By: Kristen O.
Imagine it: you are already running late so you sit in the first empty seat you see… and it turns out to be the wrong seat.
Yup, that is how my very first HMUN conference started, but don’t worry it gets better.
Once I got to my actual seat I was greeted by Canada, well… the delegate of Canada and we became quick friends as we shared memes and random facts about ourselves. Initially, when thinking about the conference I felt intimidated and scared and nervous and anxious and well… I think you get the gist. My committee was full of juniors and seniors with the mere sprinkle of a freshmen and a sophomore. (It may sound like I was in a room full of hundreds of people but it was actually only around 20 people but it took me a couple of hours to actually realize we were only 20) And yet I still felt like I was going to explode with the amount of butterflies multiplying in my stomach but once I met everyone there, they all turned out to be nice with the exception of a minor few but that was only during debates. It was fun meeting people from all around, I mean there were people from the States, France, Slovakia, Portugal, Netherlands and so many more. We all became quick friends and in the span of 2 and a half days we created life long friendships (I hope, I mean I’m not really sure if the friendship will last a life time but it sounded nice on paper)
On the other hand, the trip also made us Marymount peeps closer together with all the running from the first floor to the fifth floor back to the second floor just to see each other’s hotel rooms and the small trips to the supermarket and the town square to buy Stroopwafels and juice. (I mean we had to, we were in Holland). And it wasn’t the act of getting food and shopping that brought us together but also just sitting smack in the middle of the square ranting about our lives and trying to write a last minute speech and not to mention randomly meeting/talking other MUN people in the hotel elevator as we rushed to get breakfast.
The three days passed quickly and soon enough we were on our flight back to Fiumicino airport, we didn’t want to come back to our reality. From talking about world politics and the real world, we realized how small our problems were, yet we still didn’t want to come back to it. The whole experience was not just a way for us to travel and learn about how to speak but it also opened our eyes to how hard the real world is. We all have these superficial and naïve ideas of how we can fix the world but this conference helped us realize that it’s not like that. But it showed us that everyone counts, every small country, small vote and every person matters both in politics and our lives in general.