Do you love talking about current events and politics? Do you want to meet some very interesting people? Do you dream of being a totalitarian dictator and imposing your extremist ways upon the planet? If you answered "yes!" to all of the above, then Model United Nations is the thing for you. Here are ten reasons you should take part:
1. The people you meet.Model UN conferences are attended by some of the most interesting and entertaining people you will ever meet. On my adventures, I've met an anti-capitalist fruitarian, an anarchist, the Mayor of Hague and a Delegate of Czechoslovakia (European Union) who was fond of telling everyone, "You look very nice today." If you want to make some memorable friends, then Model UN is for you.
As Vice Chairperson, Joint Crisis Committee, NLSMUN
2. The things you learn.I know, it sounds a bit lame, but it's actually really cool. Not only do you get to hear speeches from inspirational people (like the Mayor of Hague), you also get to watch awesome YouTube videos. Did you know that the new (not-official-at-all) Israeli-Palestine anthem is about eating pigs? Oh, and Ali G is close friends with Boutros Boutros-Ghali (the sixth Secretary-General of the UN)? And that Andorra is not a third world country? It’s awesome stuff, really. All silliness aside, you'll learn some fascinating things about our world.
3. Fun and games.Attendees of the Model UN conference find the most amazing ways to entertain themselves. Whether it’s grooving out to the Congo drums, debating the merits of Communism over ice cream, or even creating lame pick-up lines (“What are your country’s immigration laws like? 'Cuz I’d really like to gain entrance to you."), there's never a dull moment. Oh, and note-passing during the debate sessions is the most awesomest part of the sessions.
4. You get to (fictionally) control a country for a day. Have you ever dreamed of running your own country? Of course you have! At Model UN, you can make your dream a reality. If you want to suspend human rights, embargo China, or invade Switzerland, you CAN! (well, fictionally). YOU choose what your country does, and the power you hold is AMAZING. I’ve seen Russia revert back to Communism, only to have the rest of their debate chamber (including the USA) follow suit. I’ve seen Ireland declare war on the UK. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy the power—and because it’s fictional, you can let it go to your head.
Like a Boss
5. The Food. Model United Nations conferences are known for their epic food. Sure, you may gain a pound or so, but it’s totally worth it. They completely over-feed you, but you sure need it. Pizza, sandwiches, lollipops, French fries, soda; trust me, you will never go hungry.
6. One Word: Extremism. If you get an out there country, you're lucky; it'd be pretty hard to explain why France has decided to revert to a totalitarian dictatorship. I represented Sudan once and declared a jihad, and I've seen tons of examples of extremism take place: Eritrea once suspended “Human Rights” in favor of “Men’s Rights,” Lebanon once declared nuclear war on the UK and USA, and The Holy See (aka the Vatican) once suspended Catholicism! Extremism has got to be one of the best parts of Model UN—when you're experimenting with extremist views, you can’t help but have a blast.
7. Facebook friends.I’m sure nearly everyone out there wishes they had a few more Facebook friends—admit it: it makes you feel special. When you go to Model UN, you'll gain so many friends you won’t know what to do. Random people you meet in passing will add you; in fact, even people you didn't meet will add you! Expect a flood of friend requests and a lingering I’m-so-awesome feeling.
8. Confidence boost.When you first enter a debate chamber and listen to the delegates go, you can’t help but freak out. My first time, I was a wreck: I had sweaty palms, butterflies in my stomach, and a racing pulse. It was insanely nerve-wracking for me to put my hand up to speak, and standing in front of thirty critical, intelligent fellow delegates can be very daunting (especially when they pick your argument apart at the seams). But it's also a hell of a rush. Getting up to talk is like getting hit in a game of paintball; with every hit—or, in this case, with every speech you give—it hurts less and you become less afraid, and before you know it, you're no longer nervous at all! By the end of the conference, your insecurities will have disappeared, and you will feel freaking amazing.
9. Memories. Even after months have passed, you'll look back at your conference experience and smile. The friends you made, the laughs you shared, and the pick-up line that made you grin like an idiot are things you will always remember and treasure. The Model UN conference creates memories that last a lifetime, and when it’s over, you'll wish you could do it all again.
10. Socials and Extracurricular. Okay, so this isn’t my favorite reason, but it has to be in here. If the other reasons haven’t hooked you already, this should. Guys love hot chics roaming in skirts and we all know that chics are all for Men in suits, right?! Well, an MUN is all this and more. There are socials and clubbing night where you get the best opportunities to try out all your lines and have a real shot at someone hot! A lot of you out there are thinking about college applications, and everybody knows that colleges love extracurricular activities. Sure, grades count, but they want well-rounded people with interesting life experiences. If nothing else, your participation in Model UNs will highlight how involved and talented you are to your college of choice. And that's a benefit you can't afford to pass up!
Any other Model UNers out there? Got any favorite memories to share?