This very special AEGEEan has been inside our family for a few years now, but it is in 2020 when he has had to face a huge challenge: the cancellation of Summer Universities. Ever since that moment, this SUCT member has stayed positive and launched several ideas to still provide content during summer and make this hard time a little bit better. The Member of the Month of April 2020 is Wouter Boerjan!
Congratulations on being awarded the Member of the Month! We are all eager to hear your AEGEE story.
My AEGEE story started almost 4 years ago. When a friend of mine came back from a SU and was so enthusiastic that she made me join during one of the free dinner activities. I for sure couldn’t resist free food, so I joined, not knowing back then what an adventure it would take me on. But i must say, I don’t have any regrets. It has been a big part of my life from the very first moment I joined and am sure it will still stay that way for a while.
What has been the highlight of your time in AEGEE?
There are roughly two very different highlights, the first one being contributing to AEGEE-Eindhoven. By getting to know all those amazing local people, but also organising and coordinating so many events to get the local even further. Doing 2 different board terms I got to work with 2 amazing teams, who will also remain friends for a long time. Everyone gave me so much in these times, so hopefully I also gave back a lot to them.
The second highlight is the still ongoing SUCT, which all started in Salerno, even though I wasn’t even there. But thanks to all the friends that were there, it still felt like I was. Getting the results of the next SUCT elections was therefore still an amazing experience. Ever since that moment it has been highlight upon highlight, well okay to be honest sometimes the light was at the end of the tunnel. But together with the whole team it really is one of the best times I am having in AEGEE. Even though the circumstances aren’t ideal for SU’s, we are still making the most of it.
What are some of the most memorable moments you have had in AEGEE?
There isn’t really one that jumps out, but there are several moments that I will forever remember. Most of them though are continuous moments, they just keep happening over and over, which makes them even better. You know that moment when after a very long time you see you great friends again, well that is something only AEGEE can give to you. Luckily this happened many times in the past and I am sure it will still happen in the future. That moment when you meet everyone again at a European Event, that is the best.
But there are other moments that I will remember, moments such as going to my first Summer University. Still up to this day such an amazing experience. But also having organised my own SU. Getting elected for SUCT is another moment I will cherish.
More recently there are even more moments to remember, such as when I got the news that the SU I organised the year before won a prize, just 2 weeks after that getting even better news that also the whole Project won as well.
What are some ways in which AEGEE helped you in your life?
Unknowingly AEGEE does teach you a lot I think. There are many skills that are just so natural in AEGEE, but for outsiders is completely unknown. Especially during the crisis time we had, AEGEEans showed great resilience and shared their skills that came in handy in this time. But apart from skills acquired in AEGEE, it also gave me a way broader view of the world. More inclusivity, showing so many different cultures, so many differences everywhere and yet we can still work together so well.
What are your words of wisdom to your fellow AEGEEans?
As the question already says, fellow AEGEEans, I would say we are all important parts of AEGEE and we all need each other. AEGEE is greater than the sum of its parts. Combining everyone’s ideas, skills and motivations will give us far greater results then if we would all be working on our own and doing whatever we want. We always say we are striving for a united Europe, but we should also strive for a united and cooperating AEGEE and together reach our fullest potential.
Any closing remarks?
I mainly want to say that without many people in AEGEE i wouldn’t be where i am now, so I’m truly thankful to them. But I am also thankful for those that show their appreciation for what I have achieved so far.