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The University and US - The voice of students in the INSTALL project

Romanian students' testimonials

"I recall that at some point I had a trigger..I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, but I saw a picture of myself...objective...I saw my desk and I, instead of being at the desk, I laid in bed looking kind of outwardly at all the picture and saying to myself: you should get up, go to the desk and study, not lay in bed. Because that is what I do, I always had a problem when it came to learning. Well, not only with learning, but generally speaking...I mean, it's not that I can't, it's more a question of wanting...further, I got to see my colleagues in a new light...I mean, I've realized that we shared the same experiences and I am not a freak...as I used to see myself up to then..."


"You know, as you do something and repeat it, you start being at ease with doing it. That's what happened to me: we've been working on some examples during the meetings and I've ended up doing those things in other settings. In fact, during the Install meetings I have taken notes with the things that other people were saying, including the trainer, things that I found to be relevant, interesting and used this information along the way. I need this kind of routine and further this is also related to planning, to the fact that I've discovered that I can do things as long as I want to. I've finally understood that it's up to me and that I can overcome my frustrations."


"I started thinking that after all, the student life is mainly the same for all of us. I mean, it's not as if it is difficult just for me. I do consider that my colleagues also deal with issues at home, after leaving classes, that it doesn't happen only to me. And it is...sort of refreshing to find out that you share the same experiences with the people that you interact with on a daily basis, but you used to think you had none in common. Because, before coming to Install there was not much going on and we didn't relate as we should have. Yes, that's how it was."


"I consider it more as a self-discovery journey. Apart from sharing our feelings and experiences, for me the Install experience meant especially getting to know myself better, and doing it in relation with others, with my colleagues. Also getting to know my colleagues better, as I used to be unable to overcome some boundaries that were self-imposed: we are not alike, we have different tastes, I might not like them, why getting to know them. Now I overcame those boundaries."


"And as for me, it helped me become more open, and now, me, who used to say "I'm not going, I'm not going anywhere", now I say "ok, I'll come, what can go worse?". I mean, I used to be like "no, I don't want to, better not, I better stay at home" and now I prefer giving it a try though because I've noticed that nothing bad can happen. I used to think that yes, I go there and nobody knows me, I'll probably feel bad, but now I am a lot more open to this kind of things. Also in respect to planning, I used to always do stuff in the last moment and I had no idea what to do next. And on exams I didn't know what to learn first, what project to do first. Now I don't stress myself that much, I keep telling to myself "well, after all it is an exam, and whatever happens I'm going to move on". And after this experience I've realized that life is beautiful and not that stressing as I used to think while not knowing what to do first. And I believe that these meetings kind of helped me realize that I am a normal person and I shouldn't worry that much for everything. That is to be more open in relation with others and feel good about myself." 


"I was discovering things about myself, while experiencing a feeling like...a gap that is somewhat full, I cannot really put my finger on it. I mean, after the meetings you were getting home and you were still confused about what you feel related to certain issues, and what about...you were just lingering. So, after the install meetings you could not make plans, because you were unable to do that. You just got home and all you could think of was going deeper on the things you've discovered."


"If I were to describe the experience in one word, it would be provocative. Each meeting challenged us, first of all through the type of discourse proposed, where every person, every member of the group was capitalized. For me it is clear now that this project, the meetings within the project were useful. On the one hand it had a social dimension, on the other hand an individual, personal one related to the understaning of things that you did or are about to do."


"I consider that, at least the way I felt it, the project should last more...I mean, the intensity advises for a longer period...I, for instance, would've had more to say, I could've talked about a lot more things, as I was continously discovering things, but I had to limit myself, since we all needed to talk and I couldn't take from my colleagues time. But yes, I would've needed more time."


"Personally, I would've liked the project to last longer, because there are plenty of situations to be taken into account from daily life and I would've liked to see what problems could be imagined within the project as exercises for my own development, as well as that of the group that I belong to. I mean, ok, the focus was on academic performance, but I strongly believe that the results have by far exceeded the initial expectations."


"The greatest strenght of this project is that it exists. I do believe that it has to continue, since there are many other challenges that a student is confronted with and needs to deal with."