Trajce Krstev

Interview of the month: Trajce Krstev

Here is what Trajce Krstev has to share about his Erasmus + experience.

Tell us something about yourself: who is Trajche Krstev and what is he doing?

I am a very friendly, loving, open-minded, and a little introverted 19-year-old guy. I am currently in my first year of my bachelor’s degree.  I’m studying Computer Science at the University of Ljubljana, in Slovenia. I love getting to know new people, I am a huge animal lover, and I really enjoy participating in Erasmus+ projects and truly contribute to making a change for the better, in any way possible.

On how many youth projects have you participated so far, and what have you learned from the experience?

I’ve taken part in two Erasmus+ projects so far, one in Kosovo and one in Romania. Both times were an unforgettable experience. One of the projects was focused on people with special needs, specifically children with autism. It showed us how much those people are really neglected and discriminated against, gave us the proper knowledge on the topic to be able to educate others and help them understand that we are all equal. The other project was focused on the lack of opportunities for development for the younger generation living in more rural areas. We saw many different ways of bringing those “big city” opportunities to the smaller areas, starting with the problems in our own hometowns. Overall, they made me realize how much the world really needs change, and how much we, as individuals, can have a big impact even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Explain your Erasmus+ experience in 3 words.

INSPIRATIONAL

EDUCATIONAL

UNFORGETTABLE

What was the most interesting moment you had while on an Erasmus+ project?

One of my favorite moments was the Privilege Walk exercise we did in Kosovo. I found it really interesting to see how different people from different backgrounds are, how much their past can affect their future and how big of a head start some people have in life, compared to others.

What is your favorite traditional food you have tried while participating on a project and where?

This isn’t a crazy dish or anything, but I am a big sweets fan and some of my favorites were these caramel and licorice sweets/candy. I don’t remember their names but I tried them while I was in Kosovo and they were amazing. 

Which part from Erasmus+ inspired you to do what you are doing now?

Each Erasmus+ experience has left me some reason, has inspired me in some way, to finish school, to work hard in life so that one day I can have real opportunity, financial resources and power to make a difference, regardless of what that might be.

How the knowledge/skills/attitudes acquired from participation in youth projects have been beneficial for you?

One of my biggest fears has always been public speaking. Having to present something in front of a big crowd of people. Taking part in these projects really forced me out of my comfort zone, many of the workshops required me to present an idea, share a solution to a problem, with the group. This made me more and more comfortable with speaking publicly and has been very useful in my daily life, especially as a student.

What’s your passion in life?

I am really passionate about helping others, stopping people from being discriminated against for any reason and in any way, providing a safe place for people in need. I believe we should all love each other no matter what. It makes absolutely no difference, when it comes to how we treat each other, if we are black or white, rich or poor, what we believe in, who we love, what we look like etc. People that think otherwise truly disgust me (Maki: ne znam ova dali da go staime). You will never see me look the other way when witnessing such a situation.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Honestly, this might be a bit of a weird answer. I’ve been overweight pretty much my entire life, always feeling insecure about my body. A year ago, I decided it was enough, it was time for a change, and I managed to work hard and reach a number I haven’t seen for many years. It might not be a big deal to most, but it means a lot to me.

How this Covid 19 time has affected your life, and what have you done to grow during this year?

During this pandemic I have had a lot of trouble staying productive, being stuck in my room, especially now that I’m living in Ljubljana, the weather is almost always gloomy and depressing, and that just makes me procrastinate a lot. That is also mainly why I haven’t really done much to grow as a person, other than the fact that I am improving myself daily through school.

What would you say to motivate other young people to take part in youth projects?

The best thing I can say is to not be afraid. I know from personal experience I wasn’t sure if I should sign up, I didn’t know what it would be like, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to participate and help as much as I should, or that I wouldn’t know enough about the topics they covered. But, once you live through that experience, you realize how important these projects are, how important the topics they cover are, and you just want to be a part of what they are working towards.