The initial thought that I had as soon as I arrived in Beijing was that I wanted to go back home. There were so many people from all over the world and they looked so professional that I felt that I did not belong there. This negative feeling continued until the delegate training session. I had no idea about the procedure, strange jargons, and things that I was supposed to do. From all those feelings, I noticed that this would certainly an experience that I could push myself out from the comfort zone. Surely, it was a great experience for me to challenge myself and learn that there is broader world outside.
Since this was my first time ever participating in Model UN, I was very unprepared for this HMUN. I read and read all guidelines and instructions, but I still couldn’t get the specific idea of the conferences. I felt lost sitting in the middle of all the other delegates being ready to present their ideas. However, as I know this kind of opportunity does not come easily, I didn’t want to make this opportunity go to waste. At least I had to learn something. In order to “do something” from this conference, I listened, observed, and tried even though it seemed experimental; I listened to others to catch the specific topic that they were talking about; I observed others and learned how I should express my ideas; I tried to make few speeches to present some of my own ideas, approached to other delegates who had similar perspectives, and talked with delegates who had different belief. The more I listened, I was able to get clearer idea of the topic. The more I observed, I was able to understand how this conference works. The more I tried and as more I pushed myself out from my comfort zone, I was able to learn.
HMUN was a very diverse environment where different people from different backgrounds came together to talk about one common topic. Each and every one of them had different opinion and perspectives, but I noticed that people were communicating to merge their ideas to come up with one agreeable idea. I was amazed about how all those different people are getting together and creating one resolution as a whole. From this, I was able to imagine how would my college life would be in America. There will be people who look different, think different, and live different from me. Before, I was quite scared to imagine myself living in places where there are no people like me. Despite of this anxiety, I learned that it is possible to become friends with all those different people. Sitting and listening in the middle of different delegates, I learned that I was not the only “special” one, but it didn’t mean that I was worthless. I was one of them, and a part of the whole. Each person is different from one another and special in his or her own way. I believe that realizing this fact is the first step of harmonizing with others.
I made several friends from different places. They opened my sight to the wider world and helped me to expose myself to new ideas that I never thought about before. Through them, I was able to be involved in the conferences, and be immersed into the topic of transitional justice and human rights. I really want to say thank you to all of those who gladly opened their email account to communicate with me while everyone else is using WeChat. I appreciate their encouragement and their passion, which also stimulated me to work harder in the conference.
Lastly, I have to admit that I was not perfectly prepared for this HMUN. However, I believe it was worth experiencing. It was certainly a great experience that I could have as a high school student. Though I was scared to step out from my comfort zone, I was so glad that I was brave enough to do so. Seeing the bigger world that is surrounding me was definitely an unforgettable experience. Within few more years, I will have to walk towards a community bigger than Wanbang. As the time approaches to me, apprehensiveness in my heart also grows. In front of the huge world waiting for me, I feel very small and weak. However, when that time comes, I would like to remember those lessons that I learned from HMUN. Yes, as this is my first time living in this world, I will be unprepared to live a perfect life anyway. However, as I listen, observe, and try, I’ll get to learn more about this world and more about life. I’ll be able to learn that there is a bigger world outside of the world I see, and that this world is special because there are each and every individual who is different from each other. Someday, when I grow up, when I meet with people different from me, I want to be prepared to work with them and dream together about the same goal – to make this world a better place for everyone.