Upon applying for Ateneo de Manila University, we were asked to write about a significant experience that has helped us define ourselves as a person. It took me a lot of days pondering on what made an impact in my high school years.
Then, it hit me. In my junior year of high school, I joined Model United Nations (MUN) and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Over the course of two years, I have witnessed growth and improvement in myself. I was given a platform to showcase my passions in international relations, public speaking, and governance.
Here are just some of the top reasons you should join Model United Nations.
Exposure to global affairs
In this day and age, being aware of issues in society is more important than ever. We are the next generation of CEOs, teachers, government officials, doctors — the next generation of problem solvers.
It’s crucial to know how prevalent issues in the different parts of the world affect our problems in the locally. MUN has allowed me to learn how other countries have solved several issues and crises. This experience helped me understand how this can be applied to my own country.
I have learned the importance of collaboration, and how crucial it is to find a common ground with the people who do not have the same beliefs as you do. I believe that your ability to find compromises in a team is what truly defines your leadership. Upon leading blocs in my own committees, I have come to truly understand what it means to be a leader.
With the long hours of debate, it sounds easy to just let it go and let the opposing side have it their way. However, it’s in these instances where your passion and leadership are strengthened as you continue to stand up for the interests of your team.
Finding your voice
MUN has brought me to different places in the world, namely in Hong Kong for the Harvard Model Congress Asia 2017 & 2018, and in Taiwan for the Yale Model United Nations in 2017. In these conferences, I was able to better myself. I also got to meet people who are just as passionate as I am. It has given me hope for the future as our generation is committed to using what we have to offer as a means of changing the world.
If there is one thing I definitely took away from my experience in Model United Nations, it is that everyone’s voice is important. My voice, no matter how small or insignificant it seems to me, has the potential to spark change. I have been empowered, and with that comes knowing what I can contribute to the world. I am encouraged to continue learning, as I know that my voice will only get stronger from here. My voice is my instrument; my means of leaving a mark in the world I call home.
It may be just be a small spark right now, but as I continue to shape the world, I am committed to spreading it like wildfire. Though it is a tall order for myself, I will not allow it to be extinguished.
If you are in high school and in the process of finding yourself and your voice, I highly encourage you to join MUN!