First of all, I would like to mention that I have been to Fryšták twice, once as a student, once as an assistant.
Let me tell you something about the first experience. At that time, my life was a bit complicated. I had broken up with my girlfriend, wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish my university studies and even thought of not going there when I was standing at the bus station. There is no word for how stupid I feel now, in the knowledge that I would have missed so many beautiful things in my life by not going there. I have to admit that it was a difficult time of my life, but that as soon as I arrived, things began to change.
The first day of Fryšták made me feel anxious. A lot of students, whom I’d never seen in my life, plus unknown teachers and surroundings. In the course of that weekend we did many activities that helped us create a stronger bond among us, particularly in our own groups.
There is one thing that has stayed in my heart since the day it happened. One activity was answering questions with just yes or no. In this activity, we were able to ask anyone in the room why s/he answered like that. The questions started with easy ones, led to the tricky ones and ended with difficult personal questions. I consider this activity the most significant thing that happened in our group.
To be honest, I don’t think there will ever be another group so perfect. Think what you want, but I believe that we were destined to meet each other. The last day was the most difficult one. We knew that we were getting closer to the final day each minute and realized that it was really going to end. Everything beautiful, every smile, tear, hug or laugh was reaching its end. Even now the memories make me feel a bit sad.
The first session of the last day was a reflection and our task was to write something nice to each other. Well, no need to say that all of us started to cry. In the afternoon we had to say goodbye to everyone: teachers, other students and also to the place itself.
On my way home I had a lot on my mind. Things weren’t as bad as they had seemed before. You wouldn’t believe it, but it also changed my present life. I fell in love with a girl who was in my group, and, yes, we are still together. Another thing was that I learnt how to cooperate with others, to be a leader, to be the one who listens to the leader, or just to be there. Also, I met an amazing boy called Hugo and we have remained friends. Even though he is over ten years younger than me, I have to say that I simply like him and realize that age doesn’t matter to friends.
After a few months I realized that I wanted to experience this again, but this time as an assistant – seeing everything that has to be done from a different point of view, learning how to cooperate with students, and also how to share my experience and knowledge with them.
Here I have to say that it wasn’t only the university students I was looking to seeing; I would also get to spend some time with the younger ones. It was a beautiful experience because the children were simply amazing – and, guess what, Hugo was there again. We had a great time together and also a lot of fun. I learnt a lot from him, even though he is younger by a decade.
The story of my time as an assistant was similar to my first Fryšták experience. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend the same amount of time with my group as in the previous year. I had a lot of work to do, preparing activities, running from one thing to another. On the other hand, what I missed with the students I was able to catch up on with the teachers, and so I got to know them better, and to understand their jobs and lives. Plus, they shared a lot of their wisdom with me. I am really glad for this opportunity.
Of course, you never realize what you have learnt, found or lost until the moment when it’s no longer visible or present in your life. Fryšták changed my life in many ways, and if I had to say what the difference is, I would say that I am much happier than I used to be. I have finally realized that I really wish to become a teacher. What’s more, Fryšták gave me beautiful and unforgettable moments and experience that I’ll carry with me everywhere I go. I am curious what the future can bring, because if I ever have the opportunity to go there again, there is nothing in the world that would make me say no.
Sometimes it’s difficult to cope with the fact that some of your friends are gone or the bond wasn’t strong enough for you to remain friends. People come, people go. Some of them stay in your life, hopefully forever, and some of them are just passing through, but what will never change are the memories.
So the last thing I must say is thanks to all of you who made my life different and much easier. Thanks most of all to the teachers and students, but also to the teenagers and children. Without those people, my life wouldn’t be complete.