One of my best decisions in high school was to get more involved in extracurriculars. Just going to school for classes made school boring and bland, but clubs made going to school so much easier. Out of all the clubs I have done, the one that has had the most profound effect on my life was model congress and model UN. I never heard of the club until the end of my freshman year when the teacher who ran the club came in to talk to us. At first, I wasn't convinced. I wasn't really into politics since I was more of an "I'll care when it personally affects me" type of person. Model UN and Congress also involved writing a paper and public speaking which were two of the worst enemies. My friends somehow ended up convincing me to join with them.
Writing the paper wasn't as difficult as I thought, but once the conference approached my public speaking jitters began to sink in. I could barely talk to a single person, how could I possibly debate politics in a room full of people who could call me out in a heartbeat? Once the conference came around, I realized all my worries were all just in my head. I had the best time during the conference and couldn't wait for the next one to come by. I met so many new people and became closer friends with the people in the club. I also learned the importance of being educated not only on the things that personally affect you, but the things happening around the world. The world is more interconnected than we think and we have to learn to empathize with the issues inside and outside of our borders.
Joining Model UN and Model Congress was one of the best decisions of my life. The club has changed me in so many ways. If my freshman self could see who I am now, she would have never have been able to recognize herself. Public speaking was never a strong skill of mine. I absolutely hate speaking in front of people, but now it's a lot easier. I've been commended for my public speaking skills in my English class which surprised me because I never would have thought I had it in me. This club has also taught me how to take the lead and become a leader. I would have never have thought that I would become a person that others would look up to, but through the club, I realized that I can be that person.
I never wanted it to end, but I had to say goodbye to my days as a delegate. I remember crying in my hotel room on the last day of the conference. The teacher running the club and my fellow delegates had to console me so I wouldn't cry during closing ceremonies. The memories I have with the club are ones I'll treasure forever. Fortunately, Rutgers is the one who hosts the conference and I am a part of the organization that runs it. I don't have many regrets from high school, but the biggest one I have is not joining sooner.