Colegiul National "Moise Nicoara" Arad

Diary pages: The workshops of the project „Nowadays’ teenagers and the meaning of life”

The journal of a transdisciplinary experience

 Daniela Marin-Corciu

10th Grade

 

First day (November 16th)

 

The transdisciplinar project I decided to take part in began today. And only after the first day I already find it extremely interesting. We were all gathered in a classroom at the “Vasile Goldiş” University of Psychology from Arad: a rather large group of pupils from my high school, as I had with me my classmates, Sara and Denisa, and another group formed by students at psychology from diverse years of study. In fact, with one of them, Andrei, I was already acquaintance, since he finished high school at Pedagogical High School, place where I also finished middle school.

I have to admit, opening up in front of a whole bunch of strangers, feeling completely exposed and vulnerable is tougher than I have ever believed. Even more than that, the fear of disappointing the people I admire – here I’m referring to my Romanian teacher – through what I might say out loud is terrible. What if she doesn’t approve of what I say? What if I misunderstood and I’m currently making a fool of myself?

I enjoyed tremendously the idea of working in pairs, at our team-building sessions, which consisted in a lot of coping and understanding of others. We were told to get up from our seats so that the pupils would mingle with the students, in order for us to get to know each other better. I chose Mirela, third year, as my partner for the first exercise.

It was pretty obvious that we had to introduce ourselves, and I can honestly say that I liked Mirela, although after that moment I didn’t have the chance to talk with her as much as I wanted. One thing, that from my point of view was tough, was to characterise ourselves with the help of a single word. I chose, in the hurry with which the conversations were occurring, the word… spontaneity. I still don’t know whether I chose the right word, since I can’t really say that I know myself sufficient enough to be able to describe myself in just one word. But, given the fact that I think a lot better under stress, I think I made the right call.

Personal questions followed up. We were given a chart with certain questions, which just as the previous drill, started from particular to general. First of all there were questions addressed to us and us only, from which it continued with a generalisation of our youth. It was tough. There were aspects to which I, honestly, reflect rather often and up until that moment I had yet to find an answer. To be told to write down on paper your own feelings, a matter which’s beauty is amplified by the intimacy of each, isn’t something that you feel like doing with that much of an enthusiasm and ease.

Then, we debated the answers given by all of us. I appreciated truly one thing: the fact that we weren’t forced to open up and share our feelings with the rest of the group. If you wished to speak, you simply raised your hand and everyone listened to you quietly.

As far as I’m concerned, it takes quite a while for me to let go, ergo I think I was rather quiet for the first day, although I took a real liking into listening and debating the matters in my own mind. I can only hope that next week I won’t feel as uncomfortable.

 

Second day (November 23rd)

 

The atmosphere seemed much more open and pleasant than last week. My guess is, even though no one won’t admit it, we were all relatively nervous and kept it mostly to ourselves. Today we debated what we felt and more precisely how we felt when something important to us gets accomplished, as well as when it doesn’t.  We had to choose between speaking generally in regards to what we think, feel and how our body reacts in those moments, but we could just as well give examples.

In the same way, we sat in pairs and discussed about ourselves. Bogdan sat in front of me, and the conversation I had with him was extremely enjoyable. I liked him, in the sense that he seemed so naïve, so dreamy, that everything can be explained and that everything will end up well.  Sometimes, if I come to think about it, I’d rather see things from his perspective. He told me how his dream to fly is so beautiful and seems so real when he lives it, but once he wakes up he feels disappointed by the reality of the fact that he will never be able to fly exactly like in his dream. Sounds familiar…

Why do I have this feeling that we, high school pupils, spoke more than the college students? Denisa opened up tremendously this time, even confessing one of her biggest disappointments. It was a long moment, filled with emotion from everyone’s behalf, or at least from mine. The shrink tried to make Denisa understand that what had really happened wasn’t anything but a tale in her life and that she had no reasons to blame herself.

I mentioned my adventure from last year at the English Olympics. I don’t think that I let how affected I still am show, perhaps because, in essence, I understood what I had to understand from the failure back then.

With great surprise I confess that after these two hours of…knowledge and apprehension of one’s self I can’t help but feel much lighter and at ease with my own person. I am glad I decided to join this project.

 

Third day (November 30th)

 

We succeeded today in approaching more thoroughly what this project truly means: the need of meaning in the life of teenagers. We all debated the difference between meaning and purpose, which strangely isn’t the same thing. It was extremely hard to make the distinction between those two, but I think that eventually I managed.

Again, we discussed certain events from our lives that we have yet to find their meaning. With baby steps, but certain ones, we were guided towards the understanding of the reason why those events happened. Nothing is random, nothing is coincidence. Everything we experiment is a lesson. Everything has a meaning.

Then we were grouped in two big groups in the attempt of finding out the main reasons for which teenagers today fail in finding a meaning, either of their lives or their activities. Everyone wrote a reason that each considered essential in the not so successful finding of a life meaning. What’s true, there was a relative debate inside the group. Despite the fact that our ages are close, and therefore you can’t really say we are two different generations, there still exists a difference of approach upon each thing.

It ended with the decision to discuss the resulting lists that came from this exercise the following week.

Fourth day (December 7th)

Unfortunately, today I didn’t take part at the meeting, but I have been told by Sara and Denisa that we are about to elaborate a transdisciplinar project of our own that we are to apply later in our high school. On the big, it is about helping our colleagues in finding their own meaning. Or, if we won’t succeed in that, we will at least have made them aware of the existence of a meaning.

Can’t wait for next week!

 

Fifth day (December 14th)

 

All the pupils from Moise Nicoară gathered and struggled to find different methods to present the younger students the existence of meaning in everyone’s life. We were announced that the project we will create we would also be applying inside the school perimeters. The principal of our school has agreed to this project, and after the winter holidays we will have a formal and official presentation of it.

It was difficult for all of us to give our opinions and bring new suggestions; therefore the communication was rather hasty. I am looking forward to seeing in what way this wonderful idea will develop. I do not know why, though, but I can’t get rid of the doubt that somewhere, something will go wrong. The idea itself that we will succeed to send the message across, hoping that from that point on it will pass even further, sounds really beautiful. I am only wondering if everyone who’ll listen to us will actually succeed to comprehend what we are trying to explain; or if they will even want to. It is our duty to raise an interest.

With a little bit of luck, we will succeed in making them understand what the meaning of our life genuinely is.

THE DIARY OF MY DISCOVERY

                                                                     Denisa Patricia Dragos

10th Grade

16th of  November

The first day of what I hope it will be a guidance mark in my life. It is difficult to walk on a way whose rules you don’t know, it is hard to know which is the path towards your destination or, maybe, it is harder not to know which your destination is. My first step, or better said, the first step of all the participants in this project was to get to know one another the best we can in a relatively short period of time, and to find a word that defines the person we were talking to. I found out that maybe in my entire disorder regarding my everyday life, the fact that I am persevering and the fact that I do not give up defines me more or less as a person. One by one each of us described someone in the room. We all found out that we are different and similar at the same time.

Later we discussed about things, activities and persons that play an important part in our lives and, how a life that deserves to be lived would look like. We listened to different opinions and ways of thinking and concluded that for each and every of those who were gathered in that room our family takes the first place in the list of most important human beings in our lives. Students as well as pupils crossed the border of age and discussed from equal to equal; as a result the entire meeting was like king Arthur’s round table.

It was easy for me to get used to everything, and I can’t wait for the next Wednesday that will bring me closer to what I hope it will be a discovery.

23’rd of November

The same round table, the same knights in usual Wednesday meeting; if I may say so. Today we discussed about a more delicate matter: what we feel like when something goes well, and even more, what we feel like when something goes wrong. We were divided into pairs and discussed the matter. Then we started to express our opinions in front of everybody. When it was my turn, well, I wouldn’t be able to tell if it was a coincidence or not the sad moment of my life I chose to tell, but it had been some time since I last faced my fear, and now I confronted it. It was definitely a hard moment for me but it was also a releasing one. The fact that I faced my problem helped me , I am already starting to be at peace with it and I hope I will start to see things differently. I had the chance to listen to Daniela, who told us a story similar to mine. When seeing her way of dealing with the problem, I realized that  every awful moment has its good parts too and, even more, I found the purpose of some happenings that had marked my life.

30th of November

 

Until now we have just prepared for the big moment, but today we started a discussion about the necessity of  a purpose in life. We were once again divided into groups. Each group had to establish a series of reasons that impeded teenagers to search for the purpose of their life. We all know that nowadays things that really matter do not occupy their rightful place, and that the necessity of being accepted by those that surround us pushes us to do things that we don’t agree with. For us, the teenagers, it was easier to find reasons for what is happening because we are going through this endless fight with what we want to be and what others want us to be. It is hard to find a purpose when you don’t know how to choose between going right or left, especially if there is no in-between. We drew the conclusions after certain “confrontations” between students and pupils. The age difference was reflected in our way of thinking, everyone saw things differently, but we accepted other opinions and we agreed on the fact that things change, evolve and not always into something better.

7th of December

Today was a hard day that tested our imagination and our thinking. Today we had to search for ideas that would help people search for their meaning in life. We were divided into 2 main groups and we had a half an hour for thinking. My idea was to write a list of qualities and defects together with a friend in order to help people see the good that others see in them, so that they  try to make much use of their qualities. Other colleagues’ ideas were to meet a new person every day, or to search for the meaning of life as a dare, even to watch movies and to read books on the same theme. Step by step we started to put the basis of a project that we are going to discuss next week.

14th of December

 

The last meeting in this project was touching and beautiful. Today we started the first project in my life and maybe it is the first one for those of my generation, too. Together with the group from “Moise Nicoara” National College and our teacher Mirela Muresan, we decided on the content of the project, we drew its outline. Later, each of us said what this project meant in our life and what we learnt during the past few weeks. Well I must say that I am deeply enchanted with the fact that I had the chance to meet such wonderful people and that I shall miss the Wednesday mornings spent with them.  I had only good things to learn from these people. Now I know for sure that there is a meaning in everything that happens to me and in everything I do. As Dostoïevski said :“The mystery of human existence doesn’t consist in living, but in knowing what you are living for.”Now I can say that I have a reason to live for, a reason that I didn’t have before and that reason is to discover the real meaning of my life. So, now and here I end the diary of my discovery.

 


A diary that “makes sense”

                                                               Ruxandra Ioana Neamu

11th grade

 

On November the 2nd 2011, my form teacher, Mirela Muresan, called me and three more colleagues over and asked us if we wanted to take part in a project called “ Young people nowadays and the need of sense”. She told us that 10 students from CNMN and 10 from the psychology department at UVVG would be participating in this project. Of course I was extremely enthusiastic about it and I sad “Yes” right away.

First meeting- November 16th 2011

Our first meeting went great, even though my colleagues and I mixed the jars a little at first. The meeting was scheduled for 10 o’clock and we were extremely punctual. However, we were in the wrong place, at the right time, because we got to a wrong location. We called our form teacher and she told us where to go. In 15 minutes we were there and we entered, looking pretty nervous, sat down and paid attention to the discussion.

Firstly, it was necessary to get to know each other so we were paired up with a student from UVVG. The task was to talk about ourselves and choose a key word that described our partner the best. I was getting really nervous, because I was supposed to talk about that student in front of so many people that I had never seen before and tell them what I had found out about him. That’s how I got Florin, a first year student at the Psychology University. As we were making conversation, I found out that his word was „confidence” and he found out that my word was “shyness”. Time had come to share the information that we had, and we were both really nervous, but we managed the situation really well in the end.

Then we had to fill in some sheets with things like people, activities and items that were really important in our lives. I was among many others that jotted down family members as the most important people in my life. The activities and items depended on personal likings. After that, we had to tell them how a life worth living would be like, and I imagined it as a life with a healthy happy family, but also a life in which justice conquers all. Sharing my thoughts with the other gave me an immense sense of satisfaction, because I got over my flustering and I managed to speak my mind. While thinking about the unfairness at the present day, a quote from “Jocul Ielelor”, by Camil Petrescu, crossed my mind. The author seemed to have noticed that “justice” has no plural, but “injustice” does…”injustices”.

Next, we were split up into two large groups and we jotted down things that are important for young people nowadays. Among them were: the socializing networks, sports, hanging out with friends, fashion, but unfortunately vices also, like smoking, drinking and doing drugs. This resulted in a debate, during which a 10th  grader said it’s very difficult to be the only non-smoker in a group of smokers. That’s when I realized that there are other young people like me that choose not to smoke and don’t suffer from “the cattle herd effect”.

The meeting had taken two hours, but to me it all took place very quickly. To end with, a feedback sheet had to be filled in and I went home in a really good mood, very happy about everything we talked about. I can’t wait for the next meeting and you, dear diary, will be the first one to find out how it went.

The second meeting- November 23rd 2011

The second meeting was a really touching one. For once, I was in the right place at the right time, and I entered the room with much more confidence. I sat down and waited for my colleagues to show up. Afterwards, they explained what one of the day’s activities would be. What was going to happen was: we were supposed to say what we thought and how we felt about something we wanted really much in the exact moment it happened, or it didn’t. First we had to think about an actual situation and jot down out reactions. Then we had to switch papers and find out new things about each other. At the beginning of the paragraph I stated that it was a touching meeting because everyone opened up and started being honest. This is what led to teary eyes for both a colleague and I, when she said how not achieving what she wanted really badly felt. I admired her and the others who managed to share their reactions.

At the end, we all said how we would react, without saying what to. While I was writing, I realized that whenever I achieve something really important to me, I am really contempt that I did it on my own, and I smile, full of joy . On the other hand, when I fail to accomplish something, I feel disappointed but I try thinking about how everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is.

After sharing what we had written, we went on to the next activity. This time it was a team activity. The reasons for which young people nowadays can’t find their purpose had to be written. I thought of how the modern society doesn’t encourage us to find our purpose, especially because television and mass media only facilitates non-values. I don’t know if anyone agreed with me, but I stood by my opinion, either way. In my opinion, one of my class-mates, Adelina, answered the question the best by saying that young people can’t find their purpose because they aren’t looking for it.

In the end, one member of each team read out loud what we had written on the paper and the meeting ended by saying we would continue next time.

This meeting differed from the first one, but was just as interesting. I went to school contempt that I had learned so many new things and sure that I was about to find out much more.

The third meeting, November 30th 2011

Dear diary, today’s meeting was just as exciting as the first two. As I expected, I learned a lot and I realized what I couldn’t see before. Today’s activity was the most enjoyable of all. We had to write down a not so pleasant situation from our lives, and what we’d learned from it. In that exact moment, my mind was blank. Like everybody, I’ve had my fair share of unpleasant situation, only that I couldn’t recall any at that time. I looked around me and I realized this had happened not just to me, but after a few minutes I came to my senses and started writing down. I said something about the week I went to the seaside with my friends, where everything seemed to go wrong and the misunderstandings and the fights arose. Up to then, I hadn’t realized that those moments had a good effect on me. Since then I haven’t picked a fight with any of my friends, and now we seem to be getting along even better than before. If it weren’t for today’s activity, I hadn’t realized that bad things also happen for a reason.

After a few colleagues took over, we started to talk about how much of the blame is on us. We all agreed that whatever must happen happens, and that in most cases we can’t change that. After a girl said what had happened to her after an exam, we started talking about injustices that take place in schools, and I mentioned how some students take advantage of others in order to get higher grades, something that’s always been bothering me. Some students chopped in and said that it’s not the grade that counts, it’s what you know, and I agreed with them. Since we were talking about cheating, our form teacher told us how one of her students told her to give her an “F”(1) because she had cheated and couldn’t live with that. This is an admirable gesture which not many of us would make, this is why I mentioned it.

Then we tried to differentiate between meaning and purpose. Before talking about that we had often mistaken sense with purpose, but now we realized that there are differences in tones.

Towards the end we started talking about which is best: to do what we have to or to do what we like? In my opinion, we have to do a little bit of both, harmoniously combine them, although we often have to choose one of them.

Before the meeting ended, we had the feedback and then we all headed towards the exit. When I was outside, I couldn’t believe that three meeting had already taken place, and that there were only two more to go. I convinced myself not to be sad and to make the best of what’s to come, since it was all going to continue on the same pleasant note.

The fourth meeting- December 7th 2011

I don’t know why, but I liked today’s meeting the most. At first, Mrs. Anca Mustea read a couple of interesting stories from a book by Viktor Frankl. They were about a man who couldn’t get past his wife’s death and went to see a psychotherapist, who asked him how she would have reacted if it was him instead of her. The husband said she would have been really hurt. This is when the psychotherapist made him realize that by suffering, he took some weight off of his wife’s shoulders. So the man found a purpose for his suffering, which made its acceptance easier. After some stories were read, we were split up in two groups. What we had to do is write down what we would do for a person to realize he/she has a purpose and find it. Each colleague from my group had already proposed an exercise, and I was the only one left. I started to panic because I had no idea what to do, but I came up with an imagination exercise. Let’s try to think what our purpose would be if we were locked in a prison cell. Would we be able to find our purpose if we were deprived of our freedom? If we could, why not find it while being free? Zsolt, one of my team mates, approved of my idea and liked it very much, so he suggested I go first, because my idea was really good. I don’t think it was better than the other ideas, but I was glad that they embraced my way of thinking. Afterwards, the others read their ideas, including the following: let’s try to write down everything we would like to do, and then keep a diary, this was Oana’s idea. Florin proposed that we meet a new person every day. Another colleague said we should do everything we don’t like during one week, and everything we like, the next, and see which is more satisfactory. There were a lot of good ideas which should be put in practice.

After talking with the others about our ideas, we had a feedback and today’s meeting ended. As the last three ones, time passed by too fast during this meeting.

The fifth and last meeting-December 14th 2011

I am taking the risk of repeating myself, but I have to say I can’t believe how these weeks flew by. It’s as if only yesterday I walked through the door nervous and frightened that I didn’t know anyone. Today I walked through that door again, confident that I would take full advantage of this last meeting.

Today we were divided in two groups, but this time students from CNMN and students from UVVG. We had to lay the foundation of a project that was going to develop in our school and at the faculty, based on the things we learned here. I will only tell you the title of our project, because we didn’t settle the other details: “There’s a sense!”. It will take place during classes coordinated by different form teachers from CNMN. Hopefully we will manage to achieve our goal!

Today, we took a lot of pictures and last but not least, we took a group photo. At the end, I wanted to propose to acclaim our project, but everyone was preparing to leave. I am sure every person that took part in this project deserves a round of applause.

Before the meeting was over, we all said something about the project. There was so much to say, but I was wallowing in emotions so I just said this: I am so glad I was a part of this project, and now I’m sure that there’s a reason for everything out there, somewhere, and I will always be looking for it. Apart from what I said then, I would like to add this, in front of my colleagues: I want to thank my form teacher, Mirela Muresan, for choosing me as a member in this project. Thank you to everyone who founded this project and who took part in it. “ Young people nowadays and the need of sense” was more than just a project, it was a wonderful experience!


Meaning of life…purpose…will?

                                                                            Cotuna-Coste Anca-Daniela

11th grade

Does exist a meaning of life? Which one is that? I don’t know, yet. Maybe I’m never going to find it out. Maybe our meaning of life is creating at the same time with passing through life. Let’s imagine the meaning of life is a path. That path wasn’t before we walked it. And we can see it only if we look back. We are our own choices.  The ideal path would be a line almost straight, but slightly waved. All our choices should have a meaning and should aim to a certain point. But most of the time the paths are really waved. We get lost, we get farther and farther. We walk through life like we were blind. But when we’ll see the only flicker of light, we’ll know which the meaning of life is, or not even then.

What have I learned in this transdisciplinar project? Well, it made me think better at all what’s going on around me. It made me think that everything has a meaning. Even it is a good or bad thing, this transforms you. This project made me to know myself better. And the more you know yourself, the more you get closer to finding the meaning.

I’ve learned in this project to appreciate more my family. They are and will always be next to me whatever happens.

One thing that impressed me is the fact that I’ve met people who have the same thoughts like mine. They see that what most of nowadays teenagers do is not good. The fact that they don’t care anymore about school, or the fact that they care more about their friends then about their family is wrong. And don’t forget to mention things like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Why are they doing all this? They have almost all they want, but still missing something. The answer is their lack of meaning. They simply don’t have a purpose in life. They have no will. And they have the impression that all what really matter is filing good, getting some fun, telling themselves that this is what brings them happiness.

But, can happiness be a meaning of life? I’ve read that saint Ilie told that his meaning of life was happiness in afterlife. Yes, maybe. If we think a little bit we realize that many of us wish our meaning of life would be to help people around us, being kinder with others, doing good things, so, we want pretty much the same thing. We are all thinking that we can do more good, but we don’t because we are too selfish. And if we think a little bit when we do some good we feel better. Isn’t it weird?

In this project I’ve made new friends. There were so many original ideas. There were so many unforgettable moments, too. We talked about nowadays teenagers, who are doing so many  ”bad things” and I felt better thinking that I’m not like that or at least I’m trying not to be. But then we talked about the supreme meaning and the meaning of the universe… Does the forest care if a twinge breaks? And then I felt so little and unimportant…

There were moments when in my mind some things cleared up, but in the very next second I heard things that made me feel totally confused. I was telling myself “I don’t understand! I don’t understand a single thing!”.

There were also sad moments when everybody was telling openly a bad story from his life. But there were funny moments too, when we were laughing in a warm atmosphere.

So, at the end of this project I would like to say what one of my classmate said at our last meeting that indeed “I’ll miss the Wednesday mornings”.

          Journey, no destination

                                                                                Adrina Popa

11th  grade

The project ‘need for meaning’, developed in collaboration with the students from the University “Vasile Goldis” Arad, was a crucial moment in my life as a teenager, as a person. Since the invitation came from a person who always surprises me and makes me ask myself a lot of questions and try to find answers, I didn’t hesitate and I joined the platoon, which 5 weeks later had to shout happily: ‘there is a meaning’. Although we don’t accept this, we are part of a confused generation, who sometimes makes bad decisions because of lack of hope. This project lasted 5 weeks, during which, step by step, we realized that nothing is in vain.

Since the world started to be, not only to exist, every generation has asked a variety of questions such as ‘where were we before we began to exist?’, ’what is the point of being here?’, ‘what is the meaning of it all?’. The religion explained ‘the supreme meaning’ through the theory of divine creation: ‘Then God said, ’Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’’(Genesis 1:26), but also the science explained the transition from chaos to cosmos, which highlights the fact that everything is logical and has an order.

The first step we took was to develop self-knowledge and focus on all the activities we do daily. If we think a little bit about all these activities, we will realize that we do not enjoy doing a fairly large percentage of them; we don’t do them with a purpose, which  is supposed to give us a satisfaction, but because we have to. Though it seems unbelievable, all the purposes represent us as individuals, but also represent a way to find our own meaning of life.

Then, we shared meaningful life experiences, which at the moment they occurred seemed to be disasters. Now, looking back we find out that nothing was in vain, but that everything that happens to us, good or bad, has a meaning. Maybe we wonder why we didn’t tell happy stories of our lives; the answer is very easy. Bad things always get us down and we sometimes feel that there doesn’t exist a solution for that issue, which in reality is completely false. The bad experiences we go through always have a purpose, even if we are not able to see it.

The next step was to understand that, as each person is an individual, each builds one’s own purpose. Nobody can impose a meaning on people, who are still not aware of its existence; they can only be determined to look for it. There are people who have found their meaning of life, such as consumption of drugs; though it seems incredible, it may be an example of meaning, even if it does not synchronize with ‘the supreme meaning’.

The last meeting gave us the opportunity to create activities, games with the purpose of determining our schoolmates to seek their meaning of life. These activities will be part of two projects, which will arise from the project ‘need for meaning’.

Now, at the end of this project I only have to analyse the impact it had on me. Before the project, questions like: Why does it only happen to me? I wonder what’s wrong, rushed always in my mind. What is the meaning of my life? It completely blocked me, not knowing what answer to give. Change has occurred since the moment I heard the name of the project “need for meaning.” I’m sure many are tempted to ask me: Have you discovered your meaning of life? What is it? Well I don’t know my meaning of life yet, I might never find it, but I do not think finding it is the most important; in fact what is most important is the way we need to go along in order to reach the ‘destination’, so I can say that this project has helped me to take the first steps along this way.

Let me end with a quote, which is not a method of searching for our own meaning of life, but a piece of advice, a game, which points out the fact that we have to get out of daily life and reflect on our soul and on those ‘things’ without materiality: ’the meaning of life is out of life, is beyond life and life is nothing, but the road to meaning’ (Eugen Lovinescu’).

                            We all have something magic inside us

                                                                        Mariana Botizan

11th grade

A sunny afternoon, a joyful break interrupted by our project supervisor, who was looking for me, Ruxandra and Adelina. We were called in her office, where she made us a proposal, which was about a series of debates with the students from the Faculty of Psychology from “Vasile Goldis University” on the theme “Young people nowadays and the meaning of life”. The proposal was very interesting and taking into account the fact that I liked the theme a lot, I accepted it despite the fact that I was under a pressure of time.

I was extremely curious, but at the same time I was afraid that I wasn’t able to be as good as the rest of the participants.

The first meeting began with a funny incident for me and my classmates, as we arrived at a different university, and we could not understand why nobody was arriving, although the meeting hour had already passed. We then figured out that we had gone in a wrong direction and we arrived  at a different address.

After we cleared things out and finally got where we were supposed to, at the entrance I felt a little scared, because I did not know what was going to happen. After we sat down, we had to choose a student to be our partner, to get to know each other, and after that we all had to present our partner. The coincidence was that I met Adriana, a 21- year – old young lady, who graduated the same high school, “Moise Nicoara National College”, the same department , philology, and on top of all that, my form teacher had been hers, as well. I saw in her an ambitious young lady, someone fighting for what she desires and does not wait to get anything for free. When it was my turn to present Adriana, I was a little bit nervous, but I got over it and presented her.

Later that day, we all got a worksheet with questions and we had to answer the first three ones; I answered, then I gathered same courage and read them to the rest of the participants. After this exercise we had to form two groups, both made of high school students and university students and I had to answer three questions. One of the questions was:”What are the most important things for young people nowadays?” From this question a debate started because we all had different opinions. In these discussions the main problem was that nowadays, young people would do anything to be part of a group, to be like everyone else or they are just afraid of being rejected. Pressured by time, we finished this conversation and we headed back for school, and I would like to say that I got there happy and smiling. The first meeting was very pleasant for me and I could not wait for the week to pass, so that we could meet again.

A week passed and there we were, waiting for another meeting. This day was not that pleasant because for some of us it was hard telling things that did not bring up pleasant memories. Another exercise put us face to face with courage, the courage of being able to tell something the we felt guilty  about, something that depended on us, but we did not do everything we could in order to achieve it. The most affected person was Denisa, because she started crying, and I cannot tell her story because I do not have her permission, but I can tell you that I was not strong enough to talk about something very important for me.

An exercise from this meeting was to tell “what our reaction was as a result of a success or a failure”; as I also said during that meeting, my reaction as a result of a wish that came true is an unusual one, because I am so happy that I could hug everyone, that I could dance, sing, but when I face a failure, I usually cry a lot, because this is how I feel due to the pain inside.

After we finished this exercise, we had a group exercise. In my opinion an exercise like that involves more persons and everyone has the right to tell their opinion, but that day was not suitable from this point of view, because nobody listened to my opinion or my classmate’s opinion, but now there is nothing  we can do; next time we will try to be more convincing.

Today was the third meeting, today I was not sitting where I usually sat, but I was sitting near the window, and from this place I could see everyone much better. Today’s meeting was a little different from the other ones, the exercises were different because we had to speak about an unpleasant situation and I was talking about my geography class from the eighth grade and after I had worked a long semester for it and despite the fact that I had so much confidence in me, the mark was not what I had expected and I was so disappointed that I cried for two days. I almost gave up school, but after a lot of convincing arguments brought by parents, teacher and friends I understand that the mark was not important; what I knew was important. Another part was to tell how much we felt was our fault, and of course the answer was different from person to person. For example, I was feeling very guilty, but what I felt could not be compared with the guilt that Dana felt, who was trying to do what was better for her bunnies, left the door open and they ran away, so we all felt the guilt in different ways. In the second part of the meeting we had to make the difference between reason and purpose, and this was a problem for some of us,…..because they either did not understand…or they did not agree with what we were saying. For example, Bogdan did not agree with our project supervisor, who was talking about the GREAT REASON, but in the end I think he figured out what we were saying ….It is a little late now and I cannot concentrate on writing anymore….so I am going to end today’s meeting now.

Another week had passed and this was the penultimate meeting; today we all worked as a team, and unlike last time, we all had the chance to say what we thought…the funniest things from today were the examples that our team gave, because they were all related to Oana, as she was the most important….today I had the chance to be teamed up with Szolt, and he told everyone’s idea and I liked that. We were not so many at this meeting, but this did not stop us from continuing our activity…..on the contrary, things worked out better than the other times. After I left, I could not help noticing how fast our meeting had passed and there was only one left…..and now I feel that every Wednesday morning I want to go to have a meeting at the university.

Four weeks have passed and here we are at the last meeting…..I got there earlier and I thought I could write something in the diary of this project from here…..before it started….and I felt  sad thinking that this was the last day I came there for our debates. I am going to miss everything we have done here, I am going to miss my new friends, but I am not going to cry, I will keep the tears for the end of this meeting.

It is over! A very enjoyable project, in which I have learnt a lot, I have made new friends. I am happy to know that this is not going to stop here because we will continue this project with our classmates from school…today’s meeting was all about making a plan through which we had to find a way to present this project to other high school students…..there were many ideas, but we do not know anything for sure yet; during the holiday we  will keep on talking with one another and we hope to be as good as this project is.

The group photo, as well as our own personal opinions on this project, have aroused in me a very strong emotion, but I was strong and I did not cry. I am going to tell you what I told them at the end of the meeting:” After this project I have learnt that I have to respect everyone’s opinion and decision, without trying to convince them that my opinion is a better one, because we all have something magic inside us and I am not the only special person.”

And now all I have to say is just: THANK YOU!

                                        MY DIARY AND…MY MEANING              

                                                                                          Adelina Ranca

11th grade

Day number 1

Today the first meeting with the colleagues from within the project took place. I was very curious to see what kind of people they were. Just because they accepted the invitation I realised that they had something special and they were hooked by more interesting matters than most of our generation. In order to get acquainted better, we were grouped in pairs, pupils and students, and we shared interesting facts about each other, we got to know a little bit of the other’s character and personality, and at the end we had to find a word that best defined the conversation partner. This was the way we made our entry within the group. Sharing what we found out about the other, I realised that I didn’t make a mistake thinking that all participating students were special in their own way.

Day number 2

I couldn’t wait to see how we would continue the discussions. Today, we all thought of a situation from our lives, finding a meaning, or at least trying to find it a meaning. I once again heard wonderful stories, but also some sad ones coming from persons close to my own age. I was impressed by the stories of the pupils, whom, although they are in the same high school as mine, I didn’t manage to get to know so well. Everyone shared their story with such emotion, as if reliving it, fact which made me find myself in some of the situations.

Day number 3

This is the third meeting of ours and we started thinking of certain ways through which we could make people think about their meaning of life, of certain situations in their life and try to find that meaning. We split up into two groups, each consisting of pupils and students. We wrote down a couple of ideas which we presented afterwards. Each member of the group came up with an idea, a proper opinion about the meaning of the contexts in our lives, in the teenagers’ life and not only. I liked that the teachers took part in our debates as well, sharing their opinions, which helped us by making us understand better the difference between purpose and meaning.

Day number 4

And here we are at the fourth meeting. I’m saying it with a sense of regret, but happiness as well, because we managed to canvas something so foreign and strange to a lot of people. Today we formed two groups: one of pupils and the other made of students. We tried to find methods for us to implement what we found out, discussed and commented together inside the school. Once again each member of the group shared their opinion, trying to participate with all he or she could in this activity. The ideas were vast and we began defining the project, which was becoming more and more interesting. We’ll just have to wait and see if we’ll manage to make someone ask oneself at least one question about one’s life and its contribution to this world. But I am really proud that I managed to gather many teachings from these discussions and even share them with other interesting people, with those who have a greater need in finding the meaning behind more difficult occurrences in their lives.

 

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