Burgas Bulgaria, Student in Leeuwarden
This summer I had a great opportunity to attend a festival, despite the tough situation the world is in today. It took place in the Rhodope Mountains in my home country. Deep in nature, and away from any civilization. For four days, I walked barefoot, swam naked in the lake and simply enjoyed primitive life away from the big city. This aside, a moment of pure happiness flowed through my heart during the first night of our stay there. My three friends and I were laying down on a single yoga mat next to the lake. We covered ourselves with a blanket as it was getting colder. For an hour we were just staring at the brightest night sky we have ever seen in our lives. We could even track the Milky Way! As deep the night sky above us, so deep our conversation on the ground. Deep, and truly honest! Unforgettable.
Cascais, Portugal, Student in Leeuwarden
Looking back, I had the best childhood I could have asked for. Full of love and laughter. Those were the best times of my life. The innocent times where you think the world is a wonderful place. During my teen years, life smacked me around the face and told me I was a fool for thinking that. Life was hard. Dealing with losing the closets person to me at the time. Following that I went into a deep depression. Now looking back I don’t know how I got through those times but somehow, I did. To anyone going through something like this just hang on better times are to come! I promise! My mum told me something that might help you too, “Let’s be grateful we were able to meet such an amazing person that blessed us with loads of amazing memories that will last forever.” This is why I live my life following two sayings.
1: Don’t cry over the past. It’s gone. Don’t stress about the future. It hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you because you never know how much time you have.
2: Be kind and try your best, that’s all that matters. Life is to be lived to its fullest. We don’t have long on this planet so make the most of it. Although my life hasn’t always been positive, I’m not even mad about it because a life without suffering isn’t really a life at all. The pain was worth all the laughs I’ve laughed, the amazing people I’ve met along the way and too the spectacular things my eyes have seen. This is what makes the course of life.
Essen, Germany, Student in Leeuwarden
I was always struggling with school, so when I screwed up my finals and had to redo 3 out of 4 exams, I was pretty devastated. I was given 2 weeks to prepare myself for the resits (all 3 exams took place on the same day). I put enormous efforts into my studies, as I wanted to graduate with my classmates and friends instead of hanging in high school for another year. The day full of resits came and I had never been so nervous and anxious in my life. I even had my best friend and my parents with me to give me some emotional support. After 6 hours of reexaminations, I finally received the message from our headteacher that I had passed and was able to graduate. In that moment, an enormous burden fell off my shoulders. I was purely happy and proud of myself for mastering this impossible challenge. Many of my teachers had doubted that I would make it and even said things like ‘don’t worry, you will have next year.’ I showed them that I can do it even without their support. Next to my parents, I would say that my best friend Leon is an inspiration for me. We have already known each other since high school. We have travelled many parts of the world together. We have also lived together in Leeuwarden. We always have each other’s back.
Bydapest Hungary, Soon to be Mother in Leeuwarden
Where I work now everyone is pretty open minded and chilled but at my previous job, which was an international bar here in Leeuwarden, I always had people making negative comments as to why I don’t speak Dutch. I did take part in several Dutch courses, but it was not in my job description to speak Dutch. My job was to speak English. I didn’t really understand why they are complaining. Almost every day there was someone who was not happy about it. Many times, people said things that really hurt me. This is an international town, there are many students. You can’t learn Dutch from one day to another, it’s not an easy language. I try my best.