There is a point in time that you have been successfully sucked into the MUN world – you do not leave a conference without knowing where you go next, your friends are spread successfully across time zones and you tend to speak English a lot in your free time because you plan another conference or simply keep your friends posted. But how and why should you stop MUN?
All these things, next to general sleep deprivation and justifying to your non-MUN friends and family why you actually, yes and very much, enjoy sitting in a conference room for 30h in a week to discuss politics and international law.
Still, there is also a point in time to realize that MUN is what it is – a parallel universe where we thrive and develop, where we meet loved ones and test our patience. And at some point, time has come to consider finishing what has been a hell of a ride and a chapter of life you do not want to miss. It does not matter if the count is five or twenty – the experience and the impact on your life is what makes it so hard to stop. But life is out there.
It eventually hits us all. Even though our generation is considered one of the least adult ones, one that avoids coming of age and being serious about life, we do seek to enter into a job after studies, we do seek to create something – monetary wealth or a better world, or at best both. And that is when life, with limited vacation days and new priorities does only leave little room for engaging in a time-consuming activity like MUN. Life can also take other shapes than your dream job of course. I have seen friends quitting because of a serious relationship. Or simply because your final year in grad school is a hell of a ride. But in a rather different sense than MUN is. Put simply, we may deny it and we may fight it but we are all growing up eventually.
We may simply decide at some point in life, it is enough. It does not get any better. It has been the hell of a ride, we have not even known we were on, before it was too late. Consciously deciding to quit MUN, to leave the world and to not blame it on a new job, a demanding master program or the love of your life but on the simple but true choice you have made is even harder. There is no pity for you, you might feel you want to get back, just for one more but deep down, yes, you decided it is over and that may close the MUN door but it opens so many new ones. New projects, the opportunity rather than the challenge to use your experience for future endeavors. It can be seen as a choice, considering that you stop when it feels best, when you know you have done what you set out to, you end the MUN life in order to make room for more out there. And after all, MUN does not leave you. Ever.
And then what?
What does it take to cure the MUN virus then? There is no cure. Never. MUN, should you have done it right, has changed your life and continues to do so. I personally went for the second option, only recently and still struggle but believe it was the right one. However, I believe it is our job to hold on fondly to of course, our memories and skills we obtained. But most importantly, to the friendships build and the life lessons that we have gone through. This being said, we are the ones to make sure that more students, from whichever background they might originate, are aware of MUN, and at best, of course enabled to experience what we were so fortunate to have experienced. That is why MUNplanet and local alumni associations or even the Facebook groups of your conference remain important. This the network you build on today, and which might help in the future to show students the opportunities MUN has to offer. And who knows, maybe among your co-delegates there was one or the other person who has taken seriously what we promote in closing speeches –be the change in the world you wish to see. I am sure there is plenty of doors that are just about to open after you closed your MUN one.