Model UN being an activity that brings together students from different parts of the globe makes it something inevitably contradictory to a global pandemic. Model UN delegates all across the world are feeling down right now due to the cancellation of dozens of conferences due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In these times of intense isolation, we must remember that the circumstances of quarantine are, indeed, temporary. Model UN will return with new vigor and intensity once life returns to normal. For the die-hard Model UN delegates out there, it may be too difficult to wait: luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to continue improving your Model UN performance while in quarantine.
1. Keep up with international news outside of COVID-19.
The best Model UN delegates are those with an enhanced understanding of global affairs and current events. For the past month, it seems that every headline is coronavirus related. For many of us, we’re tired of reading about it, right?
Though it may not feel like it from quarantine, the world continues to spin, even while COVID-19 continues to spread. We may be physically isolated, but learning about the ongoing political situations and conflicts in countries across the globe will reduce the overwhelming feeling of separation. Plus, once the world of Model UN resumes, those who stayed up-to-date with geopolitics will have an advantage. Be proactive, stimulate your mind, and read international news that stretch beyond coronavirus-related themes!
2. Read as much as you can.
How long has that stack of books been sitting in the corner of your room while you claimed you had too much homework to get around to them? Now is your chance! Dig into the topics that genuinely interest you, not just the texts you get assigned in English class.
It does not matter if the topic is internationally-sourced, or even directly related to politics in any way. Model UN is an academic activity, so reading anything at all will improve your performance. Reading will make you a better speaker as well as a better writer. Capitalize on your abundance of free time, and crack into some books!
3. Pay attention to what the UN is doing.
The UN, much like all other transnational organizations, kicked into high-drive in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Coronavirus is, in fact, a global pandemic, so a reaction from international organizations is warranted. Take a glance at un.org, and browse the COVID-19 responses. You will draw inspiration from seeing the real United Nations in action, and you will learn about how the structure of the UN functions in crisis. Pretty cool!
4. Watch a foreign film, listen to a political podcast.
Not much of a reader? Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to consume media that directly relates to Model UN. Watching a foreign film related to some sort of historical happening is a great way to practice the central skill that Model UN teaches: perspective. Approach a moment in history from the lens of a different culture, language, or nation, and you will continue to expand your capacity for political analysis from new perspectives. This translates directly into Model UN.
There are also several political podcasts that will keep you in the mindset of thinking about government and civics. Listen to something about the upcoming U.S. General Election, if that peaks your interest, or select something foreign to more directly target Model UN.
The best podcast to improve your Model UN performance from home is, of course, All-American Model UN’s very own MUN Coach. Listen on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever else you listen to podcasts.
5. Embrace the break, and come back stronger.
For many Model UN delegates, the COVID-19 outbreak became serious right as the competitive Model UN season started to slow down. This means that exhaustion from several conferences in a row and burnout runs rampant in the Model UN community right now. While there are certainly plenty of ways to continue stimulating those Model UN pathways and improving performance from home, it can also be just as beneficial to take a short break from Model UN. Burnout is highly detrimental to Model UN performance, so taking a few weeks off could be the best way to return with newly invigorated energy and motivation. Looking for a way to re-immerse in Model UN this summer? Check out our summer academy offerings at Boston University and Johns Hopkins University.
Ultimately, we will get through this together! While in quarantine, find ways to keep your mind stimulated and your intellect sharp. It will be those who sustain their productivity and genuine love for Model UN in times of isolation that will return to the Model UN sphere best prepared to succeed once life returns to normal. Don’t wait until your next conference, re-immerse yourself into Model UN from the comfort of your own home.
Related Article: How To Keep Your MUN Team Active Over the Summer
Related Article: Combating Burnout and the Emotional Obstacles in Model UN