Meet the GLOW girls: Geri Ivanova

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi


Name: Gergana Ivanova                 

Years: almost 21

Occupation: Student + many more roles

Current Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Hometown: Berkovitsa

GLOW year: 2008                                                    

Tell us about yourself – what are you doing, where are you?

I am a very energetic, always busy, always active young explorer of the world. I am a full-time student at the University of Aberdeen but although this is my main occupation I also talk, write, love, work part-time and volunteer a lot. I am a Volunteers Coordinator at GLOW Association and I am currently coordinating the Mentorship Programme we are running for the first time- so I am very excited about it. I am a Go Abroad Ambassador at my uni, which basically means that I help incoming and outgoing students of the Erasmus and International Exchange Programmes. I am a Convenor of the School of Language and Literature. What is more, I am a nanny -which is a very cute job to do.
Plus I have a few other roles in between as writer at “Za Men”, PR of the Aberdeen Uni Bulgarian Society & AVON sales representative. Phhh! That is it!

What do you love about your job (studies)?

Well, I am never bored, because that is just impossible when doing so diverse type of activities. The first thing I would like to say is that I just love being at uni. I plan to keep studying/ working/ volunteering at mine and any other universities for as long as I can because I just believe the uni environment is full of ideas and inspiration! Then, I love my Linguistics courses, just because they are extremely interesting! I feel challenged with my IR ones, which make them special too.

Walk us through your (work) day.

I don’t have two identical days and this probably is the fun part of my life, but I can still walk you through a normal busy day. I woke up at crazy early hour in the morning (5.30am?!? Yes, I do, that is the only way to fit all I do in 24 hour day) I go to my nanny job, then I go to classes/ library. I may have a shift covering the desk in the Go Abroad Office or another engagement at uni. I answer emails all the time, write essays and plan future events. I spend the evenings with my lovely boyfriend, cuddling 😉

What “rules” do you live by?

Keep in touch with your family all the time!
Do not sleep too much!
Do not waste time, not even a single second!
Do not miss opportunities!
Do not overthink you chore! Never!
Do have an opinion on everything!

What is the greatest thing about education?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela -I can’t say it better (yet)

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

Loads of people! My mum, definitely, because she has always been so much devoted to me. She is super positive person and always makes me keep going. My amazing friends, who I met in GLOW and who became the people I laugh, cry, travel, party, chat and work with.

What are you passionate about?

I am crazy about travelling. I don’t dream of a world cruise though because I need to have somewhere to go back to and I won’t enjoy travelling for, let say, a year. Definitely not! Recently I became very passionate about criticizing which I am not sure whether is a positive change or not. Hahah. I think I am just developing my critical thinking.

Which experiences in life helped you become the person you are?

Absolutely all experiences in my life shaped the individual I am now. I think I was sometimes underestimated because I am coming from a small town which undoubtedly has empowered me a lot!

When things get tough, how do you keep yourself going?

I keep myself busy all the time. When you’re busy, you don’t have time to overthink the tough situations, to feel depressed or self-pity. When things are really tough, I waste time on Facebook looking at old pictures and that helps most of the time.

The things for which we should always find time are…? Why are they important?

I know is sounds cliché but we should always find time for the people we love- time for a quick chat, a phone call, a visit or whatever. Why are they important? Because life is all about sharing.

What kind of books (or which) do you consider must read?

I don’t believe there are MUST read books. I don’t want to underestimate the classics but I don’t think there is a certain kind of books you can’t function effectively without. It is a shame I don’t read a lot because I don’t find time, but I still believe one should read what they enjoy and not what is considered “very good”. My favourite authors are Elif Shafak and Khaled Hosseini.

What has GLOW given you?

GLOW potted in me the “leadership” seed. It broadened my horizons, met me with stunning individuals, and gave me the opportunity to find my hidden talents. The fact I am still GLOWing speaks about itself.

Tell us something interesting that very few people know about you!

I have a very special memory book (I have just started a Second Edition of it) It is a gift from my soulmate Ivi and I stick there tickets, receipts and any pieces of evidence which help me organize my creative Timeline. It looks very pretty and I imagine myself showing it to my grandchildren. I do hope they will be interested. 🙂

What is your advice for the young people?

I am not old and mature enough to afford giving a piece of advice to the young people all together. I can just share that I feel like we are all distancing ourselves from the natural things in life and I am very nostalgic about it. I think we don’t experience enough emotions such as growing a plant, and making bread. We do nothing with our hands. Of course, I can’t impose on someone the idea that she/he should start manufacturing. I just think we miss something of the life if we don’t make DYI/ do some knitting/ anything with hands which does not involve technology. (I do sound like a granny hahaha)

Share with us your favourite most inspirational piece!

The talk is genius but what impressed me and I will remember forever is this bit: “…women like my grandma do in Turkey is to cover mirrors with velvet or to hang them on the walls with their backs facing out. It’s an old Eastern tradition based on the knowledge that it’s not healthy for a human being to spend too much time staring at his own reflection.” Think about it! But don’t overthink it! It is just not healthy 😉

Please share with us your articles, videos, pieces of art – all kind of creative/ academic/  work by you that has been published

Those are very old ones and all of them are in Bulgarian only. However, please, feel free to have a look at them if you want and give me some feedback on them! I will appreciate it 🙂

Here you can find the articles I have done for “Za Men” Youth Magazine.

This essay won first place on the SOLVIT competition “Europe- let’s succeed together”

This one won first place on a competition about Yordan Radichkov who was my townsman.

This is an extract of a long poem, written loooong time ago, when I was romantic 🙂

Being “famous” back home hahaha:

Гергана Иванова: “Не спирайте да учите, защото ученето продължава всеки ден до края на живота” – интервю, БНР

За интеграцията и носталгията- с Гергана – интервю, БНР

Facebook на улицата в Берковица – интервю, БНР