Alicia Perez Bernardos is a third-year Erasmus student from Spain with plenty of aspirations. She loves hanging out with her friends, exploring new places, and takes an interest in learning new languages. She is trying to improve her English and is currently learning both German and Italian. Bernardos is on the way to completing her second semester at AUBG, studying Journalism and Mass Communication, and wishes she had the option to extend the duration of her exchange program.
Upon leaving Universidad Complutense de Madrid behind, she arrived in Blagoevgrad with no particular expectations. In fact, she was pleasantly surprised by what she referred to as a "modern campus" and dedicated faculty members. "The professors here give you personal attention, and it is great," Bernardos shared. "The fact that they remember your name is amazing."
Hoping to become a sports journalist, the 20-year-old remembers loving the profession ever since she was a young girl. "For us, the team we support is almost like a part of our family. I have a lot of memories of me and my dad singing the chants together," she said. Bonding with her father over football matches is what sparked her love for sports journalism. "When I was little, around seven or eight years old, he used to take me to watch the matches and it was amazing the way so many people were gathered together for one thing: their team," Bernardos said.
The JMC student describes her childhood as ordinary. Being an only child meant she had no one to play with, but that did not bother her as she enjoyed spending time on her own. However, she does remember an incident that left a mark on her. "There was a girl that always disturbed me when I was around five or six years old. Maybe it was out of envy, but she hit me and scratched my face once. I still have that tiny scar on my cheek," she said. Bernardos hit the girl back but soon ended up regretting it. "I did not feel any better after doing that. I realised that getting violent is not something that you necessarily need in order to make the other person feel bad."
Although she suffers from anxiety, that rarely stops her from believing in herself. "What motivates me to keep going is myself. Right now I have a more or less clear picture of what I want to do in the future, so I am just working hard to get it," shared Bernardos. She considers herself to be a positive person and claims that life is too short to worry and stress out about things that are out of people’s reach.
Together with a few other students, she managed to visit three different countries during her first semester at AUBG. Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic all made it on her list, and she shared that Prague was the place that left the biggest impression on her. "It is so different from Madrid. I would want to live there at some point in my life," she said.
What would you say to your 15-year-old self?
I would tell her to be more honest with herself, and not let others tell her what to do. To do whatever she wishes and not give too much thought to things. To be brave. To not be afraid of failure, because it is only over the years that you realise you learn from your mistakes.
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