An Ocean of Opportunities at AUA3 min read
Contributed by Lusine Zoryan (BAEC ‘21)
Imagine you are on a ship, and that ship is traveling an ocean of different islands, icebergs, and crossing other sailing ships along your way. This is how I see my four-year-long voyage at AUA. Let me take you with me to the final segment of my voyage called “Memory Lane,” and we’ll reach the final destination together.
My ship has seen many waves and storms and calm seas, as every student goes through in their student life. Some ships decide to keep on sailing straight to their final destination; some choose to anchor in some locations, take their time, and test the waters. And that is the best advice a sailor can give. Imagine how many different lands you can discover and how more enriching your journey can be. AUA, being an ocean of learning, has provided me with numerous opportunities and experiences in extracurricular activities.
Our University has many student clubs for every interest and every hobby. Take your time and energy to become a part of the clubs you’re passionate about; it might create opportunities you can’t even imagine. Or create your own student club! I was a part of the Megapixel photography club, which allowed me to volunteer for different events and introduced me to a community of young photographers interested in following their passion. Another favorite club of mine is the Mihr AUA Armenian folk dance and music club, where we gathered to learn Armenian folk dances and just have fun after classes.
As a student, I have been a peer mentor to a wonderful group of EC freshmen students, which was an unforgettable experience for me and my mentees; the program is an excellent way for new students to become a part of the AUA family very quickly and get familiar with the student life of our University. It is also a great tradition for students to pass on the knowledge they have acquired during the years at AUA to newcomer students and become friends and mentors.
A different island that I landed on was the experience of being a work-study student at the AUA Open Education. I started my work-study experience at the beginning of my junior year. It is an incredible opportunity for every student to combine their studies and work; to gain skills and practical experience. Plus, you start developing your personal financial management skills, as you get a stipend and can pay your own tuition fees!
I have also been a student ambassador at the Admissions Office since my freshman year. We organized many open houses for new applicants, had wonderful volunteering experiences, gained leadership and communication skills, and met many new friends. And not to mention enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the vibrant community of the University!
My most prominent experience at AUA is being a co-organizer of TEDxAUA events. Starting from my freshman year, I have volunteered for the TEDxAUA events, which are fully student-organized. Year by year, I grew so much professionally and personally, that I became a member of the TEDxAUA Organizing Team! Now I can’t imagine my life without TEDxAUA. We managed to make it an AUA tradition, gathering together students, faculty, and people from AUA and beyond. It is a platform for everyone, including AUA students, to share their ideas and make their voices heard. Despite online education difficulties, we continued to organize TEDxAUA events and gather our AUA family together. As I mentioned, it is a student-organized event, and I’m more than happy that AUA supports and creates opportunities for its students to bring to life their dreams and aspirations.
I have always believed that success and experience won’t come knocking on your door. You have to use your magic power and create it yourself. But it’s easier to move forward when you are surrounded by numerous opportunities and people who believe in you and support you. As a senior student at AUA, I have knocked and opened many doors of opportunities on my path to make my academic journey interesting, fun, and valuable.
Soon, my ship will reach its final destination. It has been through a lot and, as you saw, has traveled in far lands. Those travels have made me stronger and more resilient, more daring, and self-confident. For every student reading this, don’t be afraid to take the chances in front of you. Create, and never forget to aspire, inspire, and achieve!
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