What it really means to be an HNMUNer?



Photo taken during the closing ceremony of HNMUN 2014 at the Boston Park Plaza.


Every February, thousands of undergraduate students from all around the world meet in Boston, Massachusetts in an event held by Harvard students called Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN).

In few words, the HNMUN is an event whose purpose is to provide undergraduate students the experience of representing a country, different from where they are from, on several committees just like a real United Nations (UN) assembly. Furthermore, the topics to be discussed are the same as those addressed by the UN. However, it is not as simple as registering, writing a position paper, stating your personal beliefs regarding the issue and coming to Boston to debate.  It also means that there will be several difficulties, which you need to cope with in order to have the best experience ever.

First, since the event is on February there will a harsh winter. Also, snow … a lot of it. Therefore, it might be quite difficult for delegates whose country of origin does not have a harsh winter or where does not even snow! For instance, people from countries near the Equatorial Line are the ones who are prone to accidents with this first issue because weather is mild the whole year.

Second, as a delegate you need to be as much open-minded as you can be. Sure, one might say “It’s ok, back home I just ignore people.” However, if you want to succeed during the model you ought to include the ones with different beliefs, different cultures or even different way of seeing things. You must be as inclusive as possible.

Waving flags during the closing ceremony of the HNMUN 2014 at the Boston Park Plaza.

Third, you need to change the way you would address your issue if you were representing your own country. Remember, you are representing a different country now. Like it or not, you cannot act as China would do if you are representing United Sates of America.

Waving flags during the closing ceremony of the HNMUN 2014 at the Boston Park Plaza.

Fourth, do not see the everyone around you as competition. Sure, we all want to win but that is not primarily what we came for. You must see everybody as a potential friends more than allies. An ally can eventually betray you (watch your back!) but a friend would not do that.

Fifth, enjoy while it lasts. If you are the kind of person who gets very emotional when good situations come to an end, bring some tissues because you are going to need them. After 4 days of sharing ideas and spending most of the time together, the other delegates will actually become very close to you. Exchange e-mails and phone numbers with as many people as you can.

From left to right: JD García, Jon Grossman, Elina Shavlay, Donovan, Francesca Del Rosario, Elise Borothel (2nd Row) Maria Rivera, Danielle Suh, Kevin Popperman, Karishma Shah, Monica Busch

Press Corps team HNMUN 2014

Finally, count 365 days and meet with your friends again! Obviously, you are going to love the event to the point you cannot wait until the next one. Good friendship stories have begun here.

From left to right: Anais Lynn, JD García, Divjot Singh, Stephanie Muñoz, John Sununu and Jesse Steele”

Press Corps team 2015

Overall, HNMUN is more a way of living than just an event. As a delegate during the conference you will act as a sponge, like it or not, and absorb everything around you. The critical thinking you gain during the conference will be your HNMUN print and will go wherever you go, whether you travel abroad or apply for a job. And eventually, you will look back at the conference and realize how you may have acted quite silly when it came to discussing topics.

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