Honestly, I’m a bit sad about my course mates’ feelings about what I’m doing.
On the one hand, I don’t think I’ve heard any positive comments about my attendance to the Asia Pacific Model UN (APMUN). Well, initially, my classmates did sound a bit enthusiastic, notably my friend whom we shall call by the pseudo-name M, and one of our blatant classmates.
But I rather forgot about all those initial enthusiasms when I found out just this afternoon that I really was going to Thailand in an independent fiasco. No companions and no classmates. Normally, I wouldn’t say the next sentences out loud, but there are no other words for it. To describe it best: I’m going to the APMUN solo. By myself. Just me, myself, and I.
I wasn’t really expecting anyone to go there with me anyway. I mean, you know us Filipinos. We all love the free trips – the ones that don’t need any effort to go to. All we expect to need are our senses of humor, and for us, we’re already packed.
But honestly, the attitude of only going to international conferences because they’re free is rather limiting. One goes to a conference – and a youth conference at that – so that one can learn, so that one can gain experiences that won’t normally come at any day. I’ve heard of friends of mine who got accepted to attend international conferences and summits but weren’t able to go because they weren’t able to raise the necessary funds to pay for airfare and other commodities (such agencies organizing conferences like in this example are the one shouldering costs for only the registration fee, etc., and airfare, accommodations, and food were sometimes the responsibility of the participants). I think my friends’ opportunities really were sayang. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes inevitable fundraising problems do come up. These inevitable problems are understandable. And I don’t really know the whole stories of these people on why they weren’t able to raise funds for such reasons anyway, so I don’t have the right to comment. What I don’t understand, however, is the choice of a person to forego an opportunity such as an international gathering just because it wasn’t a free, all-expense-paid event.
I guess during times like these, I really do try to remind myself why I am doing this in the first place. I’m doing this because I want to make a difference in the world, in my own way, and I believe that an opportunity for me to mingle with the very international body that has become the epitome of international cooperation and camaraderie – the United Nations – is something that does not come every day. This is my last year being a regular student. This time next year, who knows what God has in plan for me. I wouldn’t know what I’ll be doing by July 2013 – nobody does – but all I do know is that, I don’t want to live my future life thinking about what could have happened if I attended the APMUN. I don’t want to have any regrets. I have actually heard of “Model United Nations” before, last summer actually, during my searches for career paths. And from my research, I have really found out that participation in a Model UN could really help you if you want to pursue a career in the United Nations. I checked out this “True Story” thing on the UN website and there was an intern in the UN who was from Kenya (I forgot her name, forgive me) who participated in a Model UN during her student years and she said that that really helped her with pursuing and getting her internship. Well, she said it along those lines. And so from then on, I told myself that if ever similar opportunities would present themselves, I would definitely take it, if its’ in God’s will. From what I’ve found out, though, UN internships are really competitive, as my sources have stated, because a lot of people compete for UN vacancies. It’s a job market that everyone wants to work in. Thus, I believe that even though I am, as of the moment, still far away from being close to UN status, I am still on the right track, because Model UN is rather like a boot-camp for aspiring United Nations ingenues (that’s my idea, anyway), and as idealistic as I may sound, I believe it wouldn’t hurt to try a little adventure.
So to sum up, let me relate a thought-trail I was thinking of a few minutes ago while I was eating dinner. I wondered about who was the first pioneer who actually made foreign master’s pursuance a possibility for International Studies students in our university, Xavier. Who was the first I.S. graduate who pursued further studies abroad and inspired a chain of I.S. students (which run to this day) to also do so?
As philosophical as my thoughts go, I realized that pioneers who make the first step to the unknown are the very people we need in order to prove to the world that there really can be countless possibilities – that “never” can be doable. That all the things we think of that make us think we can’t do something can be outwitted by all the things that encourage us that we can do it! That positivity will always kick negativity’s butt anytime.
So here’s to new experiences and new risks. New opportunities to make the most of another new adventure.