January 28, 2017

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Review

A Court of Mist and Fury
A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
by Sarah J. Maas
Published on 3rd of May 2016
Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 626 pages

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. 

- Goodreads.com description

"You're free," Mor said tightly. "You're free."
Not safe. Not protected.

This review is going to be an ode to this book and the author. I absolutely adore A Court of Mist and Fury. It was my favourite read of 2016, and I can't count how many times I've read it and enjoyed it immensely. 

January 26, 2017

The struggle is real.

So, I've been thinking. Why do young adults like me sometimes feel like wine is the only answer to everything? Or beer? Or whatever substance you want to *insert here*. Why do we feel like that is the only escape we have? Why do we need to escape at all? I mean we are all educated 20-something people trying to make it. What's so hard about it?

Indeed, what the hell is a 20-something like me trying to get over with? We have everything, no?
You know, as much as love my traineeship and as much as I am having the time of my life, I know it's coming to an end. And as much as I am trying not to think about, I kinda have to think about it. The future is coming, and it's approaching fast. I need to do something about it. 

So, okay, I am a highly educated woman with a great traineeship at the European Commission - I should be able to make it. I mean, come on, Capitalism cut me some slack.

Fuck, I feel like a little girl all over again. The social construction of reality is shattering in front of me and crumbling between my fingers and I can't do anything to stop it. Nothing ever counts. Nothing.

I met a Slovenian representative today. I said I'm looking for a job now that my traineeship is slowly coming to an end, and that I've been told things are hard in Brussels, and my reply was "Everywhere is hard. Nowhere is really easy." And you know what she told me? "Yeah, if you don't want challenges or you want a job where you do nothing then I guess it's really hard to get a job."

Honestly, for a second I didn't know what to say. For a split second, I was hoping I misunderstood. But I didn't. That is what she said. 

Oh, my God, I can't explain the rage and disgust that hits me everytime I hear this. 

With all due respect, how the hell would you know? You finished University (or not even, for some) and there was a job waiting for you. And when you wanted a change, you got it. How the hell would you understand the things I am going through and all the rest of the 20-something like me around the world? Exactly, you can't. 

So don't come and tell me how I and people like me are just entitled lazy bastards who are too anything to do anything. We. Are. Not. We are the most educated generation that the world has ever seen. We are driven. We are passionate. We want to do things. We want to make things better for the world, that you so much but screwed all over. We want a better tomorrow. And we want to contribute to it. 

So don't come and tell me things are hard, that we are not motivated enough. Because we are. 

The problem is, you don't give us opportunities to be. Not when all the jobs I see advertised sound so boring, or when you say we need 3 years experience and a master - to then work for free. It's not right.

Also, I hate it that there are some great opportunities out there and there are just too many of us. Everyone of us should get a shot at their career. Not just the lucky 5%. 

Which brings me to my second point. Career. I've been so busy with various jobs because bills - you need to survive somehow, that I'm wondering what exactly is my career supposed to be? Sometimes I wish I went studying something very concrete like logistics or something. I feel like as a graduate in Psychology (probably works for International relations or Political science) I have so many options but in reality, I don't really have any. All these broad subjects that don't prepare you for the real world. When I look at job adverts is just depressing. You try to fit your area of expertise into this tiny little box and adapt everything you've done to match the description, but there is nothing really you in that box in the end. 

But in the end, who asks us what we want anyway? 

Have you stopped yourself in the past few years and asked yourself what do you want out of your career? Not what your next job is going to be, but your career. I didn't make the distinction either, but maybe I should have. The thing is, we are too busy doing jobs that we really don't want to do because they pay the bills. And yes, we still try to go for the jobs we actually want but they always seem unreachable and based on luck. 

You know, when I started Edinburgh Uni they told us in the inauguration speech that we are really smart and bright and we are going to have a great future because Edinburgh Uni is top 17 in the world and they only accept outstanding people. Okay. When I started my traineeship at the EU Commission, at the welcome conference they said that we were the best of Europe because we made it through the hardcore pre-selection and selection procedure, and we are now representatives of our generation because we are here in Brussels. 

Please, just stop. Stop feeding us the special snowflake syndrome. We are not special. Not really. We are educated and driven young adults in a world that doesn't give us chances. Or it gives us temporary chances with no prosperity. It's just sad.

"Things are hard." They say it like we have an option here. Like there is a way out. Like "yeah sure things are hard here, but you can go 'there' and things will be easier." Are people out of their mind?! 

We've all been swept into this huge swimming pool and now we have to swim. There is no option of saying "oh excuse me, I don't feel like it!" You need to swim. You need to keep going. 

The thing is, I want all of us to make it. I want my colleagues from University to make it. I want my fellow trainees to make it. I want my friends to make. But that's a utopia these days when it should be the reality. 

And that's why I think young adults are driven to escape reality. We can't give up, we have to keep going, and there is no way out. But sometimes there is this blissful moment when the reality of the world is not so crushing. Maybe you forget for a moment. Maybe it's a moment when you can actually stand the way things are.


January 23, 2017

One Wild and Precious Life as an EU Trainee: EU Trainees Care Together

Solidarity does not end in December. 

To start the new year with more compassion, especially considering the events that took place the past year in Brussels, the Solidarity Subcommittee and the Parties Subcommittee decided to organise the "EU Trainees Care Together" solidarity party. 

We wanted to show that we, EU Trainees, care. And we should pay forward. Help people who are less fortunate than us. 

All the profit of the party was going to be donated to the project 'Há ir e voltar' - to be more specific toward building a school for little girls in Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya. We are helping build a school for girls so they can get an education!

Education is important, and should be accessible to everyone. 

To me, education is the fundamental right that everyone should have. In Slovenia, they wanted to implement university fees in April 2006, and the high school students and university students sided together and organised a protest called "Black Wednesday" which involved many many students from all over the country (about 10.000 students). We were there. And we succeeded. Up to this day, we can still all attend university for free. And I am always grateful for that day that we managed such a big project and it worked. The slogan of the protest was "Education is not a privilege, education is a right".

And I still agree with the above statement. That's why I believe this idea to organise a solidarity party and donate the money to the project of building a school for girls in Kenya was a brilliant idea. I am grateful and honoured that I have contributed to making it happen.

January 21, 2017

One Wild and Precious Life as an EU Trainee: Are You Up For Europe?!

On the 18th January I took part in the Think Young. Think Europe. Act Now. Conference on Are You Up for Europe?!

It was a really good day. Let me tell you all about it :)

The opening speech was done by Luis Planas, SG of EESC, and Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, VP of EESC. Following that was a very inspirational welcome speech by Madi Sharma. Do you know Madi? She is awesome, check out her twitter!

And then the awesomeness of Are You UP for Europe?! started.

We had the World Cafe. The first group discussion was based on the question "Based on your experience, what does engagement with the EU mean to you?" It was a very interesting brainstorming. My group came up with so many funny (and not so funny) propositions:

- We are EU people by default - we were born into it :P
- Information sharing: EU could do a better job with information sharing. Be more transparent. Breaking down the complexity.
- Ask the right question to the right people. Well, you might not always know the right people. Or the right questions. 
- As a normal human being is hard to engage with EU institutions or MEPs.
- Erasmus <3

The second part was "What is necessary for positive engagement?"

My group's brainstorming.

We exchanged ideas inside the group, and between the groups. It was super amazing what brainstorming can achieve. So many ideas. And then we put them all together and discussed them some more. 

The solutions we came up with were summarised in: 
More opportunities
-  Inclusion - Common vision, action
- Communication
- Attitude  
- Education
Ideas for positive engagement in the EU.

In the afternoon our fellow trainee Fabio Mauri presented his book Along the Danube. It's a story about Erasmus students based in 2031. Sounded more like a dystopia to me - which pure awesomeness. Review to come soon!

And then the best part happened. We were to come up with ideas for projects on how to engage youth with Europe. The idea the appealed the most to you, you could join the team. And let me tell you, there were many great ideas there. 

I joined the initiative to create a EU public holiday on the 9th of May. So that every member state could celebrate EU together on the same day. A symbol of unity. This would inspire a sense of citizenship, it would create a positive reputation for EU, there would be inter-cultural exchange

We won the 2nd place as best project!  

The project that won the first place was EU Trainee Ambassador at Home - the project is about trainees going home and spreading the knowledge and the experience gathered in the EU institutions. It's a really good project because its purpose is to raise awareness of EU, inform people about EU possibilities, trainees would share their knowledge and experience at high schools and universities, and ultimately have united Europe engaged citizens.

And I am sure we are going to keep working on it and make it a reality. This is a really good idea. Plus, we all love holidays. The follow ups have already been set in place, so I am looking forward to it!

As for the event on the whole, I have met so many great people there. You'd think that after 4 months we would know everyone, but.. No. Which great again, cause I could met more awesome people!

Overall the event was really inspiring, it was a wonderful experience, and I am so happy that I was part of it! 

Remember: Think young. Think Europe. We are EU!
With love,

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