I never really saw myself running for the position of Model United Nations head delegate. Public speaking scared me, I didn’t think I was a particularly strong leader, and the fear of failure really freaked me out. It was not until I was encouraged by one of my friends and co-head-delegate that I even considered applying. To make a long story short, I ended up doing it. I passed through the application process, and then was elected by the class a week later. I remember looking at the email from Dr. Bolton and thinking, “What the hell did I get myself into?”

I’m joking. Even though I was super nervous, I knew I had the support of the other head delegates and the staff behind me, and started up with the responsibilities right away. The semester started, and off we went. We graded papers together in the library for hours (“Does this comment sound too mean?”), prepared presentation after presentation (always decked out with gifs and fun analogies), and had time set away almost every day of the week for students to meet with us (even if no one ever showed up.) Slowly, most of my nervousness began to rest. All of us, teachers and students alike worked and awaited the arrival of the conference.

Being an outsider at the conference offers a really unique experience. Not only do you get to see the fruits of your collaborative work over the past two months, you really get to observe the community created in the classroom translated over into the conference environment. We were all sight-seeing together, getting midnight dinner together, and checking in on one another as best as we could. Maybe when you’re caught up in participating in the conference you don’t fully realize it, but I saw our team grow so incredible close in only three days. It was amazing.

It’s very hard to condense this experience to only a few hundred words, but I hope this gives the gist of it. Despite tons and tons of hard work, watching the students that you helped succeed at the conference and grow to become a positive, supportive team is worth it all, and would encourage everyone who is interested to give it a try if you have the opportunity.

– Katherine Ketterer ’20