OK..This is for my school newsletter so it may seem all proper proper..but whatever!!
I believe that every individual has a certain mind set. I do not take criticism. It could prove to be a weakness, but it hasn’t until now. I work harder when I’m praised, even if it is for nothing! Hence, on being called a ‘leader’ in every letter that was addressed to me from the GYLC, I worked on my research and looked forward to my visit to the GYLC, held in Washington, D.C and New York City.
Within hours of arriving at Washington airport, I met students from different parts of the world with totally different accents! Trying to learn to speak with the accent of the person seated next to us was our first team building activity. We had an ‘Around the World’ social that night where we exchanged information about the places we came from. Many prejudices were cleared then. We were assigned a country to represent that is different from the country we came from. I was chosen to represent Turkey along with eighteen other students. We explored the Diplomatic Community by visiting embassies and having a brief meeting at the U.S. Department of State. Studying about Interdependency in the World was made interesting as we got an opportunity to visit the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where we had a lecture on how the countries today are working toward a stable global economy. Human Rights and International Law was also given priority. We had an International Law Panel and also visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which was captivating. World War II was literally brought before our eyes. The tour of the historic district of Philadelphia helped us learn about the roots of U.S. democracy. On day 7, we reached New York City and had a cultural expedition by visiting various museums there. Everything’s huge is New York! From the burgers and the coke to the buildings! Visiting the Statue of Liberty made me realise that dreams are the main cause of man’s success.
During these twelve days, we also had three simulations, which made us function like real-life world organizations. The first simulation was- Politics of Trade: A Dispute Settlement Simulation, where we were made members of the World Trade Organization and asked to settle certain disputes in developing countries, such as allowing free trade between them. The second simulation was Peace and Security: A Conflict Resolution, where we represented the country we were allotted. I was the Foreign Minister of Turkey. There was a national interest discussion, a proposal writing session and after that, we had Security Council meetings where our resolutions were passed or declined. The third simulation was the most exciting, was it was the Global Summit. The countries were represented by us at the United Nations! We got to represent commissions of our choice. I chose the Science and Technology Commission, under which I was in the Genetically Modified Products team. It was pretty complicated for us to draft out a resolution, as we didn’t know much about Turkish interests, and we wanted to get very close to reality. After doing some research, we drafted out an impressive resolution, which eventually did get passed in the United Nations.
Amidst all the serious work, there was also time for a lot of fun and mischief. I made friends who I would never forget, as eighteen of us who represented Turkey practically lived together those twelve days. GYLC certainly added a lot of value academically and made me aware about world issues. It sharpened my leadership skills and I learnt how to be independent. In conclusion I would like to share a quote that left an impact on me. “Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone”. I guess that’s what makes a better, independent leader.