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Profile: Boyan Popov

Boyan Popov wearing black-tie suit

Boyan Popov (2019, PPE)

Boyan Popov is in his final year studying PPE at Univ. In his profile, he discusses collaborative learning, confidence and the importance of having an open mind.

Why did you apply for PPE?
There are a lot of reasons, but I think maybe the most fundamental is that PPE governs most of what we talk about day to day. Even if you aren’t overtly talking about philosophy, for example, you’ll often find that at the core the question is one of philosophy. It gives you a background in life’s most important questions.

How do you think you changed since you walked through Univ’s doors for the first time?
I think I’ve become more comfortable in constructing and supporting my own positions in discussion – I don’t rely on the opinions of others, or arguments I’ve picked up from elsewhere, but can take a stance I really believe and justify my views.

Have you found anything about your course surprising?
How much knowledge I draw not just from my readings and tutorials but from discussion with peers. For example, I’m currently living with another PPEist and we’re doing the same papers. I find that a lot of the time, it’s through discussion with him that I really understand the content, rather than just through academic reading.

Boyan with friend at a formal in hallWhat do you do outside of your studies?
There’s a wealth of societies to get involved in College. I’ve been involved in the University College Rugby Club, including serving as social secretary for a year, as well as in rowing and croquet. On top of that, there’s been the William Beveridge Society – the Univ PPE society – which frequently hosts a lot of great events. And that’s not to mention the many societies outside of college that host weekly events – political parties, philosophical groups, current affairs societies, the Union, and much more.

Do you have any words of wisdom for prospective students?
Confidence is key! If you’re taking a position on a subject, make sure you can support and articulate it. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, how will you convince your tutors?

At the same time, though, if you realise you’re wrong, it’s important to admit it and rethink what you’ve said – it’s crucial to have an open mind.

Describe Univ in three words.
Old, central, homely

Published: 23 December 2021

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