Greetings, MB&H readers! I’m back from my summer blogging hiatus that was spent working the most excellent job in America, being a summer camp counselor. This summer has given me a lot of time to reflect on why we like to do the things that we do. I’ve always thought of my hobbies as time-killers as opposed to a road leading to success. Math was always a hobby of mine; now it’s my primary source of income.
I started considering the people in my life that began participating in something for fun that eventually lead to a whole lifestyle. That’s where today’s post comes in.
Today’s post is exceptional because 1) it’s a guest post and 2) that guest happens to be my super talented cousin, Marie Hanewinckel. Marie recently moved to TAIWAN for a Fullbright program where she will be teaching English. She discovered her passion through her hobby.
Model United Nations
by Marie Hanewinckel
Hobbies. Everyone thinks they need them. People are always searching for a hobby – a hobby to make themselves feel as if they have a purpose, or if nothing else, life outside of work, school, and family.
I’ve often felt as if my life is lacking a hobby. I’m terrible at crafts, can’t play any instruments, and have no special talents beyond intellectual pursuits. But what if an intellectual activity could become a hobby? That’s how I found my greatest pastime of Model United Nations.
I know you’re thinking one of two things right now: “Wow, what a nerd!” or “Wasn’t that one Mary-Kate and Ashley movie/Parks and Rec episode about Model UN?” However, MUN is so much more than simply a nerdy debate activity. It became, for me, a hobby to which I was more than happy to devote hours of my time each week.
Although I initially joined MUN in high school simply as a way to become involved in something that wasn’t basketball, there are many irreplaceable things I gained from MUN:
1. The ability to engage an audience through public speaking, as well as manage and lead large groups of people in a more informal setting (better known as “caucusing”).
2. Confidence in myself. Confidence in my intellect. Confidence in my ability to speak in front of an audience. Confidence in my ability to command respect. And, most of all, confidence in my ability to improvise.
3. Amazing friends. I’m not kidding – the typical “MUNer” isn’t a socially-awkward nerd. You have to be pretty social and have the ability to make friends to excel at MUN. So MUNers are pretty social creatures.
4. A support system. College is hard. You learn a lot about yourself and finally have the chance to become your own person. Being part of a team helped facilitate this and gave me a community at my university.
5. Professional skills. I have no fear of interviews or talking with others at formal events.
This hobby has taken me places I never dreamed it would – I’ve traveled all around the country and even held a job teaching MUN. It’s a hobby that more and more people are joining every day – and begins as early as middle school! I’ve seen so many people, myself included, find their passions and grow into themselves through this engaging activity. To conclude – even the nerds with no tangible talents can find hobbies at which they can excel.
To keep up with Marie’s life in Taiwan teaching English as a second language, follow her blog.