My first Model UN Conference was better than I expected



A picture I took during the awards ceremony.

If I had to describe myself in one word from the perspective of someone who just met me, it would be “shy.” I am a very shy person. In fact, I’m shy to the point that when you talk to me, we won’t be exchanging words at first—we’ll be exchanging facial expressions. 

Even so, with the new year upon us comes new opportunities, as well as new chances—which is exactly what I’ve decided to take. About a week ago, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary: I attend my first Model United Nations conference. 

For my readers who are unfamiliar with what this is, Model United Nations (Model UN) is a club, or class, offered to high schoolers allowing them to be a “delegate” representing a specific country or character that’s a part of multiple committees relating to issues concerning the environment, world wars, and a plethora of other real-world issues. 

Going into this conference, I had minimal knowledge of what to expect; I went into it with one thought running through my head the entire time: use what you learned in Model UN and apply it to real-world situations.

When it comes to socializing and getting to know others, I’m like an onion; I come off as a thin wrapper on the outside, but then I start to unravel into thicker layers the more you get to know me on the inside. 

To the people that know me on a personal level and have seen me do public speaking, you know I struggle with it. Almost every time I’ve had to present a project in front of the class, I would be faced with the following symptoms: sweaty palms, red face, and brain fog. 

I’ve come to realize that public speaking was never really a talent—it’s more of an art per se. 

After taking a semester class designated towards helping me improve my confidence and learn about the UN, I’ve come to realize that public speaking was never really a talent—it’s more of an art, per se. 

With that being said, because this was my first conference, my expectations were set really high. Fortunately, reality set the bar even higher. For my delegation, I was representing Singapore in the committee United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). 

Throughout the eight committee sessions that ranged from two to three hours, each meeting was always filled with laughter, debates, compromise, and, last but not least, memories.

Since I was a part of a General Assembly representing a country, I was not only a part of a committee that had over 100 members but also a part of a community that wanted to help others in need and even raised the most money, in candy grams, towards an important cause. 

Although I didn’t win any awards, and I wish I would’ve joined the club earlier, the past has already happened and I’m grateful I took Model UN my first semester. 

For anyone that’s looking for ways to reinvent themselves this year, I highly recommend doing something such as Model United Nations, because it may just become your new favorite class. 

I miss it already, and I can’t wait to go on to my next conference.