SEHS MUNers Take on London!


Sunny and 60 degrees. When I originally booked my trip to HMUN22, I expected the forecast to look miles different than the sunny, bright days that filled the trip for me and the 21 other students from St. Edward, Archbishop Hoban, St. Joseph Academy, and Bay Village High School. I looked forward to the gloom, rain, and cold of March that I had grown accustomed to seeing in pop culture, and the weather decided to be pleasant, a feeling unknown to many Clevelanders. 

This theme of pleasant surprises did not just limit itself to the weather. In fact, the trip itself was defined by my expectations being surpassed in all sorts of ways. First, I was not even sure that the trip would even happen. Since my sophomore year, I have had four Model UN trips canceled due to COVID, including HMUN20, which was canceled mere days before the conference. This year, I had no reason to expect any different. Omicron was ravaging the world in late winter, and governments and schools alike did not seem inclined to renege on COVID-19 policies that already lasted for one school year. However, as the days continued to pass by, the conference seemed to remain standing. And when Mr. Perrins confirmed with the group that the trip was for sure happening, I felt as if the two years of cancellations had finally been washed away from my psyche. I could finally enjoy the overseas trip I had been yearning for since the first open house I attended all the way back in 2017.

During the Model UN portion of the trip, I found that the HMUN style of debate and the students who I was participating with both surpassed my expectations. Before HMUN, I was used to either the CLEIMUN or the CCWA/Harvard style of debate. I had grown accustomed to these, and, truth be told, I was not overly keen on escaping what I was comfortable with. However, the style of debate allowed for so much flexibility and fluidity. The first day of the conference, resolution poured in like I had never seen before, and my committee ended with 29 submitted resolutions. During debate, delegates were able to flow between writing amendments and formal debate without the delays that are present at most American conferences. The efficiency was remarkable.

But more importantly, the people there were amazing. I did not know what to expect from boarding school students from England. But as soon as I got there, the people were welcoming, friendly, and enjoyable to be around. Through three days of committee, Edsman MUNers, including myself, all made friends in a country we had never been before. We were all able to immerse ourselves in another culture and learn that high school students, no matter where they come from, all have much in common. Although we have all left England, technology allows us to stay connected with those we met at the conference. 

Finally, the sightseeing in London met all my expectations and then some. From the Shard to the Tower Bridge to plenty of other landmarks, we were able to see things we had only seen on the TV or the internet. These landmarks were further brought to life by Mr. Perrins knowledge of England and the tours that were purchased well-beforehand. Having a long-time England resident, Mr. Perrins, with us was invaluable. For almost any landmark, we could ask him a question about it and an answer would be immediately provided. In addition, Mr. Perrins handled the logistics exceptionally well. Although I took the visit for granted at the time, visiting the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor was not something that had to happen, but rather, it was a privilege that was arranged by Mr. Perrins well before our visit. In only three days, we were able to cover a vast amount of London, and for that I thank Mr. Perrins and the chaperones as well as Mr. Perrins’s brisk walking pace. 

Overall, HMUN and my trip to London was the best possible way I could have spent my spring break. It is a privilege to be afforded the opportunity to travel to London with St. Ed’s and Mr. Perrins, and I urge all students who have not yet been abroad through school to consider doing so.