…The two old friends walked together towards the venue of the closing ceremony. Their gavels were satisfied, their wrinkles were smoothened by the satisfaction of experience and their airport stories were getting better as conferences went by. They finally had unlocked the secret for closing ceremony speeches and most importantly they knew that they had to avoid lines such as “thank you for making my last conference such a memorable experience” because as a wise person had once told them that “you do not retire from MUN, it retires from you”. And they did it. No tears, no group hug vibes after announcing their retirement from the circuit, nothing but smiles only. Do you think that my story is fictional?
Well, of course, it is, but here is what combined experiences from municorns and munosaurs tell us about retirement: Firstly, you need to understand that MUN cannot go on for life and cannot be your professional field of activity. At the moment there is a limited number of MUN teaching organizations and loads of English teachers out there willing to teach MUN, you don’t want to add yourself to that lot because adulthood is a nice thing to enjoy as well. Do not hesitate to write down your biggest MUN goals and before hanging up your gavel try to make them happen! Attention though, not to kiss your gavel goodbye because some arrogants denied you a spot at an annual edition. To avoid repressing wishes and thinking with nostalgia all of your “what ifs” try to narrow down this list as much as possible. You can even use your upcoming retirement as an argument on why you should take precedence over any other applicant- it’s the sum of oppressed visions in a rather competitive world that makes retirement hurt the most. It becomes addictive because most of the MUNers find it difficult to meet people with common interests and are not the biggest social butterflies the world has seen but everything is a matter of perception only. If you think about it calmly, you can always keep on with a UN work and maintain your MUN passion as well!
Another important thing to do is to come up with a detailed time plan and detox from simulations gradually. For example, one year try to have the half of your munwishes satisfied. The effort and the courage you will need to impress the positions that you have laid eyes on may feel like the combined fatigue of ten conferences. In the next mun season, save for the end your biggest munwish and try hard to be perfect- you want to go out with a bang because that’s what you are going to remember. It doesn’t matter whether you will fulfill one or all of your mun goals; the purpose is to fight for it. With regards to the age limits that equal retirement, it is usually at the end of your studies. Until recently we used to believe that it was the end of bachelor period but the practice has shown even Ph.D. students rather active on the field. Although, there is no general definition regarding this limit social conventions combine age with a higher in the ranks position but at the end of the day, who am I to tell you when to stop MUNing?
Moving on, again make a list this time with the people you want to keep in your life and actually keep them. Quite surprisingly whenever I hear stories on the origins of many MUN friendships and their inner "dirty" reasons I can't help but being sad! One of the dazzling elements that this activity offers us is the chance to meet people from all over the globe in the most bizarre places possible sometimes- and you are going to let them go that easily? Since you met during a trip, plan common activities to safeguard your friendship over the years and you will be one of the richest people-whether this group will consist of 10 or 1000 people be true and honest to them as you would have done with any other friend of yours. This is where the real socializing begins…
What we have slightly confused in our collective subconscious is that retirement turns MUN to the forbidden fruit or something equivalent to a very nasty activity that we someday used to exercise. No, no and no. If a very nice conference (nice based on personal criteria of course) occurs and we want to join is not bad to do once in a while and combine it with a nice trip as well! But, let’s be honest here- a MUN comeback is worth it only if it’s for some serious reason, like promoting a new set of RoP or organizing something extraordinary. If you think that a MUNback has to be done for something related to a TV series, a book or a film adaption in our wider munopolis, you may want to join a comic convention nearby instead.
*"You do not retire from MUN, it retires from you" (c) Margaux Da Silva.
Disclaimer: this is nothing more than a personal opinion on the matter.
later edit: do not forget to say no instead of attending MUNs that you think of as boring. Also, if you want an excuse to visit exotic places with partial financial assistance, do not overthink into the academics of it, just enjoy yourself! Do try training before retiring, you may discover a good teacher ;)
an even later edit: heavily commenting on new trends whilst you have been out of it for quite a time, doesn't grant you expert status, just miserable. Having "what ifs" is sad indeed, but there is no need to turn you into a bitter version of yourself.