College has been a wonderful experience thus far, due to my great friends, engaging classes, and my involvement with on-campus organizations. One of my favorite clubs is Model United Nations, which has been a crucial part of my experience this semester. Whereas last semester we had only the middle school conference to plan for and run, this semester we had our own collegiate-level conference to attend and a high school conference to host.
On Tuesday, February 21st, I got in a car with three other people I barely knew to drive 8 hours to St. Louis, MO, where the Midwest Model United Nations conference was held. I was intimidated by the drive and the conference, both of which were completely new experiences to me. However, that trip turned out to be one of the highlights of my freshman year. I got to represent France to the United Nations committee on Trade and Development and work with other college students from around the country (and around to world) to create innovative solutions to economic issues. The conference was heavily collaborative, and most of the students in my committee compromised and worked together to draft practical (practice) legislation that could benefit many countries involved. We ended up drafting two resolutions, one introducing a framework of accountability for corporate social responsibility and another increasing development in rural areas to allow access to global markets. In addition to the awesome professional experience I gained from working with these driven, intelligent students, I made many long-lasting friendships. I still have the contact information of many of my committee members, who are spread around the country attending many different colleges. I’m good friends with one of the people from our car ride, and really close friends with another. The trip was a little tricky to coordinate with class and homework, but infinitely worth it for the fun I had and the friends I made.
Upon returning from St. Louis, we began to prepare for the high school conference in March. I was assigned to co-chair a general assembly on weapons proliferation with a few good friends. We wrote a topic guide and prepared the room, and the conference began. As a someone who has experienced a high school conference as a high school student, it was a really unique and wonderful experience to be on the flip side. This time, instead of being the one debating and writing, I was the one guiding and editing. It was very rewarding to give the knowledge I gained through my years in high school to the students and help them to write great resolutions. I was a little concerned about the ability of high school students to focus and perform at a high level, but those kids far exceeded my expectations. From the first caucus to adjourning the conference, they were engaged and excited about the work they were doing, which made chairing a fun and rewarding experience.
I joined OU Model UN looking to continue to have fun with conferences and to make friends. I had no idea the extent to which I would grow to love the club and the people in it. I have made amazing, close friends and have had unforgettable experiences. What started as an extracurricular activity has become a staple of my life in college. Next year, I’m excited to get even more involved in OU Model UN with the great friends I’ve made by acting as Vice President. I can’t wait to continue to enrich my own skills and those of others. Until next year, Model UN!