"I'ld like to help give opportunities to those in situations of inequality"
Júlia Ruiviejo is the student with the highest entrance score at the UAB this year, with a 13.92 over 14. She will be studying the double degree in Political Science and Public Management + Sociology. Born in Torelló, Osona, she will be living in the Vila Universitària. She would like to work towards a world in which everyone has the same opportunities, and considers that the pandemic should make us change how we live. She is alsoo concerned about the inequalities and climate crisis we are currently facing.
"The experience of living with the pandemic should serve to help us move towards a more egalitarian world in which the economy is focused on all humans and on the planet".
Júlia Ruiviejo is the student with the highest entrance mark this year who will be attending the UAB. She scored a total of 13.920 over 14 in her university entrance exams and was a student at the Institut Cirviànum and the Escola Vall del Ges, both located in the town of Torelló. Júlia shows up for our interview at the Plaça Cívica with a smile on her face. It is obvious that she is eager to begin a new period which will include living at the Vila Universitària and studying a double degree which she hopes will open the doors to a professional career in which she can contribute to a more just and egalitarian world.
1- Why did you choose the UAB?
A few months befor the entrance exams I discovered to double degree in Political Science and Public Management + Sociology, which is only offered at the UAB. I found it very interesting and that is how I began to discover the university. What made me decide was seeing the campus. It is a unique place, surrounded by nature, and I was surprised to see all the faculties so close together. Meeting people who are studying different degrees is enriching. And I also value the fact that there is a language school and I can sign up for volunteering.
2.- What would you like to do when you finish your studies?
My first choice would be to work in associations or NGOs that work with people who are in situations of disadvantage, in order to help people have the same opportunities. If I cannot work in this area, then I would also look into politics or public administration. We'll see.
3.- Do you believe politics serves to change things that are not working in society?
I believe it does, although social movements are more powerful in changing things that just politics. But obviously I think that the political institutions have the power to change many things.
4.- What do you do in your daily actions to somehow change things right now, for example?
Well, I am working on reducing my carbon footprint: I ride my bike or walk whenever I can, I do not use plastic, I save on water, travel by train instead of taking aeroplanes, and do everything I can to not harm the environment.
5.- What do you do in your free time?
I go out with my friends to have fun. I also like to read, write, draw and paint. Right now I am reading El pintor d’ànimes by Ildefonso Falcones, and Animal Farm by George Orwell. I'm not that into series or films, and I use social networks everyday, but just for a while.
6- How did this pandemic affect your studies?
Finishing upper secondary school with the pandemic has not been easy. After finishing the first year in which nothing was certain and following classes online, we were at least able to go to school this year. Nevertheless, it was hard to stay motivated and study without being able to take breaks to do things and disconnect. And we were always on alert in case we had to stay home due to positive cases in class or go back to online classes, which meant more hours in front of screens at home, and that makes learning harder. But it was still very exciting to see that we made it through.
7.- Did you reach any conclusions from what we have experienced?
I think the pandemic was something no one wanted to happen, but it is something we have grown stronger with. Therefore, from my point of view, we must change the way we live. Covid-19 has demonstrated how unsustainable capitalist economic systems are, and their responsibility for the flagrant social inequalities existing, and the climate crisis. It is clear that in situations of crisis, it is always the same people who suffer the worst consequences, and it is also important that we take care of our planet in order to avoid future pandemics. I consider that what we have experienced will serve to help us move towards a more egalitarian world in which the economy is focused on all humans and on the planet. A world that is particularly based on the supportiveness we discovered that we all had within us at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
8.- What do you expect from your stay here at university?
I hope to meet people with whom I can share my curiosity and interests, learn a lot and in short, grow as a person. I am very excited to begin this new phase and enjoy the next five years here at the UAB.
Interview with Eloi Sabater Navarro, the student with the second highest entrance mark this year who will be starting his university studies in the 2021/22 academic year.