Nonfiction

Dance Is a Puzzle

Petra Varga


I think there’s no people on earth like Hungarians, who know exactly what their predecessors danced. In the early twentieth century, ethnographers started to discover the dance and traditions  of Hungarian villages and regions with the lead of Martin György and Pesovár Ernő. Thanks to these archive films that we have preserved, we are able to learn every move and gesture of Bözsi néni from the 1930s.

First, you try to learn the foot moves one by one. Every village has their own dance, maybe it only differs in a few details, but there’s always a special editing of the moves, dance morals… etc. After you learn the foot moves, you have to examine the play of the upper body. In some villages the people gave more of a role to their upper body than their feet. When the moves are ready, you have to master their morals.  I think that this is the hardest phase of learning a dance, because you can identify with their morals or not. Somewhere the dance of the women is more dominant; it’s like a show. You can play with your hands, use asymmetric moves, whatever you want. And somewhere you have to strictly adapt to the men and stand straight without any playfulness all the time.  Last but not least, you have to shape all the previously learned steps to yourself.

Dance is a puzzle. You can put pieces together, but it will only show an image if it fits. Fits to you.

Puzzle Without Rulebook or Guide

Lídia Szabó


In our world one of the greatest puzzles and mysteries will always be ourselves, human beings.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always enjoyed observing people and their behaviors (and I’m certain I’m not the only one, obviously). Imagining how they would think in different situations or how I would act if I were in their position. Just for starters, humans are so complex and there are so many different sides to observe when we get to know someone. Which emotions are dominant when they talk in different situations, what kind of opinions they have in certain matters, if they can express their thoughts very intensively and profoundly or are better at showcasing their judgment and viewpoint through action. I also enjoy surrounding myself with people who are very different from me but who have an attribute or a thought that has made me want to learn from them. Usually people think that certain happenings determine and guide our lives and get us to places where we have to be. But in my opinion, that could never happen without other people being involved, and if the action stood by itself, without other people getting involved in your life, it wouldn’t make much of a change. Every single person entering our lives is there to teach us something, whether it’s about the world, human behavior, or even ourselves.

It gives us joy (at least to most people) to be around others, and just one smile from another could make us thrive with happiness as well. We love to listen and talk to each other, learn about each other’s behavior, get to know what we love and what we dislike and why.

I think human beings are one of the most complex puzzles in the world, because they don’t have an ultimate solution and they’re always changing. There is no guideline or rule book for a human brain, heart and soul. And that is why I find it one of the most exciting and entertaining puzzles of all time.

The Pointlessness of Puzzles

Gergely Sülye


I don’t like solving puzzles. They aren’t really a game as much as just an assignment that has been thought up, already solved by its inventor and only serving as a test for others. Because eventually anybody can solve it, but those who have already done so can feel a sense of superiority, albeit one that doesn’t last long because the solution will either be revealed or others will solve it by themselves in just a matter of time. And is reaching the truth even worth it? A puzzle can reveal a picture or a hidden meaning, which most of the time isn’t anything serious, just a plaything. One real application of puzzle-solving is perhaps uncovering the secret clues left behind by a particularly playful criminal, which doesn’t happen frequently but of which there are examples. Or deciphering messages sent by an enemy in times of war. In any case, despite the relative frequency of these cases, they don’t happen often. Outside of the cases where the solution serves an actual and important purpose, I think solving puzzles is not rewarding enough to be worthwhile.

Almost Completed

Eszter Klára Szabó


When I think of a perfect puzzle, our class comes into my mind immediately. Every member is a single piece that, when coming together, can complete a beautiful picture. In ninth grade we didn’t know what the picture would look like yet. We’re all different colors and shapes; some of us may have thought that we would never fit together. But eventually, as time flew by, we all found our pairs.

Or did we? These things can be pretty tricky if you ponder them long enough. Sometimes you think you have found your people – your matching pieces if you will – but then you get into an argument or just simply lose interest in each other. When these things happen, do not panic! It all happened for a reason. In time everyone will need to find their own group, the one that fits both their color palette and their figure. Some pieces are closer to each other, others are further apart, but they are all equally important in order to see the breathtaking end results.

I believe that during our three years together we have our story, our own puzzle almost completed. It may have some minor changes in the future that we can not see yet, but I am not worried about it. I am certain that in the very end it will look even better than it does at the moment.

Your Imaginary Puzzle of Life

Eszter Aletta Hevesi


Finding logic in everything that happens in your life is a very complicated thing to do. At each moment you have plenty of pieces to put in your giant puzzle, but there are special pieces that do not have places just yet. But will they ever have a place? Will it be one giant puzzle that represents your whole sequence of life?

If you think about it, you are basically always in the moment, and there are two cases when you are at your final moment. Either you realise that that is it for you and you die with that type of consciousness, or you don’t even recognize the second of your passing because it happened so quickly. Will you have time to finish your imaginary puzzle of life? Will you carefully choose a designated place for each piece of the puzzle?

Will your lifelong series of butterfly effects have a grand final outcome? Yes, they will. Your passing. At that place, time and state of mind that you will be in. Will you have time to figure out why everything happened? Probably not. You don’t need to. You don’t need to know about your purpose because you are not here for only one purpose. You have dozens of purposes in life, and they cannot be put in one overall puzzle.

I think everybody is a series of finished puzzles. Some people have only one finished puzzle, but others may have hundreds of thousands. It depends on you. Let life guide you to new pieces of puzzles in your life. Leave a beautiful series of puzzles behind you at the end of it all.

All You Need

Zsófia Szabina Gávris


I firmly believe that every person has been told the sentence “All you need is…” in their lives at least once. The missing essential can be money, love, a partner, a job, a car and infinitely many other factors. But what exactly is that we need?

Let me bring situations of human life parallelly with a puzzle. During the different phases of a person’s life the missing piece of the puzzle changes. At a young age humans are not conscious about their actions, preferences and needs. The objects children identify as their needs are usually toys, food and other materialistic values. However, at an older age people tend to stand for intellectual values and needs.

In my opinion, the great change starts at around age twenty. By that age most people discover the importance of the effort put into themselves. After people realize they only have themselves throughout their whole life, and start to prioritise and invest in themselves, a lot of things change.

The way I see it, in order to improve and grow, we have to find the missing piece which is nothing else but ourselves. Being on good terms with ourselves can lead to success and further development as well. Finding ourselves can mean several different things. It can mean the acceptance of our features, abilities, talents, in one word: who we are. Moreover, finding ourselves can mean changes our hobbies, everyday life, circumstances and career path too. Also, finding ourselves consists of returning to our past-self after a harsh period of our life. Of course it can have many-many other perspectives, differing from person to person and story to story.

In conclusion, sometimes the missing piece of the puzzle we are/have been looking for is right there, in front of our eyes. It is myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves … just in a phase that it has not grown into yet.

Reading

Emese Kassai


Why reading? When I hear someone talking about books, they usually discuss required readings and how boring or senseless these stories are. Even though sometimes I totally agree with them, I think reading is an awesome thing that you can do in your freetime. In this essay I want to write about what I find fantastic in this activity, hoping that I can encourage some of you to start a book and fall in love with reading (and if you don’t, that’s okay too).

Reading to me is like a lover who always comes back, quietly, so I don’t even notice. Sometimes when I read a book, I can’t put it down, and even if I do, I feel like somehow I’m still in the story. Sometimes I can’t even look at the letters. I have had both horrible and wonderful reading experiences, but with every book I have read, I have somehow become more than I was before. I even got to the point where I want to create my own story, but that’s another matter.

If someone asked me about my favorite book, I probably couldn’t answer, because when I read something that really touches me, it’s like a part of my soul stays with the book. Even though some of them claim a bigger part of my soul than others.

One of these books is The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. This book has everything in it. Family, friendship, loss, grief and love. Salvador, the protagonist and also the narrator, is a young high schooler. He tells the readers his story with a little bit of sarcasm and humour, but (and this is my favorite thing in the book) he is totally honest. It’s not a fantasy or a romance, neither a thriller nor a crime story. It’s just about feelings, and that’s the power in it. At least for me.

One of my favorite things in reading is that I feel like I’m in another world, which is so much more than this one. When I’m reading, I feel that I am so much more than in reality. I feel like I am that girl who I can only dream to become, I feel like I’m the protagonist. When I read, I feel like I’m at home. The other thing I find good in this activity is that when people see that I am reading, some of them will probably think that I am an intelligent and clever being. I have already screwed them, and we haven’t even talked.

And why would I recommend reading to you? Because it’s fun! When you choose a book, it doesn’t have to be a classic, it doesn’t have to be fantasy or romance. Reading is about you, and it’s about getting to know yourself, travelling to new places, new worlds or even old ones. It makes you more than you were before.

Walking

Zalán Galics


I chose walking as a topic because I really like it. I think this is my favourite activity.

I also chose walking because I couldn’t think of anything else. I think walking is an important practice.

I go for a walk almost every day if i can. I usually listen to music while I’m walking, which makes it even better. I started walking because I had too many things on my mind at the same time and I was just home all day, so I needed some way to unplug. I haven’t been walking regularly for a long time, but so far I really like it.

I like to go for a walk because I can switch off while doing it. When I’m sad, nervous, or just not feeling well, I can go for a walk and clear my mind. Sometimes I get so into it that I can walk for hours. I also love it because I can be out in nature and breathe some fresh air.

There were famous people who liked to walk: for example, Nietzsche.He was a famous philosopher, and he said: “Sit as little as possible; do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement.” When he was writing The Wanderer and His Shadow, he walked for up to eight hours a day, all alone. Every now and then he would stop to scribble notes in small notebooks. Almost the entire book was thought out and composed during his walks.*

Walking is different things to different people. To Nietzsche, walking was more than relaxation; it was where he worked best.

I recommend it to everyone because I think it’s very relaxing and can fix your mood. Walking is also good for your health, because at least you’re moving a bit. So if you’re not in a good mood or you just want to get some exercise, then I definitely recommend it because it’s a really good activity.

*Source: Farnam Street, “A Philosophy of Walking,” https://fs.blog/a-philosophy-of-walking/ (summary of A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros [Verso Books, 2015]).

Behind Blue Eyes

Lilla Kassai


The first impression you make on your new classmates can determine your place in the school hierarchy for the whole time you spend there. You might get to hang out with the popular kids and know a lot of your fellow (popular) students and be best friends with everybody. You go shopping and partying together, and you even hang out with the (popular) seniors in a big group of (popular) friends. As for me, the first impression didn’t work well.

It might be because I am not afraid to voice my opinion, which is often in the unpopular category. An argument that goes against the mainstream, presented a bit aggressively, can determine your fate in school. Now you look like you hate everyone. Congratulations, here’s your place at the bottom of the school hierarchy.

But am I really an aggressive student? Am I really threatening the other students that I’ll roundhouse-kick their heads off? I am not, and I have never wanted to do that or done that. One of the basic teachings of martial arts is not to act violent unless it’s necessary. I, as a karate-student for fifteen years, follow this principle. I don’t use this hobby of mine to show off and bully, but for my own self-development, fulfillment and endurance.

One of the other bases of karate and every martial art style is respect. However, the that respect is earned and not automatically given, which I also agree with. Still, when having to listen to others, I always remain silent to give them respect, which they many times refuse to do when I’m the one talking. I believe in general respect: if you are being respectful and honest with me and take me seriously when needed, I’ll give it back to you, and vice-versa.

I try to stick to my principle of “silent greatness.” I do what I have to, I fight for achieving goals in terms of having good grades, being helpful, doing everything with the best attitude and maximum effort without bothering others, even if sometimes I fail in that. However, if I didn’t make mistakes or ask questions, I wouldn’t be able to bring out the best in me.

“In a warrior’s code there’s no surrender” (Survival – Burning Heart). This is the mindset I want to follow, whenever I face a challenge. I would rather be called an overachiever or a nerd and take pride in that, than be seen as someone who doesn’t do anything for his/her goals, and then blame others for not being successful. No matter how long it takes to succeed, I will never give anything or anyone up. I will persevere: as a karate-student who wants to become a master one day, as a girl who loves to draw who wants to become an architect, but most importantly as a good person, who can always walk with her head held high, smiling to the world and living the fullest life possible. For that, I am willing to try, fail, and retry. I want to become successful, learn new things, such as languages (I already speak three languages besides Hungarian: I am advanced in German and English, and at the beginner level in French), other martial arts, and playing instruments.

Another thing about me is that I don’t want to be put in a box and be “that given type” of girl in the university, and I dislike the whole concept of putting people in boxes while having a complex personality. I am the type of person who can easily have small conversations with athletes, the band kids and the members of the book club as well, because there is hardly anything that I am not interested in.

I hope this essay has offered a perfect depiction of my personality and qualifications that will give my application a higher chance of being accepted.

Yes or No?

Lili Forgács


Saying yes to everything was part of my personality. I could not refuse anybody: I was in every ridiculous game that my best friend thought up, I took part in every competition and extracurricular activity that my teachers asked me to attend, I sent my solved homework to every classmate who wrote me a message requesting it. It did not feel right to reject them. I felt like I was obliged to meet their expectations, regardless of whether I did it with my whole heart or not.

Around sixth grade, I was really overwhelmed due to my “habit.” My parents saw that it would not end well, so they sat down and talked with me. I was asked to reconsider all offers before I automatically accepted them. I did as I was told—what a surprise—but I think I misunderstood the whole thing, and I threw the baby out with the bathwater. I started to say no, and it became my new routine.

I stopped attending the drama club, I stopped participating in poetry recital competitions, I did not accept the leading role in my class. At first, it worked well: I had less work and, of course, less stress. However, as time passed I got used to refusing everything without real consideration.

The turning point arrived when I started secondary school. I met new people, new individuals who were so inspiring and different from those I had met before. They took part in everything that I rejected without any second thoughts, and I felt myself being lame. In such wise, I started to activate myself, but learned from my previous mistake: I reconsider every opportunity twice at least, and accept them only if I truly want to.

This is how I became the one I am now. I do not fear to say no any more, but I am not isolated from anything. I have been on both extremely radical sides, but neither of them was good. I needed some time to be mature enough to find the golden middle road, but I am so glad to accomplish it and stop being a robot that can only say yes or no. My personality formation is still in progress, but in my opinion the first few steps have already been taken successfully.

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