In today's world, which is developing at a high speed and which offers us new opportunities every day, it is not easy to be yourself. It is also not easy to be a young person who will participate and contribute to creating a better society with each new one. I often encountered questions - how do you succeed, how do you find ways, how do you write good applications and similar ones? There are many answers to this question, but the most important thing is to have the will and the desire to improve yourself.
An active individual is a person who engages in activities thanks to which he or she will primarily meet new people, acquire knowledge in areas that are currently socially important, such as ecology, human rights, and equality, as well as improve communication skills. We are condemned to live in a digital era that has helped us a lot to find novelties that interest us but limited us so that we cannot improve the previously mentioned skills with formal education alone. I see your activism as our social involvement, including the implementation of projects through joint networking and solving relevant issues that go beyond the domain of formal education, and happen in the period of our life when we are officially educated.
During the exchange of experiences with friends who have actively participated in exchanges of different types for many years, and who are now colleagues in some projects, we came up with topics related to the reasons why younger people refuse to get involved in extracurricular activities. The list of conclusions was quite long. To us, various opportunities as well as the very concept of activism are not presented in the right way. Opportunities are rarely shown, but there are many of them. Many do not have a sufficient amount of information about additional education and peer training, so they are not even aware of their value. Therefore, they cannot be blamed for not being interested in this type of engagement. Lack of support is also one of the greatest problems we face, especially in situations like we in the Western Balkans region face continuously. Most often, support comes from those closest to us, but it is absent from those who are strictly involved in our formal education, although they should be the ones who encourage young people to put their ideas into action because we will agree that now there is a great potential in each of us that needs to be pushed and nurtured. The fear of not being accepted is also common, but it has no basis. When you meet people full of energy and creativity for the first time, there is a willingness to collaborate, communicate, and exchange ideas with them. There is a feeling of seeing yourself as part of a big puzzle that cannot be completed without you. Our talents and solutions are what complete the project and complete the puzzle, and there is a place for each of us. However, we have to fight and work hard for that place and never limit ourselves by saying that we cannot achieve something or that we do not belong somewhere.
When I think of myself from the days of my beginnings of social activism, and especially the first day when I left the comfort of my home for the first time and was forced to share premises with completely unknown, already highly successful active people, I feel happy. I am happy because I can now see what I have achieved, and where I am going to go. I began as a person without self-confidence, who did not feel her voice should be heard, who was a passive observer of the events around her, and who person ashamed because she did not have the knowledge and self-confidence like everyone else around her. With all the people who were present at events where I had been and thanks to their help, I slowly became a part of that whole machinery that was not just based on going to the same building where I would spend a few hours, and then return home to solve homework. At the same time, I managed to find a balance and participate, but also coordinate my obligations with school and faculty, so that I fulfilled all of those promptly. Formal and informal education must come together so we should complement the first with the second, and not neglect it because it, because that is the only way to succeed.
I spend a lot of free time thinking about why I should be a participant in any youth event, how I can contribute to the work of a group, or organization, and to any events that belong to this group. All this had a positive impact. Primarily, it led me to find and fulfill myself because to answer these questions, I gained an insight into what our duty is and what we are. It made me energetic and full of feeling that I belonged somewhere and that I was useful. It brought me a lot of fun, contacts, and lifelong friendships, so much so that in every part of the place where I live, at any time, I can turn to someone for any kind of help. Also, there were moments when I was the one who helped someone and made them happy, which was another way of feeling useful and helpful.
Young people have the most energy and desire to change things around them, and with the youth activism I am talking about, they have the opportunity to stand up for the beliefs, attitudes, and values they strive for. It is not an activity that is only related to an action on the local level, but also beyond that, on the regional or international level. Those who are engaged in some form of activism will contribute to some kind of social change as the end product are young activists. We can never know where the end is, or where we should stop, but neither should we stop. Everyone's voice is important and this world now more than ever needs individuals who will raise their voice and create some change they want to see, and most often one that concerns the experience and knowledge of oneself, because we all have some reason why we are here. It is difficult to start, set a goal, and find support, but it is important to know that once we decide to do it, we will feel much better and we will find ourselves in a difficult time that needs us, which limits young promising people and our actions to create a better future. We must never let anyone hold us back in our intentions, fight for ourselves, and take small steps that eventually lead to something great, both for us and for others.