The AUBG Community Allowed Kiril Gevezov (’24) to Blossom

July 01, 2024 Martin Georgiev
The AUBG Community Allowed Kiril Gevezov (’24) to Blossom

Photo by Martin Milevski for the Class of 2024 Yearbook.

In 2023 I started my series of Exit Interviews – talks with graduating seniors whom I had interviewed as part of their AUBG application process. Through various circumstances, many of them I had ended up working with, partying with, seeing them grow through their time at the university. Why not share that journey with the world.

The only admission interviews I did with what was to become the AUBG Class of 2024 were over one weekend in Sofia, which didn’t allow for seeing much of the diversity the university is known for. Even so, it was still surprising to realize the only people I could talk to again four years later were two boys from Sofia named Kiril. While each had his own unique experience throughout his time here, they both prove true what has long been an unofficial motto for the university – that AUBG is the people. 

Hi, welcome to your exit interview.

Hello, thanks for having me.

We did this four years ago when I didn’t know you. Even though I do now, tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kiril. I just graduated AUBG, miraculously. A few things about myself – I think it was crazy that the major I decided to have before coming here is the major I graduated with. That’s really something unseen and unheard of.

Another thing about myself is that I love sports, I love reading. I don’t know what’s about to happen from this point on, and sports and reading are not helping with that. [laughs]

What was the major you intended to study and how come you stuck with?

It was computer science. I didn’t have any prior experience before coming to university or, like, anything particular pointing me in that direction, but it just generally seemed like the best option. And since I never found anything that would draw my attention much more … except for philosophy, but that’s not a major. Everything else I thought was just, like, slightly off-course. So, I just decided to stick with [computer science] because it’s better for me to get something than nothing. And it gets me a job. So, what more can I ask for? I’m pretty lucky with that, in fact.

You did do a minor in philosophy, however. How did that come about?

I think it was one of the gen-eds, I don’t remember which one. My very first grade was actually a D, which was not a fail only because [the professor] took pity on me. But then something clicked between me and the professor and I kind of really liked it. I thought it was the first class that was actively, genuinely promoting thinking. I guess that just goes with the whole idea of it. And I’m kind of captivated because I’ve always been into logic, rational thought, this whole stuff, but it’s not like I want to go dive deep into mathematics. So, this is kind of the middle ground of enjoying thinking and having fun with it without going down into mathematics. And I just kind of stuck with it from there.

Have you found a way that it connects with your computer science studies in terms of helping you understand things or do things better?

I don’t think it’s necessarily helped me with computer science stuff, but I think it’s helped me with minor daily things throughout my life since I started studying it. Obviously, it has affected a lot how I view everything, and it has given me a broader, broader view of things. Because at least I can study how other people viewed and study the world and that allowed me to snap out of some prejudices I’ve just been raised with and really allowed me to live a better life. And with that in mind, I didn’t study it in order to become happy or reach my own enlightenment or stuff. It generally is just to check out what other people be thinking.

How else would you say you’ve changed over the past four years here?

I’d say socially I’ve changed a lot. I remember my first day on campus. I quite genuinely could not talk to a single person I think my first four days of AUBG, I did not indeed talk to anybody. I was in my room. I just had a lot of struggle with that. I guess a lot of people would refer to it as social anxiety. You know, we’re constantly joking about the AUBG community but at the end of the day, the AUBG community is what allowed me to blossom a little bit out of this shell. Here I kind of managed to break out of it and finally feel comfortable outside as well.

What was that social life like outside of the classroom?

Most of it really did boil down to sitting at the “kafentse” with your friends or sitting at the red couches. But a lot of it was also club events. I think that’s a pushing force because that’s where you see the most people, be it even just a recruitment party, it allows you to meet people and get used to the fact that we’re all absolutely normal. Nobody is actually staring at you. Nobody’s actually thinking about every movement you’re doing and you can behave however you want. It was about meeting more people that I think inadvertently helped me get comfortable around them. Because, you know, the more I meet, the more I end up in those situations, the more I get used to those situations. For the most part, it’s probably the clubs that I’m the most thankful.

What was being in More Honors like?

At first, on my attempt at getting in the club, it was a bit scary because these twenty people are looking at you quite weird at the interview and they’re making you do things you’re not very comfortable doing. But the only friends I really had were part of the club and I really, really wanted to be a part of a club. It just was the obvious option that I had to join it.

I got rejected in my second year, which was expected, and then I tried out again in my third year where I managed to get in. And from there on, as cliche as it might sound, More Honors was a family. Also a club. In More Honors we really did all help out each other and some of the things people have done to me throughout the past two years I was a part of that were amazing. People I had not even spoken to before, simply because I joined the club, everybody was just welcoming me with open arms and was there for me. Even if, you know, through my lens, I hadn’t necessarily done anything to deserve it and that sort of warmth helped a lot.

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What’s next?

Next is simple and difficult. The simple part is that I’m trying to get a job which I’ll be starting in the beginning of June. And I’m going to Sofia, that’s where the job is going to be. Currently, I will still live with my parents for some amount of time. Obviously, I’m trying to move out as quick as possible, but in order to do that, I also need to have a paycheck. So that’s what’s happening next. In fact, I’m waiting for a response from this one place. Hopefully they say, yeah, that’ll be amazing. And I kind of start out a career. I haven’t thought about a master’s but it’s not 100% outside of my future. So yeah, next is job and work but in the broader scope of things, I don’t know what’s next. Because if you just think about those two things, that does sound like a pretty monotone life. And I’ll see how I’ll deal with that.

Well, it’s those two that lead to everything else.

Yeah, I hope they do.

Four years ago, you told me that the biggest challenge you expected to face here was adapting to the new way of studying. Was that actually it?

I was probably just saying stuff for you. I’m gonna be real. When I was coming to AUBG, I probably wasn’t worried about anything except my social life. I’ve just always been scared of people. And coming to a kind of big university, my high school was very, very small, was scary. I just didn’t know anybody here, except Aleks [Iliev ‘(23)]. And he really is the one who kickstarted my social life here. Without him, I don’t know what I would have done. And that felt a bit worrying. Because I was happy about the part where I’m not living with my parents, for sure. Finally getting out of there and moving on. But then I come here and I’m like, “OK, now I’ve moved out. What do I do?” And I was in that hole for five days before my bigger brother came and picked me up by the hand and introduced me to his friend group. And that’s where it all started. But yeah, what was the biggest challenge? It was just that. Adapting to studying was pretty straightforward.

What do you think will be your biggest challenge now?

I genuinely have no idea how the professional world works. I don’t mind being egoistic and competitive. It’s just sometimes these people already seem too much for me. Not because I don’t think I can be better than them. I think a lot of the people I’ve already met with 14 years of experience seem pretty stupid. But my worry is that there is a bit of a throwaway culture in the professional world and I already don’t like it. Obviously, once again I’ll adapt, I’ll get used to it, I’ll be totally fine and I’ll find great people at whatever workplace I end up working at.

But the challenge is probably starting to think about what life from here on out is supposed to be. Because there’s stuff I still gotta achieve, graduating university doesn’t mean much, frankly.

I was never the type of person to think about the future a lot. I was always day-to-day and I loved it. But one day, let’s say I potentially want to have a family, which I do not at all want right now, but if that were to happen, I want to make sure that if I were to have children, they would have the allowance to go to any university they want. If I want to do that, I got to earn a proper amount of money. And this is some really ahead thinking, considering I’m 20 years old and do not want a family at all, but I just want to make sure I got these things covered for maybe one day. Or at least that’ll give me something to do while I’m searching for something else.

What would you say was the biggest thing that you got out of your time here?

Confidence. Self-confidence. Again, related to the social thing. I don’t know if I can even put into words how much that changed me. I mean, in the beginning, I remember wherever I was, I was so curled up, not talking to anybody. Now, I finally just feel like a person and that’s great. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t depressed. Nobody was bullying me or anything along those lines. It was just all in my head. But this self-confidence, it’s not only about finding friends and feeling good outside. It really has a lot to do with almost every part of my life. Because me being confident allows me to live a lot more stress-free, or go to an interview without pissing my pants, or just being fine with whatever I pick without doubting myself as much and just that is monumental, honestly. I think that’s the biggest take away. Also, probably a degree. A $50,000 degree is kind of important, too. [laughs]

In 2020, you described AUBG in one word as “extraordinary.” What would you say now?

In one word?


I would say blossoming. That might obviously not account for everybody, but I have met a lot of people apart from myself, for whom I think this really was the environment to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and genuinely work and build on them. The transformations, if we can call them that, I’ve seen with some people around me really were amazing. I don’t know if they could have achieved that in other environments, but AUBG really did make that possible for them, and that’s amazing.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.