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Teen Spirit: Vladyslava

Teenage years brings changes, challenges and memories. Vladyslava tells us about her teenage years during the war.
BY Liubov Lavreniuk

Photo Credits: Vladyslava

About My Teenage Years

I believe that adolescence is one of the most difficult and interesting periods of our lives. It’s full of bright moments and unforgettable memories. On the other hand, you face many changes and challenges. Furthermore, you start to grow up and build up your personality. By and large, this part of life is beautiful in its way. Unfortunately, our teenage years appeared to be not as bright as they were supposed to be…

Approximately five months ago, my life was like a dream. I led an ordinary lifestyle and typical teenage routine like attending school, preparing for exams, taking extra lessons, and thinking about the future I was about to jump in. In the 10th grade, I realized who I wanted to be, so I decided to move in the direction of the media profile. My dream is to work as a media producer, because I’m sure this profession matches me best. Media production workers are involved in many aspects of producing audio and video content that is used in commercials, movies, online, or in other realms. 

Photo Credits: Vladyslava

Teenage Years and the Unforeseen Future

So, I was preparing to enter the university. Also, I spent my free time with my family and friends. We loved going to new restaurants and cafes. Besides, we arranged fancy-dress parties with party games and decorations. By the way, the key to a joyful party was always a good mood, tasty food, interesting cocktails, loud music, and, of course, funny people around. We even traveled abroad together with my friends and had a lot of fun there. Likewise, our favorite pastime was going to concerts and festivals. Last summer, we visited more than seven concerts and two festivals.

One of the things we liked to do the most was to arrange surprises for each other. My friends and I always came up with creative congratulations in the middle of the night. On the 23 of February, we were arranging a surprise for our head teacher. We bought a big bucket of white tulips, ordered a birthday cake, and prepared a video with a poem I had written. The next day, we had to get to school earlier to say our congratulations. Then we even couldn’t imagine we would be woken up not by an alarm clock but by the explosions at 4:30.

The Journey

Since the 24 of February, a completely different reality has begun. Everyone woke up in a panic, and no one understood what was going on. There was only one thought in my head that I didn’t want to believe: “ The war has started”… We packed our things and went to the village, which is located near Kyiv. Everyone was very scared, and no one knew what to expect. In 8 days, my parents decided to go to Western Ukraine and from there to Italy because the situation in Ukraine was very tense. We were invited to Italy by our friends, who had moved there 3 years earlier. After three weeks in Italy, we realized that we wanted to come back despite the situation in the country. It was very difficult for our family to split up because we used to always stick together.

After returning home, life seemed completely different. Almost every day, we heard sirens. And which was even scarier was the sound of explosions. It was a new reality we had to get accustomed to. Throughout this time, I continued to study for the exams, but online. And now I’ve passed them successfully.

In conclusion, I would like to say that war made our people more responsive, patriotic, and understanding. Only after all these events, I did realize that I want to live my life in our beautiful and powerful Ukraine and try to make it even better. Even after the darkest night comes dawn and after the heaviest rain, the rainbow shows up.

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