By Ia Tserodze (Member of the Georgian Delegation, 69th International Session of EYP, Istanbul, Turkey)
It all started last summer… all of us being nervous and excited at the same time. I was shaking and holding my friend’s hand when the President of the session was announcing the names of those who were chosen for the IS. I could sense my friend squeeze my hand a little when his name was announced, although he kept his cool. I was just about to scream and hug him when my name was announced, which made me go nuts. It hasn’t sunk in even yet to be honest. So that was it. After months of waiting, weeks of preparation and days of anticipation, we were finally there, finally made it, all nine of us, at the biggest event of the year, at an International Session, holding hands and going… going only forward.
To be completely honest, my first reaction was: too many delegates. How on earth was I going to compete with them? All of them seemed a lot more experienced, confident, older and even higher than me. I have to admit it was pretty intimidating at first. But from the very first day everything started to go uphill. We had whole 2 days of teambuilding. Although we generally thought of ourselves as significant young diplomats, nobody was ashamed to run around in the garden acting like a ninja or roll in the grass like a toddler while the others were chasing the ducks.
After I saw the pictures of other delegates from teambuilding, I was just incredibly thankful that I had a lazy journo.
After a dozen of memorable moments and shared laughs, we were ready to start some serious work: whether about immigration, unemployment or the economic crisis. I can only describe the 3 days of committee work with one adjective: LONG. Even though all of us were prepared, it still turned out that we had much to learn. Frankly speaking, I’ve never been so delighted and relieved at the same time about the finished resolution before.
However, the most important part was yet to come. Ladies and gentlemen, the highlight of the event was exactly the last two days of the session. Her Majesty: The General Assembly. Please look up every synonym of anxiety in the dictionary, because that was exactly how I felt. 220 delegates, chairs, journalists, editors, organizers, guests, teachers, the board, the governing body. All of their eyes on us… And when the President announced that it was time for the committee of LIBE, I nearly fell from my chair. Note for self: Bad idea to wear high heels! But at that very second I realized something, this was it. The make it or break it moment. I might not have been given this opportunity ever again in my life. So I sat up in my chair, listened, responded and then rose up, went to the tribune and started my very first summation speech at the International Session. I knew exactly what to do. I knew exactly what to say. And after that all was a blur, the last thing I remember is my friend’s nod of approval, my chair’s slight smile and the applause…. The applause and the cheers, which I could still hear in the plane, despite the loud noise of the engines. And now that I’m here, now that all of us are here, nothing but the memories remain… but the memories which will stay forever…