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My Experience At NHSMUN in New York City

Lively and bright lights flutter in the heart of Times Square as the group of 34 find the Hilton Hotel. We breathe in the cold, crisp air and stroll into the entrance to the brightly lit lobby while clusters of people, speaking in different languages, flood the entrance. After numerous meetings and discussions and excitement and anxiety, the National High School Model United Nations competition was finally upon us. On the snowy Friday morning, we rush into the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Times Square to initiate the extensive, arduous, and exhilarating weekend ahead. Fascinated by the scenery and multitudes of people, we head to the second floor and advance to our first meeting: the introductory meeting for first time delegates. The meeting educates newcomers on the resolution writing parliamentary procedures including the different types of motions and when to use them. Looking forward to making new friends along the way, my peers and I discuss the competition with the students that sit behind us. After a few introductory sentences, we learn that the kind individuals behind us are originally from Italy and that this is their first time in Times Square, New York. Crash courses followed on resolution writing and committee session procedure and the Bayonne High School Model UN team took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan to move toward the next stop: the United Nations Headquarters.

In the freezing temperatures of a mid-March day, we all stroll the busy streets of New York. After the first Starbucks run of the many we took during the weekend, we travel the few blocks and come across Radio City Music Hall where I captured the experience in a photo with the students and advisors. As I riskily charge across traffic to snap a photo, I almost hit a guy in the face and scar him as I yell “OK I THINK I TOOK ENOUGH!” to my peers across the street. Continuously marching down the avenues of Manhattan, we all come across our biggest obstacle yet: pigeons. Ignorant to the fact that New York pigeons are, indeed, nothing like New Jersey pigeons, I decide to run up to a herd of them in hopes they would fly away in order to let us all pass. I was wrong. In fact, the pigeons flew up and to the left, but not away. Hesitant to walk through the bridge of pigeons, we all run to avoid the inevitable truth that they may poop onto our heads. After what felt like hours of walking, we finally reach our destination and a mile-long line of people. Slowly, but surely, the line gets shorter and shorter as more people check in with security, but it still takes an hour. To compensate for the long line and lack of energy, we decide to up the enthusiasm by high-fiving everyone and being rejected by most. Finally, we enter the headquarters and listen attentively to speeches made by successful individuals and activists.

Day 2 and day 3 of the NHSMUN conference mainly consist of committee sessions where we create and pass resolutions and working papers. The process of writing the working papers was a questionable experience. Because this was our first time at a model united nations conference, we did not have much experience with working papers and resolution writing. However, so did other nations, like Croatia. Although we were first-timers at the Model United Nations, we, along with the delegates of Croatia, wrote the preambulatory clauses for the working paper and were decently successful. Working hard with the papers, we continued to write and finally began to put the delegation of Nicaragua, our beloved constituency, out in the open. At the end of day 2, Nicaragua was successful and ready to take on the next obstacle— Daylight Savings day. The next day we left at 7:00 A.M. with minimal coffee in my system. Somehow, I mustered up enough energy and enthusiasm to look forward to the day ahead when I finally began to talk to other people in conversations not regarding resolutions. The day went on and I continued to talk and discuss with my newly-made friends and joked about the Dias, our committee’s coordinator. We debated on who the head dias looked more like: Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds or Spencer Shay from iCarly. Ultimately, we agreed that it’s a perfect mixture of both characters. Time went on, until our resolution along with another, were passed. Towards the end of the session, after the resolutions and amendments were passed, the delegates and the dias had a question and answer session. This is where I told one of the Dias members his ultimate fate—that he looks like Ed Sheeran. And that’s how I managed to get the people of the Special Political and Decolonization committee to remember the delegation of Nicaragua. The Delegate Dance was one of the highlights of the experience. It was a time where the stress and work of the committee sessions disappeared and the delegates could truly enjoy their time and make more friends with people outside of their school groups and committees. Everyone was able to enjoy their time at the dance and have a good time with their new friends and connect with other people from other nations. Waking up to the magnificent New York view on the twenty-second floor of the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan is not a feeling that I get everyday, but I wish I did. Realizing it is the day of departure, the bittersweet feeling came over me while I prepared for the closing ceremony where we watched the students that we met all weekend get rewarded for their amazing effort and leadership in the competition.

The bus ride home from the bright city led me to a sure conclusion about the weekend— that was an experience of a lifetime that was worth having. From the hair-pulling process of writing a process paper to high fiving strangers in the frosty weather of the city, every ounce of energy was worth it. Experiencing NHSMUN is a blessing that everyone should have a taste of; it is not everyday that you get to debate and create resolutions with people from across the globe. We are all incredibly thankful to all those who made the experience possible: Mr. Almas, Mr. Onacilla, and Mr. Wexler, with the help of Dr. Bransfield.

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