Goodbyes are always very emotional. Especially when you leave an organisation full of people you cared about, who occupied an important place in your thoughts, influenced your actions, ups and downs day by day, for a long time.

Goodbyes are very hard. They mean the end of a period in your life, which was full of great challenges, productive work, laughter and sometimes crying, crazy moments, often stress but more often immense joy.

Goodbyes can never be translated into words. How can you explain to all of these amazing people what it means for you not to have those inspiring conversations, power brainstorming sessions, the music Fridays and the ‘how are we going to have a bigger office’ conversations?

OBESSU gives SO much to people. Something different for all of us, for you as a participant at an event, for you as part of the political leadership or for me, who was sitting on the 6th floor of Mundo J in Brussels, as part of the Secretariat.

What did OBESSU give me?

First and foremost the possibility to work on a project with a real impact on people’s life. Seeds for Integration is one of the first projects in Europe empowering young people to work towards the inclusion of displaced youth in host communities. Now reading this sentence, you might not feel how powerful this statement is, but trust me, I oversaw the implementation of 34 national, regional and local initiatives, and all of them started a very important and impactful process.

A massive learning experience on how to design a re-granting scheme, select initiatives, monitor the implementation process, deal with budget, speak in public, work efficiently in a small team. I’ve also learnt the expression: visual identity (thank you Giorgio).

The chance to participate in numerous events representing OBESSU Secretariat, starting with the Amsterdam General Assembly (which was literally on my 3rd working day), the University on Youth and Development in Mollina (those who have ever been there know what kind of life changing experience this space is providing you with), the Council of Members in Dublin (remember the spooky reindeer in the fancy hotel?) or this year’s General Assembly in Berlin (Freddy you are the best!)... not even mentioning all of the other places.

Last but not least, I made great friends. I cannot stop thanking my dear colleagues who made my work at OBESSU unforgettable (in a nice way J).

Maybe goodbyes are just too hard, what about only saying ‘See ya all soon’?

Written by Eszter Somogyi, former OBESSU Programme Coordinator