07/11/2012 09:17 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2012

How Model UN Helped Me Choose a Major

"What do I want to do in life?" I've been asking myself this question all the time. I found with high school there is a need to involve yourself in an extracurricular or volunteer activity that can guide you in what you want to do later on in life. Like many, I was faced with the pressure of deciding an area to study due to my friends already claiming that they want to be teachers or doctors. Many people think a student still has time to decide what he or she wants to do, but while a student may have time, the real crisis is HOW a student makes a decision on what to do in life. "How" entails "How can I contribute to society and what kind of impact do I want to have?"

What has worked for me in search of what I wanted to do was the process of elimination through volunteer work. I've had my fair share of volunteer jobs. Because of that, I found a concentrated area that I would want to study. Thanks to my volunteer job now, I have rekindled my interest in writing and global studies.

After taking a long break from participating in activities that pertained to history or literature in some sort of way, I remembered my experience with the Model United Nations in the sixth grade. The Model United Nations is a conference that brings youth together to simulate a U.N. conference. Think of all the skills students must utilize in order to have an in-depth discussion on possible solutions to change the world: writing, speech, leadership, research and analysis. The global awareness aspect of the United Nations simulations provides students with knowledge of world problems, cultures and solutions that can strengthen relationships universally. Participating as a delegate was extremely exciting for me, as I sat with my classmates and shared viewpoints with students from other schools to try to create a solution that worked out for everyone. I was relatively shy, yet the topic of discussion meant so much to me that I just had to speak my mind as well as for the country I was representing.

My recall of the U.N. simulations led me to volunteer with an organization that offers these educational services. Volunteering for Global Classrooms D.C. in partnership with the United Nations Association has heightened my level of awareness about global issues and given me a new perspective on how things work at Model U.N. conferences from a regulatory point of view. Anyone who partakes (whether as a student or a committee chair) in these simulations generates innovative solutions and a detailed focus on current global issues. Writing articles, being co-chair of Model U.N. sessions and researching global topics continues to aid my development of universal knowledge and my ability to voice my opinions. One thing particularly exciting about volunteering and participating in the simulation as a delegate is the ability to work with fellow students in the regional area and to strive to reach a solution on an issue together.

With over 400 annual Model U.N. conferences held globally for middle school to college students, there is an opportunity for you or a student you know to participate in this globally-oriented learning experience! A student can start a club or participate in a global discussion with the Model U.N. by clicking here. This opportunity establishes global awareness that the student can spread through numerous skills, which compliments numerous careers. I've had a great experience with the Model U.N. and feel like it would be of interest for students who are highly involved in history, writing, or debating. Interning or participating in an event that expands your interests brings students one step closer to successfully taking on the roles of politicians, artists and scientists who aid in the creation of solutions to everyday obstacles. Model U.N. definitely helped settle my anxiety toward choosing an area of study, but more importantly, I found something that I was interested in through volunteer work.