The longest flight that I’d been on before going to New York was three hours, but the combined fourteen hour travel time was definitely worth it. Going to New York was an amazing experience and definitely the deciding factor that got me involved.
In the lead up to the National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) Conference, we had to put together position papers for each of our topics, as well as making sure we knew our given country's policies. I was in the World Health Organisation group, which meant our two topics were about maternal health and non-communicable diseases. Neither of these were areas that I knew much about. Our country was Jamaica, so our task was to research and get to know their stance and policies on these issues.
We had three conference days in New York. These consisted of debating within your committee, getting to know other countries and their stance on the issues and finally, getting to a resolution for these issues. During the event, we were fortunate enough to meet people from all over the world and from different walks of life. On the last day of committee sessions, there was a social in the evening which was good fun and we were able to get to know people better.
During our week in New York, we got to explore and spend time sightseeing as well as obviously attending the conferences. On the first two days, we explored New York on foot, seeing landmarks such as Time Square, Brooklyn Bridge, and getting the ferry to Long Island. We were also fortunate enough to visit the 9/11 memorial ground as well as the Tenements museum. In between committee sessions, Max and I familiarised ourselves with ‘Joe's Pizza’, as well as doing some sightseeing.
I can't recommend the trip highly enough. It was such an experience of a lifetime. I was able to improve my public speaking, as well as my debating skills. I also think that my confidence in talking to a room full of people has improved, and after making a few speeches it was a lot less daunting! Being in such an amazing city was the icing on the cake!