Reflections: How MUN Has Changed Our Lives

by Ellen on April 23, 2013

Thank you to every one who submitted a story for this article. While we were not able to include all of them in the article, each and every response was well-written and incredibly heartening to read. This article was compiled by Gordon Tsai and Ellen Perfect.

MUN is more than a hobby. It is something that helps us evolve into the people we want to be.

We, as delegates, are constantly evolving, becoming the people we want to be.

Model UN is a fast-growing competitive activity for many students, but to a great deal of us, it means something more. Model UN has helped us grow into leaders, discover our futures, become confident in ourselves, and form lasting friendships with people from all over the world. This article was written by you, the Best Delegate community, and it shows stories about how MUN has made us the people we are today. While these are only a small number of the incredible responses we received, they paint a compelling picture of the real impact MUN can have on the lives of students.

“MUN has given me the most amazing thing in life, a passion and a love that I can’t shake. From the moment I stepped into my first conference I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, whether that means being a senator or a diplomat in a foreign country. MUN has introduced me to an amazing world that i have no interest in leaving. Whatever my future holds I know it has something to do with politics and that is thanks to my MUN experience.” – A 

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“I was always a jack of all trades, pretty good, but not super good at anything. And I never found anything that I both enjoyed and could actually pay well some day. When I joined Model UN on a whim (and maybe for a cute guy), I found something I loved for myself. Learning about the world, interacting with people, fighting diplomatically over fiscal policy, Model UN is has helped me develop lasting friendships and a genuine interest in politics.” – Claire

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MUN helps us build lasting friendships with unique individuals.

Delegates can make incredible friends in committee.

“I remember my first MUN conference like it was yesterday. Standing before me were smart diplomatic people that made me feel scared and nervous. Before it was my turn to speak I got water on myself, lucky me I was wearing white and I huge stain was on my blouse. When I got up to speak I read off of a piece of paper, I was shaking, and couldn’t make eye. I wasn’t only embarrassed about my stain on my blouse but the lack of quality in my speech. From that I have grown as a delegate. Now I can speak with ease in front of large crowds. MUN has made me a more confident person in committee, the classroom, and has helped my over all self-esteem.”  Kimberly S. Somerset, NJ

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“After 24 hours of intense negotiation with 20 other dorky high school students, I remember the exact phrase I told my mom when I called her afterwards, “I want to do this for the rest of my life.” The moments of crisis and conflict, of negotiation and leadership—these were the moments I longed for… sitting in a boardroom striking a secret deal…the moments that made history.” Jeremy, Washington, D.C

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“I didn’t used to have any confidence in myself. Other kids used to bully me to no end, and after years of being told that everything I was as a person was wrong, I actually began to believe it. I went through life with my head down, hoping that nobody would notice me and honestly believing that my own identity wasn’t good enough for the world. When I joined MUN, it took me a while to get the hang of it, but when I did, I realized something. As I made those speeches, my peers listened, and nobody stood up to make fun of me, to tear me back down. So every time I put myself in front of groups of people, waiting to be judged, I found only a committee full of people who listened to what I had to say. Today, not only am I comfortable speaking at conferences, but I have enough confidence in my personal identity to be the person I want to be, to walk through life unafraid of being judged or dismissed by my peers. I think that’s the greatest gift I could have been given.” EMP

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Many delegates have discovered their confidence by attending conferences.

Many delegates discover their confidence in conferences.

“Throughout the past two years, Model UN has made a tremendous change in who I am. Before, I was nervous and insecure. Now I’m sure and confident. Being thrown into a leadership position on my local club and through numerous tense situations, I’ve found, my calling. With no previous public speaking experience and absolutely no knowledge of world culture, I started MUN without a clue. I am currently undefeated. Because of MUN, I excel at every other aspect of school and outside life because of my Newfoundland confidence. So I say thank you to all those opposing nations who have made me scratch and claw to beat you. You have given a me a gift I can never repay.” Kyle D.- N.E. Ohio 

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“MUN has grown from a sibling tradition to one of my greatest passions. Every conference taught me something new about the world, and myself. I learned how to stand, speak, deal with others, delegate, deliberate, lead, write read and research properly, and so many other talents I would never have learned without MUN. When I look back at my time in high school, MUN will always stand out as my greatest achievement and most fun I had.” – Ashton

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MUN can bring us closer to people in and out of the conference.

MUN can bring us closer to people in and out of the conference.

“The best part of Model UN has to be the people. From making new friends at MUN conferences to strengthening current relationships within my club, I know one thing for sure. These are friends I will have for a lifetime. We are united by the strongest bond of common interests ,and it amazes me that these delegates sitting and debating alongside me could potentially be Senators, diplomats, and important people of the future. Even after conference has ended, I find myself confiding in and chatting with people I only know by country name. As we all muddle back to our monotonous academic lives, half a year may pass without talking. But, conversations infallibly start up around February of every year in anticipation of the MUN season. Yes, we talk about conferences, awards, and committees, but we also discuss personal goals and disappointments. This continuous open dialogue and the supportive MUN community is, by far, the most beautiful part of MUN.” Gordon

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“MUN has helped me realize that in the end sleep is purely optional…. For a few days anyway.” Anonymous

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“I was born in Guatemala, where poverty is widespread, and corruption in government is the norm.  When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to take the Contemporary World Issues (MUN) course at my school. After the first few months of being in that class  my adviser selected me to go on my first Model United Nations Conference to Washington D.C. AUMUNC 2011. It was the most eye-opening and life changing experience I’d ever had.I realized that it was those young men and women with whom I had spent that four-day week-end with that were going to be the law-makers, politicians, human rights advocates, defenders of liberty or tomorrow, and that I was also one of them. Now, after over two years of being involved in Model UN, having attended over 7 conferences, and winning a few awards, I am now finally sure that I want to pursue a career in foreign relations, and hopefully one day start my own Non Governmental Organization.

My goal is to one day run for the presidency of Guatemala, and finally implement the myriad of reforms

MUN has the power to bring nations together.

MUN gives delegates unprecedented exposure to the global community.

that the country needs in order to catch up with the rest of the world.  Although I still have several years ahead of me before I can manage to accomplish my dreams, I believe that having chosen to be involved in Model UN has been the first step in my path towards becoming a Foreign Relations expert and a Politician. If it wasn’t for Model UN, I would probably never have been so concerned in trying to solve the world’s problems as much as I am now.  I hope that one day I will be able to play a bigger part in the whole spectrum of things, and play a bigger part in the process of formulating solutions that will only make our society a better one.

Thank you Model United Nations, you have truly opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, and my mind to a myriad of possible solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”– Chris.L

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What’s your MUN story? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Guest

    I am a Colombian native and when I first went to a MUN I never expected I would grow so fond on it. I was in seventh grade when my school’s Sponsor came in my clasroom inviting us to learn more about the MUN on a meating. The last one was promoting the first MUN of my school, I decided to give it a try and Spain was my country. The first morning was a complete disaster! I left my Opening Speech at home and I had to read ir from a computer, I got stuck and y could feel my heart on my throat and my hands were sweating like ir was no tomorrow (this lasted the whole day). Things got better, I gained confidence from thin air and things began to flow. At the end I won outstanding delegate and talked non-stop once I got home about home much I learned and how I loved it. It’s been 3 years since that, my heart is not on my throat each time I talk (only before reading the Opening Speech) and my school’s MUN has grown, this year I was President and next year (my senior year) I am one of the two options for being the Secretary-General. MUN means the world to me, I believe they creat conscious and empathic future liders that with a little bit of luck, will make something for this crazy world.

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