Where was she hiding? Member of AEGEE-Eskişehir for seven years, Suzan Dilara Tokaç suddenly seems to be everywhere in AEGEE. She left a lasting impression not only the participants at the Agora in Patra and the pre-event in Thessaloniki, but also on the participants of the SU Eskişehir, which she just coordinated. The Golden Times asked Suzan, what gives her so much energy and enthusiasm about AEGEE.

Suzan Dilara
Suzan Dilara Tokaç joined AEGEE in 2007…

Golden Times: Suzan, you are full of AEGEE spirit, just organized an amazing Summer University. You were also elected best participant in the Agora Patra pre-event. What makes you so enthusiastic about AEGEE years?
Suzan Dilara Tokaç: I like to live the moment knowing that it is also an investment in my future. Being productive and alive, living a life full of adventures, always having an aim to attain and goal to accomplish. That is the life I want to live and AEGEE gives me all of the above.

Golden Times: How and when did you join AEGEE? Is there any interesting story behind?
Suzan: Not how I joined, but how I became that active after six years has a story behind. I joined AEGEE in September 2007 during the orientations days of my university. Then a year passed without me having any idea what those people are doing. In the summer of 2008 I decided to get to know it and read 1000 e-mails that I received from all over AEGEE. That was how I decided to go to the Autumn Agora 2008 in Aachen. It was a great experience; still I gave it a pause again. After five years and especially after my Erasmus year I decided to spend the rest of my youth by being productive, being more social and active in Europe.

Suzan SU
…and organised a very successful SU about extreme sports this year.

Golden Times: What did you do to become best participant of the Agora pre-event?
Suzan: If you want to learn about other cultures, hear another language, get small hints and a lot of things that you cannot find in encyclopedias or even while living in that community, AEGEE events make all this possible and they are hidden within the little talks that you have with the other AEGEEans. That was what I was doing.

Golden Times: You are SU coordinator of AEGEE-Eskisehir. Why did you decide to do it?
Suzan: The year before I was away from Eskisehir and studying to take an important exam. Then, I got accepted in the programme at Anadolu University and I was back to AEGEE. I wanted to work in a project and Mr. President Burak – that’s how we call him – came to me with an offer to coordinate a Summer University. After long discussions my arm was twisted.

Suzan Selfie SU
The SU group was full of enthusiasm and saw many great places.

Golden Times: What was your SU about?
Suzan: It was about extreme sports. While putting into action several kinds of extreme sports, we also aimed to raise awareness about the importance of doing sports and to sustain it.

Golden Times: Are you into extreme sports yourself?
Suzan: Not exactly.

Golden Times: Which of the sports activities of the SU are you most looking forward to?
Suzan: I was looking forward to try paragliding and it turned out to be exactly an amazing experience. I felt like swimming in the air!

Suzan Dilara Flag2
Suzan’s home antenna, AEGEE-Eskişehir…

Golden Times: At which SUs have you been so far?
Suzan: Unfortunately none as a participant, but I was an organizer also two years ago at AEGEE-Eskisehir’s Mythology SC+ “Find Yourself in the Lost Pages of Anatolia”. However, finally I will join one in next week. “Discover Sicilian Beat” by AEGEE- Messina – and I am looking forward to it with my bells on!

Golden Times: You were participant at the Summer University Projects School this year. Which ideas and inspiration did you took from there?
Suzan: A lot of creative ideas and situation saving graces came along. The most inspiring thing was the attitudes of the trainers towards us participants – and how they dealt with a project, in that case SUPS itself. They were a role model as themselves and with their presentation techniques.

Suzan Dilara Flag
…as you can see Suzan really likes her antenna’s flag.

Golden Times: Do you currently have time for other hobbies next to AEGEE? Or is all your life AEGEE currently?
Suzan: This year I have had a lot on my plate and the biggest portion was of course our Summer University. That was the biggest responsibility of my life. Also, I have started my M.S. on Speech and Language Pathology, which is a whole new subject for me. I spent the year with SU, university, cycling and dancing basically.

Golden Times: If you were not in AEGEE, how would your life look like?
Suzan: All I can say that it wouldn’t be that colourful and without all those stories!

Golden Times: To how many events have you been so far?
Suzan: Nine International events.

Suzan Dilara Utrecht
Suzan’s first event abroad was in the Netherlands in 2008.

Golden Times: And how do you remember going to your first event?
Suzan: My first abroad experience came true thanks to AEGEE. It was the pre-event of Agora Aachen 2008 in Utrecht and was a big phenomenon for me; first AEGEE event, first Europe trip. I was like a babe in the wood and also alone. I took 30 kilos large check-in baggage with me and it was the biggest problem while we were hitchhiking from Utrecht to Maastricht. Then I had to buy a new small bag for my souvenirs: 15 bags of stroopwafels!

Golden Times: What was your best AEGEE experience?
Suzan: Also the pre-event of Agora Aachen by AEGEE-Utrecht and AEGEE-Maastricht, maybe because it was like a first love to me or maybe because it is an old times AEGEE event – but one thing for sure, it was the most unforgettable time of my life. People were so nice, we are still in connection with some of them. Moreover, I hitchhiked for the first time in my life and met with European night and sangria!

Suzan Dilara Star
She didn’t travel to too many summer events, because she spent nearly every summer in the USA to work and travel…

Golden Times: What was your worst AEGEE experience?
Suzan: I can’t say worst as every event is unique and priceless to me. Every local has different regulations, which can be very different for the others. Also opportunities and priorities that a hosting antenna has may vary. I try not to be judgmental and too critical and try to get the best out of it.

Golden Times: Are you also in the board of your antenna?
Suzan: Before graduating from AEGEE it is among my to-do list, waiting to be checked.

Suzan Dilara Patra
…but recently you could see her at more events, like Agora Patra.

Golden Times: You were already on stage at Agora Patra, representing a NetCom candidate. How was that?
Suzan: Ohhh… I shivered once again! I am not a shy or tongue-tied person, but I felt like all my abilities of talking and declamation are lost. I was shaking head to toe. Then, I felt delighted with the idea of being on stage what actually I am very used to but not in the AEGEE world. It was something that I did for a friend and that gave me a great joy.

Golden Times: Will you become active on European level? If yes, what would you be interested in?
Suzan: Actually yes, I would love to work on European level so I am checking for the most suitable and interesting open call for the following year. Starting with a project or WG and the rest will follow.

Suzan Dilara Wonder Woman
Suzan is a party animal…

Golden Times: Are you a party animal? Or do you rather have conversations at the parties or sleep?
Suzan: All of the above except sleeping. It is hardly ever the case that I skip a social activity. Depending on the atmosphere and my mood, I can be in the center of the dance floor or you can see me outside on a bench saving the world or creating an AEGEE project with another participant.

Golden Times: After AEGEE, what will you work later?
Suzan: I think it is not very possible for members like me to have an “after”, as AEGEE will always be a part of my life. I have always wanted to do an around the world tour but I believe that would also include some AEGEE in it.

Golden Times: What was the last book you read?
Suzan: Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile

Golden Times: What’s your favourite movie or TV show?
Suzan: As a cineaste I cannot choose one. I love Marvel comics adaptations, works of Lynch, Cronenberg, Scorsese and Kubrick’s.

Suzan Dilara SUPS
…but also likes events with strong content, like the SUPS in Izmir 2014

Golden Times: What kind of sports do you practice or like?
Suzan: I love dancing. I am taking Salsa, Bachata, and Modern Jazz classes; and planning to start Tai Chi this year.

Golden Times: What’s your favourite drink?
Suzan: Pineapple juice

Golden Times: What are you most afraid of?
Suzan: Losing or drifting apart from my family and loved ones.

Golden Times: If you had 1 million Euro, what would you do with it?
Suzan: I have always wanted to have my own concept café and bar. I think I would open one that reflects all my memories, adventures, experiences and wanderlust. That would also be a base for any kind of AEGEE event.

Suzan Dilara Athens2
For sure you will meet her soon somewhere in Europe!

Golden Times: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is…
Suzan: AEGEE is an uninscribed book that is visible only to the ones wise enough to read, enthusiastic enough to implement and dareful enough to write new chapters to it.

Golden Times: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Suzan: Ice cream

Golden Times: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?
Suzan: Volunteered, Explorer, Alive, Self-Indulgent, Passionate.

Golden Times: Anything you would like to add?
Suzan: Through these questions I reflect on my life, my past and the place of AEGEE in my life. I see over what I have done and what I want to do in the future. I set a lot of goals and make new plans. So thank you so much to make it happen and bringing to me new purposes!