Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN)-2013 – By Shreya Srinath (12 A)

Harvard Model United Nations is known to be one of the most competitive and thrilling United Nations simulations in the world and the one attended by us, Inventure Academy, for the past three years has been taking place in Hyderabad, the ‘City of Pearls’.  For many of us, this was our first inter-school MUN so, even before the flight took off, the tension in the air was so thick that it could be sliced with ease!  Thus, when we did arrive in Hyderabad, ironically on 15th August, we felt anything but free !

We felt nothing but a strange mixture of nervous excitement and this was only heightened during the Opening Ceremony, the insightful speakers and of course, the preparation for our Sudanese stall in the Global Village.  This stall took most of the apprehension regarding the events of the following day off our hands as every member of our delegation was dressed in authentic Sudanese outfits, showcasing the unique culture of Sudan whilst interacting with other delegates passing by, directors, assistant directors and teachers, by offering them cups of home-cooked Sudanese corn ( which we had carried with us from Bangalore). When the night finally came to an end, it was nearing midnight and everyone instantly collapsed into a deep slumber, nervously anticipating the following day.

The morning of 16th was sheer frenzy; people were awake, researching hurriedly, even before the sun had risen. After a quick breakfast, we were shuttled off to the Convention Centre and spread out like armies of ants, scouting our respective venues from the Disarmament and International Security Council to the Commission for Women and the Press Cops. As soon as we entered our conference rooms the familiar cloud of tension soon shrouded our senses once again and as the session began, we knew our days as students had come to a momentary pause. No longer were we ‘high school students of Inventure Academy’. Now, we were delegates.  It was this thought that had assisted most of us to shatter that momentary hesitation.  Now, we had to put the needs of our country before our own personal needs and we did so.

The next two days ran according to consistently tight schedule of waking up early to research, having hurried meals,  getting in and out of sessions, attending the reviving social events  and falling into a well deserved slumber. The sessions got progressively harder.  However, the harder they got the more fun we had! The crisis organized by the HMUN team of directors and assistant directors varied from committee to committee. However, they were definitely incredibly interactive. The hallways echoed of enthusiastic screams of delegates and this was experienced firsthand by teachers bustling from room to room, checking on their students. Until the closing ceremony, we breathed and lived as delegates and that was clearly evident.

Before we knew it, it was already the closing ceremony. The past three days had zoomed by in a blink of the eye. As we sat there, nervously anticipating an award, it was finally Namrata Ramesh from Grade X ICSE who won an Award for the committee – Commission for the Status of Women. As the huge screens displayed ‘Inventure Academy’ we burst out in a joyous cry!!

Despite this, many of us had found ourselves short-listed for Awards and this in itself was a great honor! Two of our student,s Siddharth Saxena and Anusha Ramji missed the Awards by one point. Tejas Rao, who was the youngest of the Assistant Directors in the Conference, did our school proud by carrying that honorary title!

Looking back, the events of those three days seem surreal to me now. How I got through those days is certainly a mystery. What is even more puzzling is the fact that the level of competition in HMUN cannot be described in words. Yet, each one of us, in the brief period of a few days, was able to match up to that very competition, unconsciously. Even today, I am constantly noticing how my personality, even if in the smallest way has changed since this experience. Even if I did not win any award, I along with my friends,  came back with something a lot more valuable than a piece of signed paper; we sharpened our public speaking skills, understood the vitality of the United Nations in solving the problems faced by our modern society and of course, built long lasting friendships. Therefore, I for one can say, the experience of Harvard Model United Nations has definitely changed my life for the better.