Go to an enriching and educational conference and get to travel and visit another country? That is a no brainer right there. In other words, a story of how me and my friends decided to go to our first MUN.
I got lucky, because one member of our group researched and managed all of our transport, accommodation and logistics in general. All I had to do was to be on time, listen to instructions and pay my share. So far so good.
We already knew the MUN was organized primarily for university students, but we expected some high-schoolers (like us) to be present as well. We were very wrong. Not only were there only university students, they were quite intimidating. I was in a committee with my two friends and a bunch of ambitious fellers studying international relations, law or a combination of both.
We expected a mock debate or something to get familiar with the whole MUN concept, but this did not happen. All of our committee members said they didn’t need it and were too proud (and embarrassed) to demand one.
Here I got lucky. See, I was Canada, alphabetically the third country to give their opening speech. However, my friend, Angola, was sitting on the edge and was the lucky person to have the honors of initiating the whole thing. A small country like Angola would normally say that it is present, so everyone was quite surprised when my friend boldly declared it would be present and voting. Some S-tier MUN humor right there.
Then the Rest…
We were tired; our nightly social gatherings prevented sleep and invoked funny feeling of the internal at the committee sessions. France (my other friend), Canada were present and voting, but in spirit we were all only barely present. Luckily, the other delegates shared our feelings of despair.
I was surprised how quickly we all got the hang of it though. All of the lingo and procedures are scary and confusing, but as you are exposed to them for hours on end, its actually harder to unlearn them. At the restaurant, the delegate of Canada was asking the distinguished delegate of France to pass a napkin, because the pizza was really fu**ing oily.
We were the youngest people there, but apart from the nickname ‘babies’ Germany gave us, nobody even seemed to notice. Everyone represents a country and everyone is equal. This effect works also outside of the committee sessions.
Casual conversation felt rewarding and free. I learned that Iran is not actually a dipshit and that Russia is not at all that cold. Not to get too poetic, but the personal life and character of the delegates were so much more interesting and fascinating, given how much they have to hide it in the sessions.
Now of course we didn’t become friends for life, that’s not how stuff works. But we all had a great time, we had to look at things from different perspectives and collectively we something (a final resolution). If that doesn’t sound like 3-4 days well spent, I don’t know what does.
My advice for BratMUN
Ask stuff. It’s not embarrassing that You don’t know what’s going on; we’ve all been there at some point. In my case, the chair was extremely nice and helpful and You can count on that at BratMUN as well. And if that doesn’t work, just ask as, the organizers. Sometimes even the chairs have to ask, there is no shame in it.
Relax. Adhere to the rules, be polite. That doesn’t mean you need to be rude or cold. It also doesn’t mean you need to roleplay. Just enjoy the discussion, think about what you want to say and say it. Don’t worry if it is wrong, what better place to learn and improve than BratMUN.
PR aside though. MUNs are great. Be sure to try one. I will be very happy if You choose BratMUN, but I will also be happy if you are happy after going somewhere else 😊.