation; intelligent meetings on global issues with intelligent students and the great social activities at night gave me such incredible reminiscences.
How I got to go to HNMUN was simple: It began from my career goal. With this goal, I began to search how I can prepare myself to be ready to work in the UN. I remembered the advertisement about Model United Nations back in Korea, so I searched Google if there was any MUN in America; I found one of the most well-known Model United Nations Conference held by Harvard University. However, there was an obstacle that I had to overcome. In order to join the conference, I needed to have a group to go with as well as an advisor. Since there was no official MUN club in Green River, I decided to ask my friends to go with me. It was challenging to find someone who had a same interest as me. Also the amount money that we needed to spend for the trip made many students to join. Though the process was not easy, God helped me to finalize the members at the end of December. Without these six colleagues— Gloria, Kevin, Lynn, Nicholas, Sodam, and Solin— and Mr. Mark Blaisdell, our advisor, this miracle wouldn’t be able to happen.
Honestly I was drowned in the dignity of many well-prepared students. However, I began to be proud of my team because we were the only community college students! Even the video that we recorded in Holman’s Library was part of the opening ceremony. Many of delegates were from prestigious universities such as Yale University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and University of Southern California. One interesting was that the name of school was not important at all in HNMUN; what was important was how the delegates were prepared to address the issue and their positions. In my committee in particular, the student from University of Lethbridge representing Democratic Republic of the Congo was outstanding by persuading the developed countries to financially support the developing countries. Also, it was absolutely fascinating to see how different countries built the bloc with the nations of similar opinions in order to empower their resolution. The fact that the whole conference and the activities were organized and operated solely by Harvard students motivated me to be more active and responsible for my future. Yet, it was little bit disappointing to see how those students from Ivy League schools looked same as we are. It also told me that if I do my best in given circumstances, I can be as outstanding as students in some prestigious universities.
During the conference, we had a committee meeting everyday which was typically 3 hours long. Every meeting went in English which made us more concentrated and prepared. This nervousness somehow made me “professional” like a real international civil servant in the United Nations. Because we were mocking the meeting in the UN, it was very serious with strict procedure. I was in the Third World Assembly on Ageing with the topic of social and economic effects of aging population. I didn’t think seriously about aging population before but it has very complex effects on the whole population. Also, it was terrific to observe how over one hundred countries were compromising and negotiating for the benefit of the world by passing one resolution on the topic. I would say that this experience totally opened and broadened my eyes, and made me step closer to my dream.
One thing that I want to encourage you is that making your dream come true is starting from your passion. Start from finding what you are passionate about and search for what you can do to make it come true. There are so many opportunities and resources waiting for you, so get up and seek for it!
PS: The registration for HNMUN 2014 will open in May, and will be held from February 13-16 2014. (http://www.hnmun.org)
Here is the opening ceremonies video for HNMUN 2013, in which our delegates appeared at around 1:45.