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About this digital collection

In 2022 Foundation "SolidarityWorks" organized the third edition of
its national English essay contest for youth. An unprecedented 68
participants from 35 villages and towns around Bulgaria took part
in the contest.

This collection features some of our favorite essays containing the

thoughts and insights of Bulgarian youth in response to the

♡ What matters to me and why?

♡ What is a problem in my school, university, community or
country, and what should be done about it?
♡ What is the most important life lesson I have learned so far?
♡ What would I do with my time, if I didn’t have to work for money?
With this collection of essays we aim to give you access to the
minds and hearts of Bulgarian youth, and to advocate to support
them in growing their talents and strengths for our common good.

The contest was organized by:

Foundation "SolidarityWorks", village of Drugan, Bulgaria | | Facebook |

AMG Publishing



Each institution, country, or community has its problems. Most of

them look complicated, even scary on occasions. But hope dies
last, and it's important to remain optimistic. The reality is that
behind everything there's a solution that works if it is thought out
precisely and implemented efficiently.

The majority of people in my country don't understand minorities.

I'm half of a gypsy that has lived among gypsies his entire life, and
I've seen both sides - the perspectives of both the Bulgarians and
the minorities. In this case, by minorities, I rather imply the gypsy
community because, honestly, foreigners as a minority are
accepted much easier than gypsies are. The problem in our society
lies in misleading stereotypes, the misrepresentation of the
community itself, and the prejudice that society holds towards it.

In my opinion, all human beings are equal, but not all people share
this view. Many of my friends at school still hold prejudice toward
the gypsy community. Unfortunately, that's why most of my
relatives at school don't even try to communicate with them. The
refusal to talk with each other summons a question in my head -
"How do we get rid of prejudice if we don't want to communicate
with each other"?

At my school, it feels like all of us are split into two large groups -
‘the Bulgarians’ and ‘the gypsies’, as others refer to them.These
labels are awful because after all, we all are born on Earth and
bleed in the same color - so why should we split into groups, if we
are all human? The problem is that these labels I'm talking about
are making us distant. As a part of the gypsy community, I've
always felt that communication is something all of us
underestimate. Before high school, I didn't communicate with my
Bulgarian peers because, actually, in my village, there weren't any.
When I went to study in the city, everything felt different. The
change has had a great impact on me - it's great to see different
perspectives and mindsets! Thanks to my friends, I sincerely
believe I managed to integrate into Bulgarian society. But not many
people encounter the same experience, sadly.

I always believed that all humans should have equal opportunities

for prosperity. If we want to develop, we all have to make
contributions because unity makes power. I've always tried to
represent the gypsy community in the best possible way. For this
purpose, I've always tried to show my ambitions, in an attempt to
break the stereotypes about gypsies. For example, I like math, but I
like teaching it even more! Whenever I have a math class, I would
assist my teacher to help her with teaching.

And whenever I go back to visit the school in my village, I always
help kids with math and other subjects. Not only that, but I always
try to encourage them, by showing them that they can use their
potential in the best way possible.

Potential is a quality that every single human being on Earth has.

From what I've seen, mostly, gypsy kids aren't taught that at home.
That's why, in my opinion, we should consider focusing more on the
integration of the gypsy community into Bulgarian society. In the
21st century knowledge and information are the most powerful
weapons a human being can have. Knowledge, information, and
human potential are tightly connected. Information contributes to
our knowledge, and knowledge is the key to the realization of our
full potential. Because the more informed we are, the more we
understand the world we live in. If we understand our environment
and the world we live in, we realize that we can rely ONLY on
ourselves. From my honest experience, I have never seen a person
from the gypsy community declare their independence from
society. Because they aren't taught to - they're being raised as
"slaves of the society", by letting it set borders for their infinite
potential. And the border, again, comes from the stereotypes that
allude that gypsies cannot be a good part of society. But all people
can be a great part of society! Nationality, skin color, sexual
orientation, or whatever, cannot determine a person's possibilities.

To eliminate the stereotypes, first of all, we need good examples in

our society. And they persist in our society without being noticed.
Since we are talking about the gypsy community, I would say that
there are many well-educated people from the minorities that can
be a good example for the younger generation. I'm talking about the
doctors, nurses, teachers, and others from the community.

Such examples show us that a person should never set borders for
their goals. Everything is achievable if you have a will. As they say
- "when there is a will, there's a way..." To integrate minorities into
European society, we have to communicate. Communication is the
key to many doors - it could change our mindset if used in the right
way. A conversation with a person can give us a lot of value, the
same thing is with minorities. We can learn a lot from them - for
example, the Bulgarian Milet (the community I grew up in): we have
many interesting celebrations (Muslim ones) such as Kurban
Bayram - a celebration in which we sacrifice a sheep in the name of
the prophet. At this celebration, we usually ask for forgiveness
from the elderly people by kissing their hands, for which we get
candy or money in return. Exchanging different perspectives
between two human beings can be very beneficial for both because
this way they can learn a lot from each other. And the same is valid
for gypsy people. With people from my community, I've always had
interesting conversations - about literature, languages, the world,
etc., and I wish people understood that even if we have grown up in
a different environment, it shouldn't make us distant. Because in
this world, we can learn a lot from each other. If we are all friends,
we can overcome the differences between us, and turn them into

Problems that come from society might be hard to understand, but

easy to solve, if our will to be open prevails over prejudice. At the
end of the day, we are all human, and our mission should be to
understand and defend each other, despite the circumstances!
Because that's how we learn to prosper - we just become wiser
thanks to our efforts. As I say: “We should walk together against
the problem, not against each other… Because partnership is the
solution to many social problems.”



What a fascinating question this is! It seems so easy at first glance

– doesn’t everyone want to live for free, securely, without working?
– but the simple prompt has an unprecedented amount of depth to
it. It tricks you into inadvertently exposing a lot about yourself,
should the other party decide to look a little deeper into the
answer. “What are your hobbies, what are you passionate about?”
Beneath what sounds like small talk hides a much more expansive
prospect. “What direction do you want to take your life in?” Plans
conceal fundamental truths. “What moves you, drives you, keeps
you going? What’s at the core of your personality, your whole
identity, your existence? Who are you?”

And so, having been barraged with what’s a trojan horse full of
existential questions under the guise of an essay prompt, I took
upon answering them one by one.

First and foremost, I would take this summer off. And the next one
as well! What a wonder – a teenager wanting to rest during their
government-assigned resting period. My family is on the poorer
side when it comes to income, and a summer job is essential for me
to indulge in plenty of things, simple and luxurious alike. It takes
the pressure off my parents to provide everything they deem
necessary for me, which more often than not doesn’t align with my
actual tastes. On top of that, it allows me to be more independent
with my resources, such as learning to track my expenses, save and
budget money, and which large chain pharmacies, much to my
dismay, do not take credit cards. But enough of that! Working in
kitchens is now magically a thing of the past – time for me to
spend my time some other way.

With that responsibility out of the way, the next point on my

priority list would be to study. Revise, relearn, research,
reconstruct, repeat. Wanting to do well in school comes naturally
to me, and I want to get into a somewhat decently-ranked
university, either here in good old Bulgaria or somewhere overseas.
This hypothetical scenario, however, presents an interesting
dilemma – if money is all sorted out and I don’t have to work,
what’s the point in pursuing higher education? If going to college
to get a degree to hopefully get into a lucrative industry stop being
a necessity, what’s the point in sacrificing sleep and health to ace
a test or an oral exam? Objectively, there’s a little payoff.
Subjectively, there’s always a reason, a justification. A strong
inner drive, in my case. Most of my motivation has always been
internal – I don’t like comparing myself with others and I set my
own pace and my criteria. I like pushing myself and my boundaries,
exploring what I can and can’t do, and challenging myself. As
problematic as the educational system is, the school allows me to
do just that – sometimes relentlessly, sometimes way too
relentlessly, but isn’t

seeing how many hours of sleep you need to properly function
during the day also self-discovery?

It’s this exact desire to constantly improve and outdo myself that
is going to lead me to my next activity. An endless pursuit of
knowledge, absolutely not just academic, but practical, worldly,
all-encompassing. Knowledge of abstract concepts, languages, and
ideas, but also myself, my emotions, and my body. My friends, the
world around me. Can’t most hobbies be summarized that way
anyway? Working out and sports is learning about your body and
mind’s limits. Reading and writing are learning about worlds beyond
this one. Playing an instrument is learning muscle memory and
dexterity. Online gaming is learning to distinguish languages only
by insults and swear words – peculiar, but highly beneficial skill to
have to properly navigate the internet. Hanging out with your
friends is learning about your friends! Learning is an instinct. It’s
an inherent part of being human, and who am I to go against human

All that means I would love to spend this summer, and then next
summer, and then the rest of my life “learning”. Getting to know
new people, reconnecting with old acquaintances and hearing
about their experiences, and meeting long-term online friends and
pen-pals. Reading anything from linguistics textbooks to sappy
romantic comedies to 80’s sci-fi. Journaling, perfecting my
handwriting, finding the perfect combination of pen ink and
notebook paper. There is always so much to do and explore in the
world around me, and even if I exhaust that someday, there’s my
inner world which is just as vast. And by the time I conquer it, my
environment will have changed, and by the time I overtake that
again, I will have absorbed and reconstructed so many new ideas
and concepts I will have changed. Repeat ad infinitum.

Not being tied down to a job also means I could do so much more
for my community than I would have otherwise. Just interacting
with it would be sufficient – donating to libraries, exploring small
cafes, and supporting local artists and craftspeople. Putting money
back into the economy, in the grander scheme of things. But money
is just one resource, and I cannot overlook time and effort. I would
look into different non-profits and other organizations and
volunteer whenever I could – or maybe even start my own, or help
out without binding myself to a specific cause and group of people.
To give a specific example, I would like to volunteer as a judge at
local speech and debate tournaments. I’m an avid competitor right
now, but that is going to change pretty soon, as they are for high
school students only. It is no exaggeration to say that interacting
with that community of like-minded, ambitious people has altered
my worldview for the better – I doubt I would be writing this right
now had it not been for those tournaments!

Looking over everything I have said so far, isn’t it curious how

most of this can be accomplished outside of the prompt? Bettering
myself, pursuing knowledge, volunteering, and giving back to those
around me – nothing goes against holding down a normal job. Why
did I put on those arbitrary restrictions? What stops me from
achieving that? Very little, next to nothing, frankly. This is exactly
the point I wanted to make right from the beginning. Imagination
coincides with reality, and I casually reveal deep truths about
myself – the kind of person I would be free of the bindings of our
modern society. The kind of person I simply am.



The human mind is always restless. Each person has a unique

approach to trying to define themselves in the things that matter
to them - that often means finding a way to manage the inevitable
anxiety that comes with growth and the need for acceptance.
Certain ideals have proven universal to the human psyche, such as
the desire to find authenticity; a person’s nature suggests a state
of ceaseless evolution, yet one cannot help but yearn for constancy
- a lasting identity they could consider their own. People might
have the ability to envision the most flawless version of
themselves, yet they are always influenced by their surroundings
and hardships in some way. To live is to persevere. It is among the
most human experiences to seek the meaning of existence and
push the boundaries of the world before them. However, it is
inconceivable to encompass a world so limitless.

A person could only go so far in the span of a single lifetime and,
therefore ought to focus on what they deem valuable in their
journey towards self-acceptance and happiness. Having
established that, I revel in the idea of viewing life as a story
without a predetermined ending, a maze full of questions with no
answer. I seek to find the pieces of myself along the way.
Sometimes I feel too much or nothing at all and it is indescribable,
the incessant need to achieve this goal that is always in sight but
never quite close enough. Something that truly matters to me is
going forward regardless of anything and everything. Maybe I will
not ever reach my true potential, yet growing while enduring life’s
hardships and thriving despite them is something beautiful, and
knowing I am a better person than I was yesterday, becoming
bigger, better, and brighter is a pride that I cherish deeply. I doubt
it will ever cease to be a source of comfort for me. The identity I
embody often appears as no more than another abstract concept
for me to dwell on. Building confidence with it and finding more
about the way my consciousness functions gives me a type of
validation that nothing else does. It is important to me that while
discovering the universe I discover myself and I consider that a
process with no designated outcome.

Another thing that drives me is the desire to be of aid. It is a

rather pompous statement, yet I simply cannot imagine myself not
being in service. I often find myself terrified of appearing
intrusive, terrified of becoming a source of hurt or discomfort, and
would much rather experience it on myself. I strive to have so that
I could give. In addition to that, I try to be as involved as possible
in different social and political issues and tend to always vouch for
justice and equality in a public manner. I love being able to raise
awareness on issues I deem substantial to a certain audience and I

am exhilarated by the idea that I could contribute towards a change
for the better. Being able to support or encourage the development
of a person or a community in any way possible provides me with
asense of purpose and empowerment that I have come to rely on; it
is something vital to my sense of identity. I love to love and I could
not imagine my life when it is not lived with passion. The moments
that seem to make the most sense to me are those that fill one’s
heart with fervor, the bitter-sweetness of raw emotion, with all the
horrifying vulnerability it entails. I think that truly and selflessly
loving, be it a person or an idea, is the easiest way to understand
oneself, even if I do not always know how to do so. Knowing all
there is to know is a goal unattainable to the limited human mind,
yet anytime a person loves, it is as if they feel all there is to feel.
The heart exists in mystery, outside the bounds of logic. It is a
source of greatness.

I must admit I spend a great deal of time inside my mind, yet I

cannot twist the truth and state that I am not highly dependent on
my environment. I, as any person, have an instinctual need to form
connections. While I have encountered many people who seem
inclined towards introversion, I am the furthest from it. I have
never shrunk from the attention of others - I bask in it. I cannot
help but wish to be seen, wish to be remembered. Being forgotten
terrifies me just as much as being ordinary, invisible, and
insignificant. It is an idea that has fixed itself in my brain and
refuses to abandon me. Thus, I cannot help but love to create and I
have loved to do so for as long as I can remember. Harnessing the
essence of my very being, letting my innermost thoughts and
prayers into the world through art and poetry and music and
theatre, and making people laugh, is a sort of ritual that I have
always cherished. It is a way to turn my existence into something
tangible - only then can I process its reality.

How else would I know I have existed unless I were to leave
something behind? Unless I make space for myself in the hearts of
others? And when the last fragment of my existence is destroyed by
the passage of time do I disappear right along with it into the void
of matter? Or, is simply having been in the here and now, enough to
confirm that I once was even if I never will be again?

In conclusion, speaking of the things I value is something that

comes effortlessly to me. I have always enjoyed expressing myself
through words, albeit my usual medium is a more poetic one. When
asked what matters to me I cannot give a singular answer. The
well-being of the people I love occupies an enormous space in my
heart and holds great power over my course of action in any given
situation; the same could be said of the social causes I have
dedicated the better part of my life to supporting. Not only that,
but I think I have found a certain corner of my mind that I have
dedicated to loving myself. I hope that throughout the duration of
my being on this Earth I succeed in leaving a mark to prove that
chasing the person I wanted to become meant something to
someone at one point in time. I sincerely hope to encourage other
people to do the same as well, because at the end of the day life is
lived by people, for people.



It is hideous, the things we are never taught. I was told to fit in but
never was I taught that my happiness doesn’t have to and shouldn’t
rely on someone else’s validation, whether it is coming from my
parents, my friends, my teachers, or the girl who looked at me
judgmentally on the street, or the disgusting looks drawn on the
faces of my peers when they look at the picture of me that I
posted. I was told to try harder and be better, but never that I am
enough. Appreciation is a sensation forbidden from ever being
shown. I was instructed to obey orders and follow rules, but never
to not do anything I feel uncomfortable with. I was warned to be
quiet, but never was I taught how to stand up for myself. That
sounds ridiculous to me, considering my voice is my most powerful
weapon. Pure oxygen comes out of my mouth and a sensation of
rising heat grows inside of me as I burn down the ideology with it.

Speaking loudly and speaking proudly is the most influential part of
a person so we, as human beings ought to use it. Is this what
today’s education system is? A place supposed to prepare us for
real life. The place we go to learn and then forget. We are children
and one day we will be adults, trying to figure out life in a world
that we were never prepared for, realizing none of us are ready.
The system is failing us and we need a change.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering who I would be given I could be

anyone in the world. If instead of teaching me to change, the world
asked me what I wanted. How would I have felt if it embraced the
genuine version of myself? If it wasn’t so harsh if I was truly free.
How would I speak, how would I dress, where would I go, what would
I like, whom would I love? If my happiness was the only
consideration, without any labels, who would I be? I finally get it
now. My answer should not be any different from who I am today,
because if it is, I am doing this all wrong. If they try to change me,
I shall not give in. If they don’t ask for my opinion or they try and
take my voice, I must scream my mind from the top of my lungs.
Don’t ever let society win. Nobody has to fit in the boxes and the
labels we are told we need to be put in. I am free and my happiness
is the only consideration.

Another thing I haven't understood yet is why was “like a girl”

always an insult. I was told I scream like a girl; I fight like a girl; I
play like a girl. Countless times have I heard men saying “You are
acting like a girl” or “Don’t be such a girl” to one another. And I
have always known they don’t mean it kindly. They are right, I fight
like a girl, I also laugh like a girl and talk like a girl. I feel like a
girl and I speak like a girl, as well. I love like a girl, I am strong like
a girl, I break hearts and heal souls like a girl. I do absolutely
everything like a girl.

So, when they dare to tell me I do something like a girl, I say “Yes, I
do. So, what exactly is your point?” At the end of the day, I am a
girl and I am beyond proud of it. Furthermore, as a girl, there are a
couple of things I wish I knew when I was younger. I am so much
more than my body. Despite everyone trying to convince me
otherwise, thinking about the people I love, I realize that it isn’t
their features that stand out to me and make my love for them so
large, it is their hearts. The kindness and compassion I see in their
eyes are more than enough.
On that note, nobody needs makeup to be beautiful. Women are only
taught that as a marketing strategy because if we stopped buying
cosmetics, the economy would collapse. That is because there is no
profit in self-love. This society is doing everything in its power to
destroy women, making us small and quiet, feeling like we are not
enough. Never will I be ashamed of my femininity, because it is my

I hope today, whoever is feeling unworthy or not enough, wakes up

and realizes that the sky isn’t ashamed of its vastness and the
mountains under it don’t care about their height. The ocean isn’t
scared of its size and the sun isn’t worried that it is hurting
someone’s eyes, it continues to shine brightly. The autumn leaves
show us that it is not too bad if we lose our spark as the seasons
change and then regain it once again. I believe that nature was
created to urge us to be nice to ourselves. I hope nobody darkens
or shrinks in places too narrow. Today, I hope I look at myself and
be kind.

“What matters to me and why?”. Here it is, what matters to me, is

me. I am my treasure and the self-awareness I have is a blessing. I
am so authentically me. I am me loudly and I am me proudly.

I shall not be stopped by anyone’s words, because the only thing
that can stop me is myself. Never would I let anyone think their
judgmental opinions can have any effect on me as a person. My
mission in this world is to share my kindness with anyone who may
need it and hope for a better future. So next time they ask me
“What matters to you?” or “Whom would you be?”, I will simply
answer – me.



"I have failed over and over again... and that's why I succeeded." So
loud have the words of one of the greatest athletes of our time
echoed in history that one wonders if there isn't more than glamour
to them. Behind every story lies a message. Michael Jordan's is
quite simple, but oh, so very fundamental - a tale about life's most
valuable lesson and the most competent teacher - failure.

Not one person on Earth has avoided its mighty swing. The
harshest truth anyone can learn, that I have learned, is that failure
is inevitable. Sooner or later, adversity reaches everybody. We
cannot outrun it. However, I believe storms come for a reason.
After the rain, the sun always shines brightest. Failure is the
foundation of learning, growth, and, eventually, the unleashing of
your true potential.

To further reiterate: imagine life is your school's classroom, and a
variety of academics come and go - the one you'll unequivocally
derive the most value from is a failure. Only when you have
experienced pain, felt that all hope is lost, and lacked the energy
to move but still emerged from the darkest pit can you truly step
into your intrinsic being, start on your path, and allow your light to

Were we to grasp the meaning of failure's lessons, it is only logical

to outline its definition. The Internet provided a dry, dictionary-
style description of: "lack of success." How informative...
Cambridge tipped in with: "the fact of someone or something not
succeeding". As it has become apparent, standard resources cannot
be relied upon, so it will only be appropriate to craft my definition
or, more accurately, an interpretation. To fail means that, firstly,
you have been bold enough to try, to attempt something previously
unknown. Understandably, venturing into new territories comes
with unforeseen consequences, leading to the second
characteristic I would attribute to our "teacher" - lack of
momentary success or temporarily missing a goal. Third, and of
paramount importance, is an infinite number of possibilities to
develop oneself and one's abilities. Should you aim to understand
this teacher's lecture, you must be familiar with its teaching
methods and personality traits. If you dare to venture into the
twilight, you will be able to obtain an invaluable lesson, preparing
you for the myriad of challenges life will dispatch your way.
Without further ado, here are the three faces of failure,
accompanied by illustrative examples and their wisdom for the

At no other time in recorded history have we been in an ideal

physical condition. For the ancient tribes, there were predators.

In the Middle Ages, famine and disease ruled over. Nowadays, our
world is plagued by illnesses, albeit of a different kind, mercilessly
attacking upfront or, even worse, silently creeping through the
back door. Why do I include this as a type of failure? Simply
because everybody's wildest, most chased-after dream is to be
healthy. If we have health, we can acquire everything else. Yet it is
the case that humans often aren't in peak condition. Either innate
or through a multitude of circumstances, sickness strikes. Worst of
all, when no one expects it. Darkness ensues. Nobody finds joy in
being confined to a hospital bed, taking medication, and suffering
in pain. However, I realized that when the cloud of anguish and
sorrow looms over, unmatched intestinal fortitude emerges to
combat the monsters. Had we never experienced sickness, we
wouldn't appreciate the gift of health. If we never feel weakness,
we wouldn't discover our might. Although frailty seems
unconquerable, through it, we are guided towards our most
invaluable asset, trusted friend, and powerful weapon - the mind.
So, should ever pain rear its ugly head, ask not what you have lost,
but what is there to gain.

Beyond the borders of the physical realm, another creature of

dread prowls - failure in the social world. An essential pertinent to
make clear is that humans are, in their DNA, social beings. We
cannot survive without interacting with others. We have not
managed to do it back in our cave days, and neither will today.
However, our reliance on other people has altered following the
change of times. Centuries ago were you to fail to comply with your
companions, you would be banished from the tribe and abandoned
to imminent demise. Socialization in the 21st century has taken an
entirely different meaning. No longer is it a matter of physical
survival but a mental one.

Meaningful interactions with others aid in our development,
tremendously boost our mood, and give us a sense of value.
Although, in theory, the contemporary social jungle sounds simple,
it is complicated. Presently, we have tools such as social media,
designed with the sole ambition of easing communication, yet we
feel more alone than ever. We expand our circle of friends
endlessly yet remain misunderstood. With the risk of being called a
cynic, I would dare describe the entirety of modern society as a
social failure. We live in a world where fame is a priority over
empathy, condemning differences is considered normal, and
uniqueness gets stifled in favor of fitting in. If you dare to go
against the flow, you will be labeled an outcast. Society considers
standing out a social failure when, in reality, it could be the gate
of abundance opening before us. Choosing yourself, your values,
and your desires over what's hailed as popular and widely accepted
will teach you the fundamental trait of endurance. It will develop in
you the courage to stand proud and walk forward, unburdened by
people's opinions, freed from the chains of expectation. You will
discover the gift of your identity and appreciate yourself for
everything you are. You will shine your light and walk your path,
leading forward to greatness.

The last beast of darkness I have encountered and, coincidentally,

gained the most from relates to our individual lives, to the little
world inside the confines of the mind and soul. To envision this
concept better, I would define it as losses inflicted on our spirit,
only visible to us. Such would be, for example, pursuing a goal you
yearned for and being incapable of its attainment. My honest belief
is that failing in this way is the most impactful event of the three.
Either it will make you stronger, or it will destroy you. In this case,
you are entirely on your own. No one can help you. You have chosen
a path to walk, and now you have to climb mountains.

Others may offer a hand, but they can never comprehend your
experience. These are your dreams, your crossroads, your pitfalls -
but also, your ascend. Not one other occurrence can make you
better. Not until you have invested your body, mind, and soul, your
everything into an endeavor, and have been decimated can you
unleash the fire hidden inside. Only when you have fallen into the
blackest abyss can you realize that all the strength, energy,
willpower, knowledge, and courage you could ever require are
already available - in you. Only when we are at our lowest point will
we be able to open ourselves to the greatest change.

To learn is to grow. Growth moves us forward, and movement

equals freedom. Life is the ultimate classroom. There will always
be another lesson to assimilate. My most important one, the one I
wholeheartedly believe every human being needs to understand -
failure can be your most impactful teacher if you allow it. Each of
us has a choice: we can run in the face of uncertainty and
adversity or courageously meet its stare, heed its lessons and
become better. A thousand failures will always surpass a stagnant,
mediocre existence. In the words of SpaceX's CEO, Elon Musk: "If
you aren't failing, you aren't trying hard enough."



Every aspect of life has its problems but the Bulgarian education
system is a different story. I am going to try to address its major
issues and suggest solutions to them. The importance of this topic
should not be underestimated because as Nelson Mandela said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to
change the world.”

Firstly, I am going to talk about the methods of teaching and the

general problems of the system. Because our education system
dates back to the Industrial era, we can see some flaws which are
remainders from this time. The biggest issue here is the school
schedule. School starts at approximately 8 am and ends around
2:30 pm. This is absurd because it was introduced at the time to
teach students how to become industrial workers and get up early.

Many kinds of research show that this system is not efficient
anymore. In the 21st century, more and more people are
becomingself-employed or working as freelancers which means
that they do not have a fixed schedule. The exhaustion that
students experience from getting up early, staying at school for
more than 6 hours, then doing homework is almost unbearable. The
solution to this problem is as simple as changing the school
schedule and reducing the study hours.

Another pressing issue is the methods of teaching and grading.

Some teachers use innovative methods of teaching but the majority
prefer the so-called classic ones established in the past. Many
people, mostly older teachers, argue that these “classic” methods
are as efficient as they were before but psychologists and
education specialists think otherwise. They suggest that this is not
true and instead of pushing the student to their limits so that they
learn everything, teachers should encourage their curiosity and
willingness to learn. Einstein said: ”I have no special talent. I am
only passionately curious.” If students do not worry about getting a
bad poor grade or being criticized by their teachers or parents and
are motivated to learn new things through innovative methods of
studying like using technology or doing experiments, their
education will improve significantly.

Secondly, I will address the problem of discrimination and

inequality in school. Despite the efforts of many people, students
with different ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation, body type,
etc. are being constantly bullied not only by their peers but also by
teachers. I have personally been a subject of bullying and
humiliation. I have been mocked for being overweight by my
classmates and teachers. My problem was only solved when I went
to the headmaster.

Discrimination is something awful and should be dealt with
immediately. The government is trying to improve the situation but
the problem is not the students, it is that the majority of the
mature people in Bulgaria have outdated views. They teach their
children that being different is bad. The famous designer Coco
Chanel on the other hand states that: “To be irreplaceable, one
must always be different.” We can see from this quote that
students should be encouraged to be different and unique and not
punished for being themselves. The Bulgarian government should
consult with its European partners and develop a cooperative plan
to deal with the problem.

Thirdly, I want to mention that students showing exceptional

curiosity and intelligence have a lot of difficulties adapting to the
system. Education should be available for all students equally but
the more advanced ones should have the opportunity to move from
class to class faster. These students cannot endure learning things
that they already know. They should be motivated to move up the
ladder and participate in contests and competitions. Of course,
this should not be done at the expense of other students. The
European Union offers a lot of programs that help these
exceptional young people. The government, on the other hand,
should work on improving and changing their perspectives and
actions towards highly intelligent students.

All things considered, it can be said that the Bulgarian education

system and schools have a lot of issues to address and to this end,
I will quote Einstein once more: “We cannot solve our problems
with the same level of thinking that created them”. So, if we want
to change the things we do not like about our schools, we have to
face the problems and change our views.



Living in our modern-day society - the information era, in days

bright and not so bright, we have been both blessed and cursed
with something our predecessors did not have the luxury of
possessing in such a wide spectrum - choice.

As an ordinary person, also not having obtained any sociological,

political, or humanitarian degree, all of my observations are
derived directly from the source of living - in the form of
experiences, encounters with other people, or simply by observing
the consequences after putting myself in a certain situation. Now
mind that I want to underline the phrase “putting myself into a
situation” rather than saying, for example, “things that have
happened throughout my life”.

The latter are circumstances, which in my opinion we have no
direct control over, such as, whether is it going to rain today, will
my neighbor is throwing a loud party this Friday, is the bus going to
be packed or not and all other inevitable events that “happen” to
us, despite our desire for them. Based on the information we have
about the plethora of things that affect our daily lives, we can take
certain precautions, or ‘preventative measures, like taking an
umbrella with us, purchasing noise cancellation earplugs, or taking
the most spacious place on the bus. Even though those things are
great to be aware of, even more, so a necessity to ‘survive’ in the
best way we currently can, in my personal experience there comes
a time when even such ‘little things can cause an information
overload in our minds and eventually lead us to not even try

Life indeed has its way of unfolding for each one of us but as our
daily lives become busier in the pursuit of a certain ‘something’ -
making more means to live, finding that specific partner, planning
our next big purchase, taking a step back into our internal world
can feel almost illegal. After all, why to bother re-evaluating our
choices, when we already have so much to accomplish even outside
our material world - goals, relationships, friendships, trips over
the globe - for all of which we can often feel like we are on the run
for - the sooner we reach them and the more we plan and prepare
for them, the sooner we will finally feel accomplished and fulfilled.

Apart from the social pressure that can arise from our
environment, we tend to, consciously or not, put pressure on
ourselves while disregarding other aspects of the only source of
willpower that we possess - ourselves.

We can put pressure on the choices that we make so much that we

tend to sometimes isolate ourselves in the process of achieving
due to labeling aspects otherwise crucial to our overall wellbeing
as a waste of time and unnecessary - after all they don’t seem to
bring direct value towards whatever it is we strive for. And this
strive, this motivation of a young person, combined with all the
other outside forces we must be ‘prepared for to avoid ‘bad
outcomes’ could counterintuitively become the very thing that
makes us wake up every day and think something along the lines of
“I’m doing this for what? Where are my results, I should have
already achieved this and that?”. Not to be confused for impatience
or the general anxiety of growing up but in the sense of feeling as
if we are lacking despite doing our best efforts. Now you might ask
why that would be if we were doing our best - then naturally, there
seems to be a fault in our choices, there must be something
lacking there which we have not yet realized - and you would be
completely right. Because in all the hustle and complexity of a
young adult’s life, we tend to even forget to stop for a second and
choose to just be. And I do not mean this in the sense of all of
those materials and expressions we have surely encountered at
least once from reading or hearing about concepts in the fields of
self-help and self-realization - such as being present in the ‘now’
or ‘ just ‘be yourself and the world will accept you, however
positive and wonderful these messages might be.

Choosing to just be, even for a few hours, could be a pretty painful
experience for a young adult because while choosing to do
distracts us temporarily with the act of ‘doing’, choosing to be
could bring us a level of introspection we might not be overall
ready for. While we do our best to prepare for whatever unforeseen
circumstances life can bring us, we tend to sometimes neglect the
other side of this thought process - that after all, we are in those

situations, and how can we be so that our inner world is fully
aligned with whatever comes next?Touching on the subject of what
our true intentions are, we might have to face some answers that
are not pleasant for us to hear. Maybe this umbrella we purchased
to protect from the rain was a bit out of our price range, or the
complete opposite - we chose a low-quality one that broke easily
from the wind, maybe the noise cancellation earplugs weren’t
satisfactory and we chose to go out and party harder than our
neighbor only to wake up with the worst hangover in the morning,
or just maybe while calculating which space in the bus is the most
spacious we completely forgot we had the option to go to our
destination via another route.

What does all this have to do with me ‘just being’ you might ask,
and let me break the revelation life has presented to me with its
whole force so far - everything.
What I cannot control eventually will end up controlling me, but if I
just take a step back before reacting to it, I am in this moment
choosing to be first and act secondary. And while this is absolutely
an oversimplification of a vast subject discussed in scholarly
disciplines, self-help courses, and resources, life remains the
teacher who reveals those concepts in the first place.

For me, the beauty of this life lesson is that it applies to every
single aspect of my life and it’s the gift that keeps on giving
regardless of my level of understanding of it.
At the end of the day, whether I choose to do, or be, the results of
both will be reflected in the day that follows, then the one after it
and so on, largely due to the reason that however cliche it might be
- it is all a journey with solely one sure destination, and all that we
are doing is while we are being.



There are many beliefs on what happens after death: that we go to

Heaven or Hell, that we reincarnate or that there’s simply- nothing.
However, as far as we know – we all get one life. Now comes the
question – what do we do with it?
Different people focus on different things: some try to get as much
money as possible so they can afford the things they want. Others
focus on their happiness in small but meaningful ways. Third, are
aiming for success so they can prove themselves. Some of us focus
on people.

I believe that everyone leaves their footprint in the world. The

things we do, the choices we make, and the relationships we
create. All of this shapes who we are and impacts the lives of the
people around us. The relationships we create with others – from
family to our friends and even people we don’t like have the power
to change both people involved. For better or for worse.

I am a mosaic of everything that has ever happened to me and all
the people I’ve met. My dad’s sense of humor, my mom’s love for
reading, the first time my little brother said my name. The old
friends I no longer talk to and the ones I can’t stop talking to. The
soothing tone my elementary school teacher used when I couldn’t
fall asleep on my first overnight field trip. And so much more I
can’t fit in because you can’t fit an entire life in just a few pages.

However, those experiences are not always positive. I am also that

little girl that got bullied relentlessly in middle school. I am my
sleepless nights now. I am those moments where I’ve felt terrified
or lost or alone either because of my insecurities and hardships or
the actions of people around me.

What I believe is that people should help people. What we do with

our lives impacts so much more than our world and we need to try
and make this change a good one. I value the positive relationships
in my life and strive to be there for my friends and my little brother
whenever they need me to. In turn, everyone needs a helping hand
when they aren’t ok so building a steady support system of people
that care for me just as I do for them is very important to me.

There’s also the possibility of helping people I don’t know. For

instance, there are a lot of writers and artists whose work helps
people feel less alone or changes how they see the world. For me,
that’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” by Rick Riordan, which
was a big part of my childhood. Another good way to do that is to
donate to charities and take part in social justice campaigns.
Especially in recent years, this has been proven on different
occasions to help spread information, educate masses of people
and sometimes help solve the issue or at least serve as a step in
the right direction.

Although I am not sure how exactly I want to contribute to the
larger scheme of things, I am pretty sure I can take small steps
every day like educating myself on serious issues or making small
donations when I can.
Because helping people in the best way I know how matters so
much to me, I have also considered it as a career path. More
specifically – I want to work in the Mental health field. Even though
it’s the twenty-first century, the topic remains incredibly
stigmatized. Even more so in Bulgaria. I want to be part of the
change and aid people to grow and become the best versions of
themselves. Then there also comes the topic of different levels of
stigmatization. A person suffering from Depression or Anxiety is
more likely to be accepted by the rest of society than someone
with an eating disorder or a personality disorder. Bringing
awareness to more issues than just Depression or Anxiety is also
important. Whether I specialize as a psychiatrist, a therapist, a
caretaker, or something else in the field, I would be happy to make
at least one person feel less alone.

In conclusion, what matters to me is trying to be the best version

of myself for the people around me, as well as striking for a
positive change and a better, kinder world.



When President Franklin Roosevelt gave one of his Fireside chats

to the American people back in 1938, he ended his radio address
with the following words: “A smooth sea never made a skilled
sailor.” With these words, he wanted to encourage people to have
faith and not despair at a time when the country was experiencing
its greatest economic depression and people had lost their jobs
and savings...
I have learned that the words of this great man are relevant even

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” - that is the most

important life lesson I have learned so far. The metaphor of the sea
stands for life itself while sailing through the rough sea represents
the hard times a person goes through - these struggles test our
abilities, build our characters and help us achieve our goals.

When a sailor learns to navigate their boat in stormy weather, they
have mastered the skill of managing their life. Smooth seas are
easy, but life has its ups and downs and it is rough seas that make
us strong sailors.

I have learned that to become a better person or a professional in

their career, a person should keep trying despite setbacks. Just as
a ship can’t reach a port if it does not sail, so a person can’t
become good at something without doing anything. Smooth seas
keep us in our comfort zone, but we often see that miracle happens
outside of it when we dare to try.

A popular quote says that “It doesn’t matter how many times you’ll
fall. The important thing is to always stand up and to keep trying
when you feel like something is right for you.”
A case in point is Joan K. Rowling’s life. She’s the author of the
Harry Potter books and now she’s rich, famous, and admired by
millions of fans. Kids and adults love J. K. Rowling and the amazing
world of wizards and magic she creates. Her life seems like a
dream, doesn’t it? But like everyone else she had her dark times,
too. Back in the years before the release of the “Harry Potter”
series, she is a single mum with 3 kids. She is very poor and in a
very deep depression. She writes the first book in a café, so she
can be in a warm place. The book gets rejected by 12 publishing
houses, but Rowling doesn’t give up and suddenly the book gets
accepted. It quickly starts gaining popularity and from a poor
depressed lady, she becomes one of the best-selling authors of all
time. Had she given up when she faced rejection, JK Rowling would
not be where she is right now.

I believe that we sail through rough seas not only in the struggle of
making a career but in the hard times of reaching our goals.

This brings me to my second point which is that tough times are
part of our daily lives too. I already know that the “rough sea” tests
our abilities helping us grow personally. Challenges us to make
sense of who we are and what we want to achieve in life.
My recent experiences illustrate that pretty well.

About a year ago I felt very insecure and anxious. It was the
summer holiday and I was overthinking a lot. I was stuck in my head
without knowing who I am or what I’m not. I just had so many
questions I was unable to answer back then. But then school
started and I didn’t have time to think anymore. I’m thankful for
this experience because it helped me understand myself better. I
think that one of the reasons for this emotional storm was the
second rough sea for me – the seventh grade. I was about to begin
my preparation for the admission exams for the language school
where I study now. Perhaps I was afraid of failure. Online classes
did not help at the time. I’m a perfectionist and so I started
wanting more and more from myself and no matter how hard I
worked I was never proud. The thought that I may not get the
maximum score in my exams was just killing me. OK – to cut a long
story short – I did NOT get the maximum score but that Did NOT kill
me. As they say, it made me a little bit stronger because my hard
work paid off, and now, I study at the school of my choice.

What is the most important life lesson I have learned so far? Am I a

skilled sailor? Certainly not. (This may take a lifetime.) But I know
that life with its ups and downs will help me master the skill of
steering my boat into a safe harbor. Storms can overturn our boat
but they can also make us realize our potential. The rest is up to
us! And at the end of the day, we should not be afraid of the rough
seas because as Franklin Roosevelt said “A smooth sea never made
a skilled sailor.”



I have one parent, a single mother. She and my two pets are my
only family. Mum is an amazing person and an absolutely beautiful
woman. Unfortunately, the situation we are in is complex. Because
of family drama, my mum and I were forced to move out of the flat
she potentially owns and bought through loans. She has a lover who
is also her boss at work. He helped us find a rentable studio and
started supporting us financially by paying the rent and electricity
bills because my mama earns enough money to just put food on the
table and buy a few new clothes. In the beginning, her lover was
kind and respectful to us. But as it usually happens, when my poor
mama and I became dependent on him he lost any respect for us
and started treating us, especially my mum as his maidservant. But
because if she goes against him, we will be left to live on the
street. She keeps silent when she is mistreated and perseveres.

I have asked her a couple of times why she is not leaving him and
every time I hear her answer my question it makes my heart ache. “I
endure all of this because I want you to have an opportunity for a
better life. I do not want you to be dependent on somebody else
like I am right now and have to keep your head down. If you become
independent, I will be too. It will just take time."

I like to imagine my life as a book and currently, I am in part two of

the story. This is why I believe that in different chapters of
someone’s life different things matter to him or her in terms of
environment and his or her situation specifically. And sooner or
later after a few years what matters to him or her right now, will be
replaced with something else that he or she thinks is more
important for the moment. For me at this point in my life where I
am entering the world of adults, the thing that matters most to me
is not being a burden to my mother. I think I have a moral
obligation to her to get my degree at university, start working, and
be on my own as soon as possible. And hopefully being able to help
her financially by myself. Or put in other words, money is what
matters to me because not having it constrains me and my loved
one. I want to make money because I need finances to become
financially stable which is ultimately my end goal. Also, do not
obsess or stress over having more money because money does not
make you happy. It is just a tool. What you do with money is the
thing that brings you happiness.

The reason why financial freedom and independence matter to me,

I think, is self-explanatory after I talked about my present
circumstances. But do not those two things matter to almost
anyone at some point in their existence? Is this all? Is this what
matters to me when I put into perspective my whole life until I
become as old as a grandfather on a deathbed?

No, they are not the only things that matter to me. Put that way,
what matters to me would be how far I can go in life. How far can I
reach? To fulfill my potential. How many people's lives can I make
more positive or even better? How can I live my life to the fullest in
terms of personal development and achievements - that is
essentially what matters to me. I do not know how I am even going
to do all of these aspirations yet. But I deeply hope to find out on a
day when there is still a lot of time until my end.

To sum up, a person can have more than one answer to the
question ``What matters to me?". There is not only one thing that
matters to someone. When looked through different perspectives
the answer to that same question changes. On the one hand,
financial stability and being independent are the things that matter
most to me when I think of the present. On the other hand, when I
put into perspective my life as a whole the thing that matters to me
is getting the most out of life and leaving my imprint on people's



The question "What matters to me and why" is certainly too

difficult to answer. Even if you are the wisest person, you would
still have to think. Everyone would individually decide what is
important to them and why. This represents the goals and desires,
the mirror of a person's identity and thinking.

It's a little difficult for me to determine what matters to me,

perhaps because it's weird to determine what matters and what
doesn't when the world doesn’t make sense. I think that the world
has no sense, because if everyone thought the same, freedom of
thought would not exist, so everyone's logic is individual, which
means that the whole world cannot be put under one logic,
therefore the world has no sense.

The first thing that comes to everyone's mind when they hear the
question "what matters to me" is family or friends.

Of course, family is the people with whom you not only share blood
but also the people with whom you share an emotional connection.
They are the only ones who will love you despite everything you do.
Apart from the family, which comes first for most people, as well
as for me, there are other things that I consider important for

I start with success and education. I combine them because I think

they are closely linked and one cannot be achieved without the
other. They matter to me because the future is built on good
education and intelligence. The feeling of excitement and
satisfaction when you achieve something in life is unique. For me,
the words "I'm proud of you" are very motivating and can make
everyone move forward, even if they don't want to. As with me: four
words connected in meaning in a sentence can trigger many more
feelings in me than anything else.

Another important thing for me is love because it moves the world.

Love makes people more real and free. It can't be bought and is the
best thing that can happen to you by accident. We take risks
because of love and we win because of the love. Perhaps Peter
Deunov managed to explain it better in his own words: If you are
not ready to sacrifice everything in the world for love, you cannot
understand life. One must be willing to sacrifice. Not to leave life,
but to see the beautiful, the beautiful in all contradictions. ”With
these words, he defines love as an understanding of life. Me too.

The next important thing for me is kindness. I strongly believe in

kindness in people, maybe this is my little problem. Sometimes
people turn out to be "monsters," but "We stopped looking for
monsters under our bed when we found out they were inside us."

And I stopped looking for them under the bed because I noticed
that some people were real monsters, that some people were real
monsters, but I still keep saying and believing that it is good in
them. However, no matter how disgusting someone is, everyone
deserves to hear something good about themselves. Somehow, we
are all human and we all deserve support. That kindness is a very
important quality. That someone has disappointed me shouldn't
stop me from believing that there is still humanity in people,
should it? The fact that the world has become home to rough
monsters shouldn't stop me from believing that there is still
humanity in them, right? Sure. Maybe the world has gone crazy
because we helped him. However, I will always help when and where
I can, because as different as we are, we are so alike. At the very
least, we share a common home. Yet goodness makes the heart
bigger. And "having a big heart doesn't weigh, it just helps."

I think these are the things that are important to me. It was a
challenging task, but through it, I was able to conclude for myself.
I managed to write my way of thinking, and yet "The world as we
created it is a process of our thinking. “I think it is a great success
if a person already knows what he wants in his youth. But most still
have a long way to go, consisting of trial and error, to understand
exactly what is important to them. Defining a person's life goals is
one of the main conditions for success. And it is important not only
to set goals but also to think often that you are capable of
achieving them and that you will achieve them.



While this is an unachievable dream, it is good to imagine such a

clean and calm way of life. A man works for a large part of the day,
which inhibits his ability to spend time how he wants. This work
ultimately leads to money, and in today's time, if you have no
money, you can’t put food in your mouth, can’t pay the bills, can’t
pursue the things you want to know and understand, etc. In other
words, you have nothing. Ironically enough, that does not mean
that the wealthiest people have the best life. They are usually
burdened by their material riches, unable to spend everything and
be happy in the end. Others strive to get even more money,
forsaking their health. In the end, money means nothing if one does
not have the opportunity to be happy with their life. One only finds
happiness if they love what they've achieved with their own
choices. These days, this is a very rare occurrence.

Now imagine a world without the need for money and all the free
time. To be able to do what you want, to follow your dreams,
experiment, travel, and understand new heights without being
forced into the cast of rich and poor. In other words, a land where
humanity could experience true freedom! What a fantastic place
that could be!

I ask myself the question, how I would use my time if I had the
opportunity to live in such a world? Let's see - I'd move to a
charming city near the sea. I'd bask in its waves, sand, sun, and
breeze. I would build a house on the shore and lay the foundations
of my life. And here is where the interesting part of my life would
begin. For sure, I would join a volunteering organization so I could
help people in need. This way, I'd be able to make new friendships
and learn to be selfless, which would make me feel satisfied with
how I've spent my time. Then I would set up my dream daily regime,
which would consist of waking up early, running on the beach,
training, and meditating. Then I'd come home and make myself a
healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner meanwhile spending a lot of
time with my family. If it rains, I'd watch a movie, read a book, or
listen to music. Together with my family, we would go to places
we’d always dreamed of seeing. We would explore the entire world,
taking in every sight as we want it. As for myself, I'd do something
new, like write a book or try a new sport. Anything to truly
challenge me to the best of my ability. This way I’ll discover new
heights and understand more about the world around me. That is
how I’ll become a better person.

This is the life I would choose to live in a world where we are free
to use our time however we wish - the best version of myself. I
have no doubts that every other person would strive to become
their perfect image.

Without money as a catalyst for greed, jealousy, and hate, people
would all be kind to each other. They would appreciate their
desires and would help them achieve a point of satisfaction.
Humanity would be prosperous and gentle, and in turn, the nature
that surrounds it would be the same. Everyone, including myself,
would be a part of harmonious existence, including the best part of

It all sounds truly magical, and I wanted to live in such a reality

that would have happiness and progress interrupted by
arbitrariness like money. To not be so tired of everything that your
first thought when you return hope is to sleep it all away. Alas,
such a world, like the one I dived akin to a dreamer, is not a
reality. It is the polar opposite of what we have today. And why is
that the case? Because we made the world work this way, so we can
be slaves to arbitrariness like money to live. How much could we
have discovered for ourselves? How much could have improved
without them? Ah, what a beautiful dream this is! But perhaps, the
established system is here for a reason. No dream has the full
scope. We cannot know how we would react to such freedom. Would
we all become peaceful and kind as I described? Instead, we could
devolve to primal instincts and spend our time simply surviving like
the dogs and cats that surround us. What truly matters is that we
must dream of a better future, so we can always have hope in the
darkest days of a dark reality.



I guess this is a very complex question to ask because it’s hard to

just say it, just shoot it out of thin air without it having any
meaning. Everything matters to me - I feel like that’s adequate and
not so weird but I can’t just answer this and finish the
conversation. So, I guess one thing that matters to me very deeply
is art. Art in its every possible form. For instance, it gives me pure
joy and satisfaction in mind - when I look at beautifully drawn
paintings or brilliantly written books, or cinematography

But what I think is more important here is that art always somehow
improves my mental health. If I’m feeling unmotivated and
discouraged with myself or with life in general - books for example
offer me a form of escapism where I can be safe and comfortable
inside of this little bubble of mine.

I can forget for a second where am I and imagine everything being
different - I know this is not reality, I’m not delusional, but it still
helps me bring some positivity to my life. I know that if things
don’t work at the moment, I can always play my favorite movie and
laugh and cry and just feel with its characters.

A thing that deeply moves me is theatre and especially the whole

art of becoming another person and expressing certain feelings
throughout your whole body and soul. I’ve been practicing it in a
studio in my town for a while and I've grown very fond of it. What
we do there and what we hope will present at the end of the year is
something I'm quite optimistic about. I’ve recently acted in the
annual school concert which was a big experience for me. When I
stepped onto the scene and the lighting was projecting on me,
everyone in the hall was quiet, listening to me talk – that was a
feeling I won’t soon forget. The whole process of getting into
character and living a different life is so refreshing and fulfilling,
personally for me.
Most people would probably say: “Acting is not serious, you need to
be the next Meryl Streep, the next Leonardo DiCaprio, to achieve
something real. Or you must have connections in the industry,
otherwise, many talented people live on the streets because they
wanted to get the next Oscar but didn’t have an influential figure in
their lives.” But at the end of the day, people’s opinion doesn’t
matter to me – if they did, I'd have to wrap my head around it and
live like this for the rest of my life which is something I have no
intention of doing.

Another thing that matters to me is writing - me writing to be

exact. I guess I can answer all of the original questions by firstly
saying - if I had more time, I would write in every possible second.

The feeling I get when the muse hits me when my imagination
unfolds, all of the wheels spinning inside, creating something
emotional and compelling and aesthetically pleasing - now this is
something to look forward to. It’s a great feeling when they say
your name and you hear all the applause as you go collect the
rewards and listen to the congratulations people are happy to give
you because you did a great job at making them feel something.
Last year this happened to me, and as I stepped onto the podium,
the author who gave me the award almost cried in front of everyone
and I remember her telling me: “Thank you for this story. When I
read it, I thought of myself, thought of my daughter, thought of the
possibility of what you have written becoming a reality and it made
me shiver to my core.” At this moment I swore this is what I wanted
to do for the rest of my life.

Funnily enough, here comes one of the most important lessons I’ve
learned - no one told you life would be fair. And by this I mean -
writing can make me happy and full-filed all it wants but when
reality slaps you, you understand that the possibility of making
good money and being able to provide for yourself and
hypothetically your future family seems unstable and unreliable.
All your life you need to either chase the “gold line” hoping you’re
somehow lucky to get everything right or settle for something
which seems like a solution but it’s ultimately not. I have countless
examples around me of sad people. People who go to work every
day, from 9 to 5, for so many years that they’ve lost every spark in
them. They have now become some creature that is hungry for
money, power, or simply tranquility and easiness. They are
miserable even though they don’t always admit it, but how can you
admit such a thing? All your life you’ve been doing what you
thought best, but best for who?

Turns out the job you worked for so long is something you detest,
can’t even look at and every day, everything you want is to just
come home and forget about it for a while.

As I said, if I didn’t have to work for money - I would create. A very

wise man once said in my favorite movie - “We don’t read and write
poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are
members of the human race. And the human race is filled with
passion. And medicine, law, business, and engineering, are noble
pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty,
romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” And I completely
agree. Just begin to imagine what life would be without any of
these things - because I physically can’t and I think it’s just
unnecessary. Life is so much more beautiful when feelings are
involved when a piece of art can make every single person on this
Earth find and understand something different for themselves.

I can’t be sure of everything in this life - I’m not this wise and I
don’t think I want to be, but I do know that writing matters to me to
the point that I consider making it something I can practice in my
precious little life here, hoping it would last the test of time,
leaving a piece that people would look up to for whatever the
personal reason and it would help them in the best way possible.



Nowadays, what matters the most to the better part of society and
my peers, in particular, is money. Being rich and famous are the
only things they are convinced they need to be happy. However, in
my opinion, there are more important things in life- being healthy,
having an education, not being afraid for your life and well-being,
and feeling loved. Having a friend, you can count on is of utmost
importance, as well. But what matters the most to me is living my
life knowing that I hurt no one, knowing that no one I care about is

To begin with, one of the most important things in my life is my

family. There is nothing else that makes me feel complete than
playing with my sisters or sitting around the table with them and
our parents while we all laugh at my dad’s jokes.

They are the ones who lend an ear to my troubles and help me find
a solution to my problems; they always give me sound advice. They
are the ones who love me unconditionally, just the way I love them
back unreservedly. I would not feel whole if I knew they were put in
harm’s way.

Among family is the place I feel peace of mind, comfort, warmth,

and security. I share all my joys and worries with my parents and
my two siblings, and I feel loved. And that is why love is the second
thing I value the most in life. Love gives you hope and wings that
keep your head above water, even when you are drowning in
desperation and wallowing in your sorrows. Love is the greatest
force on earth that helps people keep going. Love guides your life
in the right direction. This is the feeling that urges you to do even
random acts of kindness like letting someone cut in front of you in
line or meaningful ones like planting a tree. Love is also the
greatest driving force for artists and writers; it is a joy for the
ones suffering and hopes for the ones in despair. The very thought
that somewhere out there, there are people who love you and who
would make sacrifices for you, can make you feel like heaven is a
real place. I would not be at peace knowing that I am deprived of
feeling love and loved.

It is important to not only cherish and treasure your beloved people

but to appreciate and be kind to yourself, too. There won’t always
be people who will root for us and our welfare, and if we do not
pour some self-love on ourselves, then what is the point? If we
learn to love ourselves, if we respect and listen to our wants and
desires, we will uphold our principles and values with dignity and
won’t have to compromise with ourselves and the moral code we
follow. How can you truly live a content life without self-love?
Furthermore, education is truly important to me.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been giving my best at school,
have been participating in all aspects of school life, and so far, I
have won a lot of prizes which stimulated me to enrich and improve
myself further. All of this shaped me into the person I am today and
will benefit me in the process of achieving my goals and pursuing a
career path that is meant for me. Knowing that I am walking on the
right way to my success boosts my confidence and self-assurance.
I realize deeply, that education is what gives one a chance for a
better future. All in all, education aids people to gain knowledge
and enlightens them. Education can mold lives and help you turn
your life around when at a loss. Education can save lives.

Last but not least, being healthy is another thing that holds great
significance for me. Out of everything I have achieved and own,
knowing that my loved ones and I are in good health gives me the
feeling of being safe and protected, and simultaneously warms my
heart. Ever since the moment I felt bereavement- the intense grief
and pain following the loss of someone I loved dearly, I have felt
blessed that everyone I love is safe and sound. My health and the
well-being of my nearest and dearest is the greatest wealth. Health
is priceless. Health is crucial. It is something that money cannot
buy. Therefore, I do not forget to be grateful for it every single

To sum up, the way I see it, the most important things in life are
the ones money cannot buy. Family, love, health, and the
opportunity to be educated are indispensable for my feeling
wholesome and are an integral part of a fulfilled life I would like to
live; which is why they all equally matter to me. Living your life to
the fullest without suffering and living your life without harming
others in the process- that is what matters. That is all you need.
That is all the world needs, and that is what matters the most.



Everything is connected. Language is united with the inception of

the perceived meaning, which almost always goes through a prism
backward. The whole spectrum is understood as just white. And it’s
forgotten - there is indeed a wide range of nuances inside one’s
light, although it’s just plain old ordinary matter. Simple! But the
simplicity of the ordinary is to be loved for and loved because of.
An understanding of the whole spectrum is the precondition for
cherishing! What I see is white, and the whole spectrum put
together. It’s a natural process, through which I understand us.

Everything is connected. “The answer always lies in the question.

It’s a filled vessel.” Your weird philosophy teacher always answered
your deep questions. At one point in time, it became a punchline,
which gets laughed at hysterically.

You pay no mind to his “funny” quotation, until today he added, that
everybody wants to fill it to the top with an answer, but it just
overflows. Now you’re at home puzzling over his idea, while you
forgot that your right hand is holding a glass, which you’re filling
with water. All of a sudden it overflows. You got lost in your
spectrum and now your hand is wet and cold. Again. It becomes
ironic. Not only do you do this to yourself every day, but you get
lost in a different nuance every time. And now the world is asking
implicitly for you to take ownership. “What should I do?” you finally
get the courage to ask yourself.

Everything is connected. Two days ago, you overheard your weird

philosophy teacher babble about Rene Descartes’ logical deduction
nonsense. Or at least that is what your friends said it was. But this
time you decided to listen with care. And now you have the gift of
the ability to do fieldwork. Desperately trying to figure out just
exactly why is your hand wet and cold and “God, why am I the way I
am?” you wonder, as you remember your girlfriend telling you she
feels suffocated at times by your love. The One … The same one
that loves, when you tell her naturally, that you believe you love
her forever, because she just feels you mean it in the twinkle of
your eye, and loves to say it back to you. You have to get to the
bottom of this! Pondering, you start deducting. “Am I just getting
lost in my nuances?” You ask yourself a question and then answer.
You just ask and answer. Ask and answer … You deepen into your
inner mechanics. You get to “The Question”: “What matters to me
and why?”

Everything is connected. You learned about matter from your

physics teacher, so you know the definition: “Matter is an object
filled with atomic matter or otherwise called ordinary matter,” you
whisper to yourself silently, as you did your classmate. A sudden
flash of inspiration hits you.

You realize that what matters is the ordinary matter. In this
moment of “…”, all questions answer themselves. “…” matters! It
occurs to you that your One feels suffocated, because you’re just
projecting to her one color from your spectrum and she loves your
whole inherently particular light, so you realize, that the pure,
naturally ordinary “…” matters! This is your definition of “matters”!
And you share it with her! The whole spectrum is understood, it is
transmitted as pure, natural white.

Everything is connected, and I connected the hypothetical story to

my idea. The natural light is all I need – I’m over with getting lost
in my whole spectrum. All I want is to shine my white light,
wherever I point to. Make no mistake, only I govern my white light. I
understand it with the help of the white light of my One. One can
craft one’s prism to understand the whole spectrum, only by
crafting it with a confidant. “Watch me carefully, while I craft it,
let our love be felt while I do in front of you, with you.” It’s a funky
game otherwise.

Everything is connected and to connect everything you need

courage. At one point in time, you’ll want to point your light at
something uncomfortable. If bravery is not projected, then a prism
starts excluding some colors. Slowly and surely more and more
nuances fade away, and soon monotony takes over. One must use
bravery as a way of living. A dreadful prism takes over otherwise.
Even then one can save oneself with courage. You always know
what to do!

Everything is connected and “…” connects me to everything. That

matters to me naturally. "Why?" It’s unexplainable. Or maybe I just
don’t want to stain it with words. Our “…”, which we share with my
One, just matters to me! "And why?" The answer always lies in the
question. It’s a filled vessel …



These days, from what I have seen I believe that more and more
people my age are easily satisfied by their current lifestyle and do
not dream for more. However, that is not the same for me. My
dreams are one of the main things that matter to me and more
precisely my dream of becoming an astronaut. The other prominent
idea that I strongly believe in is that we need to change.

Throughout my whole life, I have been aiming for success even

though I did not know what I wanted to become until I was in 7th
grade. When I dived into the world of science, I knew right away
that this was my destiny. Two years later, I had one of the best
opportunities in my life – to go to Space Camp Turkey. This Camp
corroborated my beliefs and since then I have been working on
achieving my goals. I have attended numerous Science Camps,
seminars and webinars, and workshops to prepare myself for the
next step – getting into a good university.

This is my current step towards my biggest goal. I am getting ready
to apply to American universities because I would like to study
aerospace engineering. For many, this may sound irrational or
impossible to achieve but it has been my dream for a long time
now. Getting a good degree in such a field is hard not only because
of the major itself but because not many universities in the world
offer a full scholarship to international students. Even though I
work even harder because the competition is ginormous, I still have
to face failure. For instance, last year I applied for an exchange
program in the United States. I was pretty confident in my essays
and recommendations. However, when I had to take an English test
to prove my English abilities, I had some trouble with it because it
was computer-based. Anyways, I kept my thoughts optimistic and I
end up having an interview which in my opinion went well. A couple
of days later, I received an email saying I was not approved to
continue further. I was devastated. I had to put up with mockery
and comments that ensured me that after all, I am not that smart. I
lost hope in myself, letting all the negative comments and thoughts
in my head. I lost my smile and even though I was trying to hide the
disappointment, I just could not. One day I went for a walk still
reflecting on the past event, when I remembered that I would have
another chance to live in the U.S – if I get into my dream university
and that my life does not end with this exchange program. Since
that day, I celebrate every small achievement throughout my
everyday life. For example, I tap my shoulder with a smile on my
face after every excellent grade or when I manage to finish all the
things I planned.

The other thing that matters to me is the idea of changing to

develop myself. I find it connected to having dreams and following
them because you cannot achieve big things if you do not face
challenges and dive into the unknown.

That is why I am willing to move to a different continent by myself.
I am eager to try new activities such as American football, surfing,
and archery. I also believe that we, as humankind, should change
for good together so we can find cures for cancer, for example, or
explore the universe. Who knows what is hidden out there? I think
that if we spend more time learning new things instead of spending
every minute online watching Tik-Toks or whatever, we could make
major changes. Of course, before trying to colonize Mars, we should
help our planet because right now the Earth needs us more than
ever. We could stop child labor, pollution, and wars only if we
worked together for one cause.

In conclusion, the main two things that matter to me most are

chasing my dreams and changing for good. I cannot imagine myself
living an ordinary life so I try everything to achieve my goals. I
hope that one day I will look back and be satisfied with the
challenges I would have faced.



As much as we don‘t want to admit it and as much as we want to

hide and deny this simple given, every human being will, in some
period of their life, be faced with such a heavy existential hardship
or tribulation that he‘ll be left no other real choice but to ponder
the question „What for? What is the meaning of all this,
ultimately?“ and to sometimes come to the terrifying conclusion
that there is no real answer in sight, that the absurdity of life is a
constant that follows us all from the cradle to the grave. For
people whose mind has always worked to find beauty in logic and
solace in answers, this is a hard pill to swallow, it is of no surprise
whatsoever that is mainly philosophers and scientists that grapple
with their belonging in this world day in and day out – they can‘t,
for the life of them, except that no mechanisms are in place. That
is if we don‘t put them there in the first place – and now, you may
rightfully ask, what does that have to even do with my personal
experiences thus far?

What could a person, whose life has barely begun, tell others about
the lessons he‘s picked on through life and try to talk about
suffering in a real sense? I‘ll try as best as I can, one may only
hope it doesn‘t sound overly egotistical.

If I had to give an earnest description of my short life journey thus

far it would probably sound the following way – curious, if a bit
confused and convoluted as I reckon it also goes for most people
and as with almost all people the element that‘s been the
cornerstone to all the unexpected happenings on this
aforementioned adventure is my personality, subsequently the
decision making that has either been on my end or on the end of a
person who‘s had to answer for me as a child. Back when I was a
wee little kid I was the listener who loved to peep from the
sidelines and analyze whatever was going on, only to promptly join
in some conversation or game, invited or not, but I was far from
tranquil or predictable, which turned into a bigger problem than it
was for other children. Piggybacking off of that claim, as much as I
liked to join in other people‘s conversations and games, conflicts
turned out to be ultimately unavoidable back then and it was only a
couple of friends, or one friend, that I kept around at a given time
– this more or less defined my early childhood and so it was years
on end. A fact that wasn‘t left unmentioned by almost every adult
that had to do with me in that period of my life, a certain failing
and misunderstanding that I had to battle on my own. For them,
these were emotional outbursts on my end that couldn‘t be
explained away and an unwillingness to communicate with others
that aren‘t usually seen in small kids. It was quite intriguing,
however, to observe the transition from my early childhood to the
beginning of my teenagerhood where I tried to harness all those
social traits that I had shown early on but without the same step-
off-ish attitude I had – this led to a great entanglement in many

friend groups and webs that would ultimately crumble on my head.
To keep an extremely lengthy and personal story short, I had to
grapple with a lack of communicative know-how and jargon that
was natural to other people which was, to me, completely
unintelligible, but I integrated it through humor, jokes, and
mimicking (i.e. a certain lack of personality and a wish for
adaptation) – I left one friend group I‘d been with for another after
a very bitter argument and so it was that, for a while, I was
content. My biggest mistake? Not thinking through where my
contention came from. It was not the people per se, it was the
acceptance and the unwavering support that I received from them
at that time, respect and a willingness to help that is very near and
dear to me – but I thought that it wasn‘t I who had something going
for me, I thought I was lucky. A year and a half of puberty, a year
and a half of misunderstandings and disrespect towards all I stood
for, a year and a half of tearing to shreds every single hope and
romance, the confidence that I had before, the feeling that the
world and its people stood before me. What did I do while my
friends in quotes were driving lives into the ground, including mine
– I was a quiet and broken bystander with Stockholm syndrome. I
believed, earnest to God, that it was I who had to bridge
differences, give out apologies and morph my personality, since
that‘s everything I did before to belong somewhere – I compromised
almost everything that made me who I am and it was never enough.
From a person, who‘s always been known for his sense of humor, I
became the owner – I never spoke, I only walked around like a spirit
and followed. This all came ahead one faithful night when my family
and one of my friends gathered for a very serious occasion and all
the dirty laundry was hung. And so it was that my longtime friend
decided to stop communicating with me without giving any sort of
explanation, and I, well, I fell into a serious depression the likes of
which I hadn‘t and hope I won‘t experience.

I started doubting whether or not I could even speak my mother
language, so I stopped speaking for months, I was mute, and I felt
so inadequate that the thought of returning to reality and
friendships, let alone love, was so absurd, that it drove me to tears
– as if I was laying flowers on my epitaph, for a person who had
long past and refused to come back. Six months. Six months of
dread, torture, doubt, loneliness, and refusal to go back into
civilization, refusal to give people a chance, and thought that I
deserved none. Friends I did receive, quite unexpectedly, through
humor, ironically enough these were the same people that I had left
in the beginning and they gave me confidence that I hadn‘t
experienced in years – I learned that, no, I wasn‘t illiterate, I am, in
fact, a good public speaker, that I am not socially inept, but quite
the opposite – that it is people, and good-natured ones, that fill my
every day with inexplicable joy, that make me listen attentively to
every chirp and look at every tree with awe.

It is the life I cherish, people that I hold dear to me, and every new
person I meet is, in themselves, a world that I discover anew – this
is the lesson that I have learned thus far. And I am forever grateful
for the fact that I found a meaning so early on and that, when
asked about the mechanisms behind my day-to-day, I can answer
without a shadow of a doubt. I enjoyed life as a kid and I enjoy it
now, yet today I am sure of what and who stands behind me. This is
my tribute to everyone and thing that has formed my life thus far.



I believe that this is a much more philosophical, important, and

difficult-to-answer question than meets the eye. I find such
inquiries rather challenging, simply the scope of such thoughtful
dilemmas is truly endless and the imagination of even the most
average of minds can wild while considering them. When I first
heard about this question, the headmost thoughts that popped into
my head were immaterial, because most of the things in our world
that I find precious and important are such. They're universal and
can be found in all places on our planet (or even the universe).
They cannot be fully and truly explored, because of their incredible
complexity, but can only be felt and in this phenomenon hides their
true charm.

To start, the very first image that appeared in my mind when I read
the question was a picture of all my most trusted, loyal, and
supportive friends and all members of my precious family.Although
this might sound quite trivial and cliche, these are the people that
I can't (or wouldn’t like to) imagine my life without. I do admit that
the concepts of "family'' and ''friend'' are slippery ones, but I would
like to stick to the simple meanings of these simple, yet powerful
words. The relationships that I share with my closest people
haven't always been smooth and steady, but this is only a small
distraction (most of the time) that is quickly gotten rid of with
mutual understanding, heartfelt feelings, and smooth relationships.
In my opinion, behind these three standards of interaction, hides
the foundation of building a strong, loving, and trustworthy
relationship between people. In other words, a calm and joyful
atmosphere is the key to forging strong connections. This is the
main reason that I find my family and friend truly special.

The second thing that I can't visualize my existence without is

something that surrounds us, yet we take it mostly for granted, and
that is the magnificence of nature. I find it mesmerizing to look at
the beautiful scenery humankind has on display. Strangely, I
believe that the forests and mountains contain certain and unique
energy in them that fuels us when we experience the need to. The
unbelievable amount of purity that consists of every square meter
of land continues to amaze me every day. Whether it would be in
the winter, when the white snow changes the very aesthetic of
wilderness, or in the summer, where the only addition is the
sunrays, which bring back nostalgic childhood memories, I am
equally satisfied with the result. To even further support my
argument why everyone shall marvel at the grandiose extent of
nature, I shall strengthen my words by quoting one of the great

geniuses of the twentieth century, the father of modern chemistry,
Albert Einstein. One of his most powerful and fascinating
quotations is connected with the theme of nature. My personal
favorite is "Look deep into nature and you will understand
everything better." He has also admitted that even himself can
understand the essence of the wilderness only imperfectly and
partially, so I believe that it's only moral to take nature with

The third and final most valuable and dear thing for me is my
interests, or in other less formal words hobbies. In my humble
opinion, when a person carries out actions that include his
passions in one form or another, then he feels most fulfilled and,
as banal as it may sound, truly happy. During such times, I think a
person feels the most in his comfort zone, but not in the boring
meaning of the word. When a person is actively seeking more
information about a certain topic and trying to hone his knowledge
in a given field of knowledge, he is closest to enlightenment. It
doesn't matter what a person's interests are as long as they aren't
harmful and he or she passionately loves them. To put it simply
(and more philosophically), they give us purpose and that's what
separates life from mere existence. If you live aimlessly and for
today, then life wouldn’t be fulfilling. It's also important to note
that there exist two types of hobbies: real and non-existent ones.
If I have to speak for myself, I have several in both cases. As
wonderful as the effects might be, there are side effects also (like
most things in life). If you are more passionate about the other
type much more than the additional one, you might lose a sense of
the other world. For example, getting too nerdy about fantasy
interests can make you unskilled and unprepared for real life and
that's why a certain balance is needed.

All in all, I can't imagine my life without these three aspects
contained in it, because it wouldn't be called living anymore - it
would be just a meaningless turn of events, and I am extremely
thankful that I have all three of them!



Several things matter to me but among them, health, family,

friendship, a good attitude of other people towards me, and
knowledge stand out.

To begin with, I would like to point out that health matters most to
me because if I am sick, I will not be able to be successful at
school and university. I will not be able to achieve my goals in life
either. I know that if I want to be healthy, I should take care of my
health as much as possible. Eating healthy food and exercising
properly are the basic things I can do. For example, I can cook
delicious meals at home, and instead of buying junk food during the
lunch break, I bring homemade food to school. I also try to eat an
abundance of fruit and vegetables and drink a lot of water. In
addition, I work out daily and monitor how many calories I burn
during the day.

After my workout, I usually drink a protein shake because it helps
my body to grow and be strong and energetic. In our town, there is
an organized race in the sea garden on weekends and when the
weather is good, I participate. Since I live in Burgas-a town on the
Black Sea coast-I have a chance to swim every summer which is a
great opportunity to be in good health.

In the second place, my family is of vital importance to me because

my parents have a positive impact on me and slowly but surely, I
am becoming a better person. First, my parents are very hard-
working. They encourage me to be diligent too. I help with the
housework every day. This summer I am planning to work part-time.
I am going to deliver some fliers and give all the earned money to
my parents to contribute to the family finances. I also study hard
and receive a scholarship for my excellent marks every month
during the school year and I use it as pocket money so my parents
do not need to give me some. Second, my parents are reliable and
helpful. I can always rely on them if I need something. When I am
sick, they take me to the doctor, look after me and cook for me.
When I fall behind with my schoolwork, they find me a private
teacher to catch up with the others. When my cat died and I was
miserable they stood by my side and helped me overcome my pain. I
have learned from them to be helpful too. When my grandfather had
health problems last month, I went to his GP to ask for a
prescription and bought medicine for him. Also, when my friends
are ill, I offer to help them with their homework. Third, my parents
show respect for my feelings and opinion. When my feelings are
hurt and when my opinion is ignored, they always find the right way
to my heart to have good communication with me and give me
advice. They encourage me to be respectful to my teachers, my
classmates, my relatives, and our neighbors. I am proud of having
such wonderful parents and I think we will remain friends forever.

Another essential thing that matters to me is friendship. In my
view, it is important to have true friends no matter how many they
are because good friendship has a positive impact on me, it gives
me emotional support and I feel more self-confident. As an
illustration, I have had a friend for two years. We have a lot in
common. We study at the same school, we go out together and we
help each other. She is my true friend because I can always count
on her. I get along with her without the fear of being criticized.
She respects my dignity and as a result, I feel loved and accepted.
This friendship enriches my life. She always challenges me to be
better. She encourages me to keep going and always celebrates my
success with me. “One study of high school students found that
those who were depressed were twice as likely to recover if they
had good friends”. When I feel unsure and sad my friend is beside
me and helps me to build my self-esteem. She is supportive and
tells me how amazing I am and how much I can offer others. As she
is generous, helpful, ambitious, and family-oriented, I also try to
develop these values myself. She is a great friend and encourages
me to be the best version of myself.

Furthermore, a positive attitude toward other people to me is a

must because this provides me with energy, self-confidence, the
hope of succeeding in the future, and the desire to improve myself.
I read about Jennifer Rodgers who was “The Nurse of the year” in
2014 in the National Health Service in Scotland. She started to work
at children’s hospitals. She tells us about Paige who is six years old
and has cancer. When she was admitted to the hospital like all
children in Scotland, she was given a “What matters to you” poster
to complete. In the poster, she did not include “please give me my
chemotherapy on time”. Instead, she wrote, “I like it when the
nurses are nice and friendly”, and “I like it when my mom and dad
get to stay with me”.

And strangely Paige also wrote, “I like it when the teacher comes”.
This example shows us that it is extremely important how other
people treat us. Their attitude encourages us not to lose hope even
when we have hard times. For me small gestures of kindness and
respect from other people are essential and very often they make
me feel happy.

Last but not least, knowledge is significant to me because I learn

about the world through it and it helps me develop my abilities and
achieve my goals. Knowledge broadens my horizons. I know that if I
am knowledgeable, I will be successful in life. Every day I realize
how essential knowledge is for my existence. That is the reason
why I do my best to study my lessons, do my homework diligently
and regularly, and read books. I feel that knowledge has a great
impact on my growth and personal progress. Now I am
concentrating on studying chemistry and biology because I am
planning to continue my education in a medical school and become
a dentist. Gaining knowledge is a constant process and it is useful
every single day. As an illustration, I did some research online to
find out which is the best combination of serums and moisturizing
creams. I had to make a careful study of their components and
what influence they had on the skin like mine. If I had not done the
appropriate research online, I would not have been able to find the
right combination for me and I would have spent a lot of money on
unsuitable and expensive products. Knowledge has a positive
influence on my self-confidence. In my biology and chemistry
lessons, I am not afraid to take part because I study a lot at home.
I gain knowledge from everything that I find interesting like dance,
art, history, geography, cooking, and so on for my personal

In conclusion, health, family, friendship, a good attitude to me,
andknowledge are major factors that have a great impact on me
and help me to establish myself as a positive person and that is the
reason why they matter a lot to me. “Think positive, be positive and
positive things will happen”. As a positive person, I focus on what
is good in my life. I lead a healthy life, I respect my family, I spend
time with my good friends and I surround myself with positive
people. I look up to good people because they motivate me,
appreciate me, help me grow as a decent person, and encourage me
to achieve my goals.



Every day we learn something new. From our first day till our last
destined day on this planet we never stop learning new lessons. We
learn many things in school, but school is not the only existing
thing we can learn from. Life itself is our biggest and most
precious teacher. Some of the lessons it gives us we cannot learn
anywhere else. One of these valuable lessons is that no matter
what happens we cannot surrender we must always fight. And from
my perspective right now this is the most important life lesson I
have learned so far. I am barely seventeen years old. An age that I
know looks negligible to most people. In the eyes of the adults, I
am still a child. And there came the question- what is this so
important lesson that this girl has already learned? Who does she
think she is to recount? What difficulties had she overcome? What
life experience does she have? Seventy years old men surely have
more life experience than her.

He can tell us many things. Why listen to her? admit many adults
have overcome more problems than I have. Their difficulties have
given them various knowledge. They may know things that I will
never have the luck to learn on my own. But on another hand, there
are people double my age who haven’t been through all the stuff I
had been through and don’t know the life lessons I have learned.

When I was six years old, I witnessed something terrible. My father

tried to suffocate my mother to death with his bare hands. Soon
after I turned seven years old my father left my mother and me,
saying that he doesn’t have a daughter. He disowned me. When he
left us, he took away with him all the expensive things from the
house. I didn’t hear anything from him for the next two years.
A few days after he had left us, I started to suffocate in my sleep.
Usually, I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe.
Panic attacks – determined the psychiatrist which my mother took
me to at that time. My father never agreed to come to my therapy
and talk with my therapist although my mother begged him to come
at least once.

Two years later my father remembered he had a daughter and

called me. Feeling guilty he searched for my forgiveness. He
bought me many expensive gifts. He told me that if he bought me
everything, I wanted I would forgive him. Despite our meetings, my
panic attacks continued daily. My mother tried to help me in every
possible way she thought about. She gave me sedatives, and she
talked and listened to me. She even signed me up for art therapy.
First, I tried drawing. I like to draw, but it didn’t help me to solve
my problem with panic attacks. I tried dancing and many other
things but with little luck. Finally, after two years of searching, I
found the solution. I start singing in one maiden choir. The music
healed me. I don’t know how exactly the music cured me but it did.

My panic attacks appeared more and more rarely than before and
soon they completely stopped. My mother and I were very happy.
Somewhere within the next few years I forgave my father, but not
because of the presents. I forgave him because I was tired. I
wanted to put every bad thing of my past behind my back. I wanted
to resume my life and if I wanted to do this well, I needed no more
rage, wrath, or thirst for vengeance in my life. I forgave him
because I wanted to continue my life.

When I was fourteen years old, he passed away. It turned out that
all these years within which he was trying to become on good terms
with me he was terminally ill. Back in the time maybe this was the
reason he contacted me after his two years long disappearance.
Maybe this was his last attempt to be a good dad maybe it was not.
I will never know for sure. But anyway, with time singing was no
longer just a hobby for me. I started singing professionally. Singing
became my biggest passion in life. When I am on a stage
performing and I see the people’s smiles I feel so happy. I feel at
peace and I know that there is nothing that can compare to it. I had
and still have things to improve in my singing but I am working hard
to achieve my goals and fix every inaccuracy in my singing. And I
can proudly say that I am making big progress with it. With every
passing year, I win bigger and bigger awards from the competitions
I participate which prove enough for me my progress.

And now here comes the question- why do I tell you all these things
from my past? Here’s the answer – thanks to all these difficulties I
overcame I learned a lot.

Thanks to my father I learned that sometimes it’s better to let

some people go. There’s no need of compelling them to stay. We
don’t need them.

It’s unhealthy for us to cling to them. I realized that most children
prefer more attention from their parents than one more expensive
toy to add to their collection. I realized that what happened in the
past had already happened and nothing we do now can’t change it.
There is no point in clinging to negative episodes from the past.
Accumulating unnecessary wrath in ourselves is deleterious. When
we forgive someone, it helps that someone, but it also helps us to
move forward. I learned that perfect people do not exist and that
not all people are good.

Thanks to my mother I learned that there is no need of trying to

make everyone like us. There will always be people who don’t like
us and this is normal. Simple because we don’t like everyone
either. I learned that no matter what happens we have to stay true
to ourselves. We don’t have to change only because someone wants
us to. Another thing that I learned from her is that no matter what
happens, no matter how bad and hopeless the situation looks we
don’t have to sit silently and abide as if it is nothing. We can’t be
idle we must fight our problems.

I learned many important things from both of them, but the most
essential one I learned is from my mother. For me, the most
important life lesson I have learned so far is that no matter what
happens we cannot surrender we must fight. Even in our most dark
moments, there is still a grain of hope that shines in the darkness.
If we don’t give up, but fight if we search for a solution to our
problems sooner or later, we will find it. And with the answer to our
problem, we can find and something more. Something precious and
new. Let’s look at my panic attacks for example. They are
something horrible but thanks to my stubbornness to deal with
them I found my passion for music.

If I had surrendered fighting, I may still have been experiencing the
attacks every night and I may have never found my love for singing.
Thanks to my consistency and will now I am fine. I sincerely believe
that if a person doesn’t surrender when a difficult situation comes
to him and fights, he can do miracles. The key to success is
constant diligent work.

In conclusion, sometimes life is difficult, but the difficulties and

their surmounting teach us many things. A human learns
throughout his whole life, but in the end, he still doesn’t know
everything. There is not only one right answer to the question
which is the most important life lesson. The most important lesson
for us now can change with time. It’s beyond us to know what will
happen next. Our answer can change too. The important thing is to
never forget the lessons we had learned. And I surely will never
forget mine. No matter what happens I will always fight.



What is it? I haven’t thought about it but if I have to say it right

now, I might say that reading people is a good quality to have.
People are awful creatures who only care about themselves and
how to please their complexes.

If you learn how to figure out people’s personalities you can mimic
their personalities. They’d start liking you immediately because
people are narcissists. Their favorite animal is a rabbit, buy
yourself a rabbit plushie and go out with them boom friends. Most
people don’t care about you, your needs, or your liking. They will
talk shit behind the back call your name and you’d still be best
friends with them because you don’t know all that. That stabbing in
your back hurts you emotionally and it can even give you trauma
but they don’t care.

They only care about you until you are useful to them, when they
stop using you, they’d throw you in a pit and won’t give two fucks
about you. But I mean if you knew that they were a shitty person all
that trauma and depression could’ve been avoided, but you can’t
know, you can never know. That is shitty.

Just because most people are shitty that doesn’t mean that all
people are though. Green flag people exist! My favorite examples of
that are probably people with glasses. They have these sweet and
innocent vibes. They’d never judge you and you can see it. I
recommend keeping these people close. They might have a lot of
insecurities but it’s worth it to get to know them. They are the pure

You might ask “What about red flag people?” Most red flags can’t be
seen in the appearance but sometimes they can. For example, a
teenage boy with shaved hair and always sporty clothes is a major
red flag. If a girl gets into a relationship with him, he’d try to put
his moves on seducing the girl because he is a teenager and
hormones are everything he has. Believe me one of 3 boys that look
like that is the guy I described. You might ask what about some
green flags on appearance.

If you want people to like you, for some weird reason, you’d have to
learn the fineness of reading people. If you see a person wearing
baggy clothes then you know they have father issues. A person’s
appearance matches their personality. A more masculine look on a
girl can tell you that her parents don’t have a good relationship. A
boy wearing a rock band t-shirt can tell you that he got his heart
broken as a child and now thinks that love is not for him. Especially
if the band is “My Chemical Romance”. People who listen to the
band have a lot of issues.

Mostly parental or maybe some childhood trauma and are stuck on
that unhappy time and they have made their whole personality on
that. I recommend getting to know the people and their likes and
dislikes and then getting close. A very important rule that you’ll
have to remember is to not say too much information about
yourself. If you start the conversation with something that you like,
be careful what it is. If you get close to one person you attach
yourself to them with the invisible strings of fate and get
vulnerable. If a said person leaves you the depression will come
and when depression comes nothing good happens. You’d ask me
well okay but what will we talk about if I can’t bring up that I like
The Marvel Universe or sunny weather? Look I didn’t say you can’t
say those stuff but just be careful. Think twice before saying
anything. For example, you say you like the MCU (Marvel Universe)
and they also like it. Now you have something that you too can like
together for the time that you two are friends and when they leave
you every Marvel movie you see you’ll compare to them.

Of course, I’m not saying fuck your friends because you saw two
red flags in them. If it’s just two minor flags it’s fine, that’s fine.
Not everyone is a bad person, some just have had a rough past. As
one wise man once said “the kindest hearts have suffered the most
pain”, now I don’t know who said that but it is wise.



As the famous physic, Einstein said, "Once you stop learning, you
start dying." We learn all our life - we study in school and
university. We learn from our experience; we learn from our
mistakes. There are important lessons that remain in our hearts
and help us grow and become mature people.

One important lesson I learned growing up is that I need to be

myself and express myself however I find accurate and
appropriate. My parents always advised me that I don’t have to fear
someone’s opinion of me, because in every person’s life there will
always be people that say bad things to you, don’t like you, or even
spread rumors about you. But what is important is that you need to
know that you’re different from others and everyone is beautiful
and unique in their way. In my previous school, there was a group
of friends that were running from class.

I was thinking that it would be a good idea to do the same with
them, but when my parents found out, they advised me to not do it
anymore because that way I ruin my studies and my chance for a
better life in the future. I learned that the most precious thing in
me is my identity, and you don’t have to change just because you
want to be friends with someone.

Any person has different needs and goals in life. You need to follow
these goals until you reach them and accomplish them, and you’ll
be happy that you have done something you like and that makes you
happy. I always wanted to be a translator when I get older, and now
I have reached my goal to be in a school that can teach me a
language and prepares me for my dreams. That was my first big
goal, and with the help of my parent’s support, I reached that goal.
There are a lot of teenagers these days that are scared to express
themselves, including me, but what we all teens need to know is
that everything is possible if you do the right thing. People say, “A
person is as big as their dreams”.

My parents are a big support in my life, which I’m happy about.

They always used to tell me that once I grow older life will get
harder, but if I have patience and the right mindset everything will
turn out well. In my life, they always advise me on how to be a good
parent in the future when I have kids.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but we must forgive, forget
and move on. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life so far, but my
mom always tells me that before someone else could forgive me I
first need to forgive myself. When I was a little girl, I lied to my
parents, and they don’t trust me so much now. They always said to
me, that you can lose someone’s trust easily, but you gain it the
hard way. Firstly, my mom forgave me for the mistakes I made and
told me to learn from them because that way I grow.

What is important is that when you fall you must get back on your
feet. One important life lesson I learned from my mistakes is that I
should tell the truth to the people I care about and love because
trust builds love.

My parents also used to tell me that if I overthink things that way, I

won’t be able to concentrate on what matters to me. And what
matters to me is that everyone I love is alive and healthy and my
studies go well so I can find a job that I like, and I will bring a
better future for my children one day. People should believe in
themselves more so that they won’t worry about anything. They
should not listen to others too and make their own choices. People
should follow their hearts, no matter where it takes them, and live
with hope. The life that we live nowadays is very fast and is like
time flies, so we shouldn’t waste time on things that do not matter
so much. Instead, we should waste time reaching our goals.

But maybe the most important life lesson I learned from my parents
is the way a person responds to life challenges. Every challenge
represents a crossroads in your life. Therefore, every person needs
to respond to possibly the best way to a challenge even if it’s bad.
“What you sow you will reap”.

A person grows not only physically. The most important thing is to

grow the mind and especially the heart. Life is like a rainbow and
presents us with different situations and teaches us to choose
love, trust, and hope. It is up to us to choose the right thing to do.



Everything would be much easier if everyone had the same amount

of money. There wouldn’t be that much envy and the people would
be happier and, in my opinion, life would be much better!

If I didn’t have to work for money, I would probably do my sport-

horse riding. Show jumping is my passion and that’s one of my
favorite things in the world. Besides riding, during the other time, I
would probably go with the breeding. For me, the breeding process
in the equestrian world is one really interesting thing. Mixing
different types of genes of all good horses and creating a Grand
Prix foal would be nice and interesting for me, it’s also great to see
the development in the training process of the horses you produced
and be a part of their success! One more thing that I would enjoy is
being a trainer as well as for people and horses!

It is one awesome feeling seeing your students and horses doing
well, competing at the top level, and winning a lot of classes! After
all that, I would like to travel around the world because I think it is
really interesting to see different countries, different people and
different cultures! When you travel to new places you can learn a
lot of new things! I think that I am a lucky person because I have
traveled to a lot of different countries and I have seen a lot of
things. For me, one human needs to want to know and to see new
things. You can always learn something new at every age of your
life! The places I most want to visit are maybe China and Japan.
These two countries are new worlds! They have nothing in common
with Europe and I am really curious to see what these places hide!

One more thing that I would do if I didn’t have to work for money is
to have shelter for animals. I adore animals and I enjoy helping
them and finding them new forever homes and loving owners. There
are so many unhappy animals that haven’t seen anything good from
the people and need a second chance! Most people don’t
understand this type of problem and continue buying from breeders
but we should change that.
The fourth thing that I would do is have an animal reserve that
helps the wild animals. I like looking at wild animals but I don’t like
the fact that they are kept in small cages for life even though they
are healthy and don’t have any problems! If I had a reserve, the
animals there would only be animals that need help and won’t be
able to survive in the wild. And if they have only small injuries I
would cure and release them back into nature.

And the fifth thing I would do if I didn’t have to work for money is
be a teacher. I think that this is one of the hardest and most tiring
jobs in the world!

You have to be patient and have really big nerves and a really big
heart! You meet a lot of new people and make a lot of new friends!
When I look at my teachers in class, I can see that they are born for
their profession, they know what to do in every situation and it’s
never wrong! Even if you are the teacher and you teach the kids
you could always learn something from them too!
There are a lot of things that I would do if I had the freedom to not
work for money but the main one is my sport because that is my
passion and also spending time with my family and my friends!



Since time is one of the things that you cannot buy, we have to
sacrifice a lot of our time, so we can have a comfortable life. Even
though it’s not a choice, we could do otherwise. We would still be
competent to achieve great things without the helping hand of

Most of the time whenever I had to help with something work-

related, I did not wish to get paid or at least didn't demand it. For
the reason that I did not need money at the time, it wasn’t much of
an emergency. I prioritized experience more than money. For
example, my parents do retail and I would help them with some of
the physical parts of the job and also talk with the clients. I
thought that this would probably help me with my social anxiety
and it did ease it.

And I did not enjoy the social part of the job, not because of the
anxiety, but because it was harder to deal with some of the people
there, and how entitled and disrespectful some of them were. And
I’d say that such experiences humble you a lot and give you some
sense of respect for such workers.

I also volunteered as an English teacher at a local language school

to help some of the people who fled Ukraine to learn English. Some
of them wanted to learn, so they could have more opportunities
abroad. Some wanted to learn it to be more competent in
understanding friends, colleagues, and so on. But what am I gaining
from all of this? Well… Experience, different points of view, and
new impressions. As my German teacher Mr. Łuczak said, ‘For
someone to develop and progress as a person, one needs to step
just on the edge of their comfort zone to reach new heights.’

In addition, it gives you a different perspective whenever you try

something you’ve never done before and I think it could be a plus to
critical thinking. Sadhguru says, ‘when your mind is full of
assumptions, conclusions, and beliefs it has no penetration, it just
repeats past impressions.’ When people have limited experiences,
it also limits their capability of being open to different views since
it’s way out of their comfort zone. You’d have to show courage to
be able to question everything, in and outside of your beliefs, and
give an unbiased opinion.

But back to the topic, what would I do if I didn't have to work?

As basic as it sounds, I would travel the world. And expand my mind
about the things you don't learn in school. Educate me in the
cultural, literary texts, and especially the field of linguistics. When
I got into linguistics more, I realized how much of an important
part history plays in it.

Whenever I had classes with my German teacher a big chunk of the
lessons would turn into a history one. Furthermore, I’ve learned so
much about how languages throughout the years evolved. My
teacher Mr. Łuczak said, ‘learning languages is like sports. You
have to practice very often, it takes years, and also you have to
maintain it. Once you stop, it can be easy to forget. But the
knowledge is always stored back there in your head. And when you
start going back to it, the words will be very familiar to you and
way easier to learn them again.’
I guess I would say that my teacher influenced my morals the most
since he is like a role model to me in a way. He managed to
convince me that you can achieve great things without money.

In conclusion, I would mostly travel and visit any country, from the
poorest to the richest. If you think about it no country is poor. I
think that every country has its wealth. That could be beautiful
places, culture, knowledge, etc. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘A nation's
culture resides in the hearts and the soul of its people.’
And these are things that you cannot buy, but the experience. See
the beauty of the world and use it as an opportunity for self-

I became very interested in such a lifestyle after visiting a few

countries and subconsciously comparing them to each other. I was
left surprised at how different Bulgaria and England are, relating to
how people treat each other. It does prove that the environment
changes the person greatly, it’s like we mirror each other. But still,
everyone craves to be unique with no courage to step out of the
crowd. That’s one of the things that I learned when I was abroad.
You don’t have to go abroad to notice the same thing. And what
you'd learn if you went abroad is how every country has its norms.

Most people go through a ‘’culture shock’’, they either hate it or
makes them more open-minded. Furthermore, that's how it
impacted me. It made me very open-minded about many things. I
assume that being open has great benefits. I’ve noticed a lot of
relatives becoming a bit more open after moving to other
countries. The more you travel and the more you see, you become
way less judgmental. Even if I had to work to be able to have a
lifestyle like this, I would still choose this kind of life. Traveling to
me it’s about being at peace with your mind, accepting differences,
exploring, knowledge, and judging others less.



Published by:
Foundation "SolidarityWorks", village of Drugan, Bulgaria | | Facebook |


AMG Publishing

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