Quick Talks #1: Interview with Lilit Beglaryan
The Math and Writing Center has initiated a series of interviews with students who are or used to be regular visitors to our Center. Our first interviewee in this series is Lilit Beglaryan, an enthusiastic and goal-oriented young lady who is majoring in Computer Science at AUA. She is from Artsakh, the village of Ivanyan which is located near Stepanakert. Lilit left Artsakh when the war broke out, but by the end of 2020 she returned to be with her family and continue her studies online.
– Lilit, let’s start from the very beginning. How did you decide to apply to AUA? What motivated you to choose our University?
– During the last year of my studies in a local public school, I started thinking about getting a higher education. As I was going through the list of all universities in Yerevan, I learned about the American University of Armenia. Everyone talked about AUA with satisfaction. I found a remote relative who studied Business at AUA; he definitely recommended applying and pitched for the CS program specifically. That’s when I decided to take Math and English classes and soon was able to pass my exams successfully.
-Why did you choose the Computer Science program in particular?
-First, because I am good at Math. What’s more, I am a responsible person, and my relative was sure that I would be able to handle the heavy schedule effectively.
-Could you please share one thing you love about AUA and one thing you would change about AUA?
-There are lots of things that I love about AUA. First of all, I love the environment at AUA. Everyone is friendly and helpful. People come to talk to you. If you come across problems, you can turn to people for help.
If I had the chance to change something at AUA I would organize more mandatory events for every student to attend so that students could meet one another and socialize.
-During this evolving COVID-19 period, what do you miss most of all about AUA?
-I miss everything — the building, the warm walls, the professors, the students, the Student Union where we used to get together with friends and talk about life and our lessons, the cafeteria and the tasty snacks, the heavy schedules, even waking up in the morning and using the transport… I miss everything… Being far away from AUA makes me depressed…
-Do you remember your first time visiting the Math and Writing Center?
-When I first entered AUA, we had a course called Freshman Seminar. I felt like I lacked speaking and writing skills. It was a new environment for me. The first assignment was to write a reflection paper. I wrote it, but I still felt unsure about my sentences, grammar, and word choice.
During my peer mentoring session, I learned about the Math and Writing Center. They told me that there was this kind of Center I could attend and get help with math and writing-related assignments. I booked a session with one of the writing consultants (I remember Inga Ashigova was my consultant).
First, we divided my assignment into smaller parts and analysed the structure, then we worked on wording, grammar, and vocabulary. I earned a high grade on that assignment. Having these good impressions from my first visit, I continued using the service. I went to the Center again and again, met a lot of consultants who worked there, and recommended my friends to use the service, too.
-What made you come back?
-Right from the first session, I felt like being at home. As I continued having more assignments throughout the semester, I booked appointments to check if there were mistakes or not. Attending writing sessions became a habit for me.
-Do you think you relied on the Center heavily and became somewhat dependent on the consultants?
-No. I think it was a positive experience. Eventually, I gained a lot of knowledge about writing and also I earned high grades. So, I didn’t experience anything negative.
-Do you feel you write better now?
-I’m doing better now. I feel the benefits of it in my everyday life. I had a couple of chances to complete application forms for internships and I felt quite confident in my writing. Also, I have noticed that good writing skills help me to do well in my courses.
-Would you mention one thing you value most about the service the Math and Writing Center offers?
-Professionalism. The consultants who are knowledgeable and professional.
–What’s your secret to success?
-My motto of success is “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet,” which is a famous quote from Aristotle.
I wish all AUA students, and every Armenian in general, are ready to make commitments today in their career and education to gain the results later. No one will get happier just sitting around and hoping for the best. Only by taking risks and going out of one’s comfort zone will make us and our country better.
-2020 was a challenging year. We thought COVID was a challenge, but then the war broke out, and we were forced to go through pain, loss, and grief… What did 2020 teach you? Were there any lessons for you?
-We don’t appreciate what we have today. We had peace, we had our friends with us, we had health. We didn’t understand the value of them… There are a lot of lessons for me. First, only education, only hard work, and spending time on effective things will allow us to contribute to the wellbeing of our families and our nation. Only this kind of behaviour will lead to positive results. Second, the war taught me that there is no point in being arrogant. We need to be humble. We need to understand what we want and what we can do for our country and for our homeland.
-If you had a chance to write a letter to yourself in 2030, what would you ask or advise yourself?
-I’m a kind of person who always tries to be objective about herself and acknowledge her own advantages and disadvantages. For example, I know that I am an introvert. I am a shy person. I would encourage myself to be brave, not to fear failures, chase my dreams, socialize, and build networks.
–Today is the 7th of April — when we celebrate the Motherhood and Beauty Day in Armenia. Is there anything special you would like to tell our mothers and sisters?
-I wish them to always be respected and loved as they truly deserve it. They were and are the guarantors of the continuity of the Armenian nation, they gave birth to our brave soldiers who protect our peace and lands at the cost of their lives. I hope all of them will find peace and harmony in their lives, stability and strength to continue living after the losses of their beloved men and sons. I wish them to shine with their beauty and fill our country with love and hope!
April 7, 2021
Interview conducted by Anna Aghlamazyan, the Math and Writing Center Coordinator.