AUBG Alumni Go Down Memory Lane

October 17, 2022 Darya Dolgopolova
AUBG Alumni Go Down Memory Lane

This article was originally published by the independent student media on Photo credit: Darya Dolgopolova.

On September 17 the AUBG alumni gathered for a day of events at ABF. However, enjoying Skapto Burgers, cocktails and festivities was not the main reason why the alumni came to the Mega Reunion.  

“This is why we are here — sentimental reasons,” said Petar Svarc, class of 2002. “Nobody is coming here because they’re expecting to land a business deal or find a new career. We come here just to see each other and have fun, and see what’s going on because we don’t really know. And this is something we didn’t have in our time. We didn’t have such a big alumni community in place.” 

Clubs, sports, music, studying — there’s so much to do at AUBG, and not so much time to manage everything. “It’s a very condensed environment both in terms of space and time,” said Petar. “So many people in a very small area doing many different things and just keeps you busy, keeps you active, keeps you engaged.” In this environment, he said, you learn to not underestimate anyone. “Very quickly you’ll learn that oftentimes you’re wrong. And you really learn to value people for what they are and this, I think, is quite unique for AUBG.” 

Petar said, There’s one thing that I regularly hear which is, ‘After this generation graduates, it’s going to be a completely different university, all the cool people are graduating.’ However, this is not the case. Petar said that he sees other cool, smart and active students joining the university every year. 

“Time, I think, it acts like a filter, like water going through the sand. You filter out the people that are most important to you. Sometimes, you surprise yourself and they surprise you. As time passes by, you understand better what’s important and what’s not. It is definitely something that becomes very vivid as time passes by.” 

Vladimir Borachev, class of 1995, said he misses the atmosphere of AUBG where you could network with students and professors, and engage in activities. He used to be the captain of the baseball team back in his day. The facilities of the university are very different from when Vladimir studied here. There were no Skaptopara dormitories, Panitza library, or sports hall. The students used to live in Hilltop and Bistritsa residence halls and the Volga hotel which were located in different parts of Blagoevgrad. 

Another thing that changed over the years, Vladimir said, is the people. “So in a way people are different, but at the same time, they are the same. I see a lot of positive faces, people are happy to be here — smiling, communicating, and talking. And I think this is one of the best things AUBG can do — to support people to become better in terms of understanding other people, other cultures, other religions and to communicate better with other people.”

Bozhana Marinova reminisced about being a counselor at the AUBG Summer Camp. She said it was one of her best memories during her studies. Bozhana graduated in 2021 and is now working; she misses meeting new people, talking, and hanging out with them. 

“Also I miss the classes because we did very practical stuff. We were interviewing people, doing marketing projects — everything! I was playing the harp, and I was involved in clubs, so it was really dynamic. I miss the people and the dynamics.” 

While in university, students feel enormous pressure from everything they need to do. Vessela Ivanova, class of 2013, felt the same during her time AUBG. She said, in retrospect, that the university times were the most relaxed — that being together with your peers is what creates memories that will stay for years to come. “Meeting life-long friends that you can come to alumni events each year with. Or, in our case, actually marry them.” Said Vessela. She and her husband, Panayot Ivanov, met at Radio AURA parties back in 2010, and are now married. 

Ivan Bardarov, Vessela and Panayot’s classmate and best man at their wedding, said he misses the community. “When you are in here you’re a part of a big community, and you always have friends and it’s easy to do things whatever your interests are, which is much harder when you’re outside of the university and you have a job. The more you do, the better your overall experience with the university.” 

Anastas Pushkarov, class of 2015, also says that the AUBG community and extra activities were the best parts of AUBG. “It gave us the spark to try out some hobbies that turned into something we started to do professionally.” Anastas encourages students to have a go at as many things as possible to see what suits them best. 

It’s wonderful to be back among family, where we also created [our own] family with our product of AUBG love. It’s cool to see so many kids being born out of connections through this university and to of course see old friends. It’s really good to be back. It’s great to see how the campus is evolving, how everyone is participating even more in these events, and basically how AUBG is evolving as a whole. It’s good to be back,” said Metodi Amov, class of 2010, and Tedy Amova, class of 2011, the founding members of the Broadway Performance Club. 

Current AUBG seniors Kameliya Nikolova, Ana Valeva and Daniela Konova, who attended the Mega Reunion, said, All the great generations of AUBG are coming together for a splendid rainy day, sharing their good memories about university life. Very energetic. It was so good that the rain didn’t even ruin it that much.”