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Live consciously and be happy

The time machine was aimed to show if we live passive or we follow our ideas to be happy.

Last year I made kind of an experiment with a friend of mine. In the moment when we should say goodbye and we didn´t know if we will ever see again, we created a “time machine”. We wrote there our current life quotes, things what makes us happy at this time and also plans, wishes and expectations for the next months and for later on. I kept piece of paper with his notes and he kept mine. We promise to Skype exactly next year and see how our plans are going.

The effect is charming, because even if I made some plans and I started follow them, at the end I see how life is unpredictable, because I would never guess that small Island among the Atlantic would have become my second home.

Anyway, I realised I started follow my dreams and do the things I always wanted to, but to arrive to that point I should stop for a while and do self-reflection: who and where are you? Who and where you want to be? What give you happiness? What´s your goals and ambitions? How you can start to follow your aims? When you answer for the last question you realise that actually everything is in your hand and if you will not take responsibility of your life, you will stay in the same place, probably unhappy. And now – you decided finally to move on and challenge yourself to be a happy man and you try to create the action plan.

It´s fine to make long-term plans, but if you will not divide it for shorter time like in one, three or six months, it´s very possible you´ll put all your ideas into the drawer and forget it, or you´ll need much more time to finish undertaken challenges. For example, if you want to lose your weight, it´s much easier to set a goal to lose 2 kg every month, rather than lose 10 kg in 5 months, right? If someone would ask me for advice, how to start a change to be happy, I would quote sentence from classic Polish comedy: “You have to answer for one, but very important question. What do you like doing? And then start doing it. ”

Short bio of the volunteer:

Beata Rymkiewicz, 25 years old, volunteer from Poland. Great fan of electronic music, architecture, flowers, dogs and British humour.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.