Sahil Chaudhry comments on his commonapp short answer on MUN

Model UN had been my métier for over three years now. But I came in for a shock when I was asked to audition for the right to represent my new school in MUN conferences. As I auditioned in the school auditorium with 300 other 'amateurs', I was humbled. But I made it. Within a year, I was the Chairperson of the Special Committee on Armed Conflict at a Model UN conference in Western India, chairing a committee of college students even though I was only in grade 11 then. Model UN is the ideal combination of research, debate, discussion and negotiation; all things love! I attribute my keen interest in politics and world affairs to Model UN. I returned to the capacity filled school auditorium earlier this summer, this time as the school MUN "prodigy", to recruit juniors who're expected to carry on the legacy of enlightenment and triumph.

Why did you choose to write on this topic?

I wrote on this topic because this particular activity is what I was the most involved with. I had been participating in Model UN conferences since grade 9, and thus an involvement of 4 years showed great commitment. Also, I had won almost each conference I participated in, so this was one of my more decorated activities in terms of achievements too.

Which other activities did you do while in High School that you could have written about?

I could have probably not focused on Model UN and written about debating at large. Otherwise, I had considered writing about SQCC- Student Quality Control Circles, another set of activities I had been committed to, as well as won a few awards in. However, my involvement in the same ended as soon as I switched schools (after grade 10), and so it probably made little sense write about something which wasn’t so recent. Lastly, I could have written about this UN conference I had been selected to attend, I was the youngest to be chosen and this is an achievement which is certainly very unique and something I’m really proud of; I however decided against writing my essay on this since writing one of my two mandatory essays on just one very specific achievement would have taken away the attention from the other parts of my attention.

Which parts of the short answer do you like?

I like how I’ve described the activity’s benefits to me apart from whatever awards I’ve won, how it helped me on a personal level- in adjusting to my new school and in gaining recognition there.

Looking back how would write this differently?

Though one of the shortest, I think this remains one of my best essays. However, there are two things, which if given a chance I’d like to change-

1.     The word ‘métier’ almost clearly stands out as a thesaurus word. Yes, guilty as charged, I would have perhaps replaced it with a simpler sounding word and kept it in sync with the light tone of the essay, or that of any of my other essays.

2.     Also, I regret not being able to talk about specific awards I won and positions I held during the several of MUN conferences I attended. This is perhaps due to the extremely small word limit. However, because I could/did not mention specific Best Delegate awards and other related awards, each as an individual honor on the CommonApp Awards and Honors section, I should have probably tried mentioning some of those in this essay; since right now, I realize, probably not one of those ~10 awards has been detailed anywhere in my application.