Are They Happy?

Written on:April 8, 2012
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Sofia University. Source:

Sent to us by Violeta Zhelyazkova, student in Sofia University.

Last week I came to Blagoevgrad to visit an old friend, a proud student at the American University in Bulgaria. “There’s gonna be a beauty contest this evening – we’re electing Miss AUBG,” she said. “It’s gonna be a nice show.” I smiled at the suggestion.  I hadn’t expected that a university could organize such a contest where beauty is inversely proportional to intelligence.

However, as both my friend and I shared the same opinion on the subject, we decided we’d have a good laugh and deliberately dressed in our most usual clothes, without any make-up, as we crossed the threshold of club Extreme.

What I saw first reminded me of a scene of “The Vampire Diaries” – my sister is watching the series (and of course is in love with half of the actors), but I don’t like it because everything in it is so unrealistically glamorous. But, there I was, drinking cocktails in the center of a little Hollywood that was strikingly real. Smiles were dazzling, make-up was perfect to the last detail, and the cost of a dress was probably enough to cover my semester fee at Sofia University. Each gesture, each look, each word had just one purpose – to make an impression, not to communicate. Tension could be felt in the air and not only among the contestants; survival is hard here if you’re not popular.

As discos are my favorite place for speculation, I sat down on a nearby chair absorbed in close examination of the people around me.

“Are they happy?” I asked my friend.

“I don’t know,” she answered with a shrug and sipped from her cocktail.

For a moment I wondered how they live in such an everlasting competition, then I realized that in business or politics, two of the main subjects at AUBG, it is important to be on the top, not to have friends. Maybe that’s why my permission granted to an unknown girl to rest on our table caused such a surprise in her. “Really?” she asked, eyes wide open, as I told her it is ok to sit with us, although we did not know each other.

However, if future businessmen and politicians are really so preoccupied with themselves and their clothes, this future doesn’t seem so bright. So I tried to convince myself that it was just a party where one is supposed to show off, not to demonstrate responsibility.

Nevertheless, the number of students present at the Environment week concert next evening was not even enough for a good photo… AUBGers’ priorities lay elsewhere.

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