DEN: Share Thoughts and Develop

My journey in the Democratic Education Network (DEN) began in February 2022. As the first semester was coming to a close, most extra-curricular activities were winding down for the holiday. However, as I had some time I went to check out how DEN operated, as Farhang allowed me to do so. From the start, I very much enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the discussion focus of the group. I very much enjoyed my time as an observer of sorts in December but for all intents and purposes that is when I joined DEN, attracted by its friendly and active group. After the winter holidays, I continued coming to the sessions on Wednesdays, reading articles from other students, reviewing them and providing feedback; the whole process was quite enjoyable. Soon after I was able to set DEN as an internship for my other module which didn’t change my role that much except by putting a bigger focus on being active, providing feedback on others’ papers and general administrative help. I also participated in the DEN conference by helping the staff during the two days.

But what have I really gained from DEN? What is the main benefit of it? Well you see, the main reason I joined DEN, or why I was looking for something ‘extra’ to my university work, was to find a pillar. As a bit of an introverted individual, I was merely engrossed in my university work, for better or worse, and hadn’t interacted much with my peers. Not living nearby or in University’s accommodation does not help with interaction either, haha. And so I decided around December to find a group to interact with, to discuss things and spend some time – I chose the Democratic Education Network. Additionally, the projects that DEN is associated with such as the conference focused on students’ papers, provide such a great experience to learn from. It allowed me to interact in an official capacity with other university colleagues and talk with individuals specifically coming to attend the conference. DEN has been a great source of interaction and confidence-building.

This is what DEN helps with: it provides a medium for students to share their thoughts with each other and helps them develop. It provides a community-focused for each other’s development. It provided me with a pillar in a time I needed it most.

If anyone else feels like they are missing out on interaction with their peers or want to share their ideas for more personal essays that can be developed into complete works, I wholeheartedly recommend DEN.

Raimund Griskin, BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations  

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