It is a warm Saturday afternoon. Viktoria Ikonomova is showing me the pictures she took today. She just came back from the Anatema top near her home town, Asenovgrad. She says nature inspires her, not only to find new and creative ways to capture the beauty of Bulgaria but to write poetry as well. She has found her way to combine her passions and hobbies, and uses the sunny days to relax and do the things she likes most.
She is an active 19-year-old girl who has chosen AUBG to be the place for her bachelor’s degree. Even though she is only a freshman, she has already chosen her majors- Business Administration and Psychology. Responsible and well-organized, Viktoria, or Viki as her friends call her, is a person who manages to find time for books and TV series without letting her education suffer.
Before applying for AUBG, Viktoria was thinking of studying abroad. However, she decided that it was not the right time for such a change: “…I don’t feel ready for this kind of step — living on my own and going all by myself in another country.” She did thorough research and found the best solution for her, getting a high-quality education while staying close to her family and friends.
Viki remembers with sadness the last months of high-school: “I felt that these precious moments, that every 12th-grader has, were taken away from me,” she says. COVID-19 made her graduation a lot more different than what she expected it to be. It was not clear if and when she would have a prom, and she had to adapt to the rapidly changing situation.
What is more, Viki had to give up most of her plans as nothing was sure, and she was forced to cancel all her trips abroad. The quarantine changed the spring and the summer in a way no one has even thought of. However, it did not stop there and affected her fist year at AUBG, as well.
Viki doesn’t think the shift to online education in 2020 was so challenging, but she found that her social life is what suffers most during the pandemic. With the regulations on gatherings, she finds it very hard to interact with her classmates and meet new people. Her first semester is far from normal, but Viki does not let the situation take control over her, and she looks at the future with the hope that as a sophomore she will get the full experience of university life.
Despite the extraordinary obstacles Viki has to face as a freshman, she does not regret even a single decision she has taken. She sees life as a series of ups and downs, and she knows that consequences follow every decision. She sees those repercussions as lessons, and she tries to learn from her mistakes. She finishes with a favorite quote of hers by Mark Twain: “Never regret anything that once made you smile,” a sentence she adopted as her life motto.
Ivan Karadzhov is a sophomore at AUBG. He is a creative and easygoing person from Bulgaria. He thinks of majoring in Business Administration and hopes to have a business of his own someday.