Model United Nations – a forum for students to act as delegates to the United Nations, and simulate UN committees. Model UN is one of the biggest, most elaborately coordinated extra-curricular activities that schools have to offer their students today. For some reason, Model UN is also one of the most intimidating activities to participate in, worldwide. That’s right – today, the concept of Model UN has spread to countries all over the world – India, China, Venezuela to name a few – yet everywhere, we see the same low-key hesitation and fear when it comes to MUN’s.
What is it that makes a MUN so terrifying?
We took a series of surveys of the delegates of HMUN 2018, where they were each asked if they had been nervous at the start of the MUN, and if so, why? Based on our results, we can say that a majority of the delegates at HMUN faced at least one of the following problems:
- Laziness – delegates find the task of preparing for a MUN extremely daunting, don’t do it, and then somehow find themselves unprepared, which leads to point 2.
- A fear of embarrassment – delegates do not feel confident speaking on a matter knowing that other delegates, or at least the Chair know more about it.
- Shyness – for some delegates, it boils down to an issue with public-speaking.
- Fear of Model UN procedure.
- Delegates are overwhelmed by the prospect of WBA (Western Business Attire).
Model UN can be an enriching experience, and we recommend that every student attempt it at least once in their high school years. So, here is our list of possible solutions to the problems mentioned above:
- The Hindu apologizes in advance for being such a mom, but delegates – time management. As simple as that. Make lists, make schedules, be efficient, even if your friends call you lame. Always remember: being organized is not lame. This is your mantra – think it, live it, love it.
- One thing to remember is that a situation where the delegates are better informed about the committee’s agenda than the Chair would be highly unlikely and kind of hilarious. So, there is a 99.99% chance you will not be the only delegate feeling this way. You will find security in the insecurity of the others. (I mean this in the best possible way.)
- Public speaking is easy to fix because it is so easy to practise. Start with a simple exercise: try to say the most mundane sentences in the most emphatic way possible, in front of a group of people. You can practice on your friends (or on your parent – we don’t judge).
- There are lists on the Internet which teach you all you need to know. However, if it proves to be really impossible to learn everything, all you need to arm yourself with is one small phrase, ‘Point of Parliamentary Inquiry’, and this will get you through your time in committee. (For those who aren’t aware of what this means – google it).
- Western Business Attire is admittedly my favorite aspect of Model UN. However, for those who do not share this opinion – it is not mandatory in most cases. Just make sure you don’t show up in crocs.
Hopefully this helped! We’d love for our readers (the Model UN handicapped ones in particular) to right back letting us know if our solutions helped.