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Is 3 years enough? – The story of a class reunion

Is three years after graduation too early for a class reunion? Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly was enough for me to spend roughly 12 hours drinking and speaking to my classmates. So, let’s go ahead and try to recap what went into planning it and the night itself.

As former class president, I was the lucky one to be in charge of setting a date for the class reunion and planning everything. So why did I set the date so early? Well, it really boils down to two major points. First of all, our regular yearly meetup, the city festival, fell flat this year, because of renovations in the city center. I got these news around Christmas, which definitely was a bummer, but sparked the idea to move the reunion date up by a few years. After talking to my vice president, we agreed that it makes sense, also because of the second reason, which is that the money we had in our bank was a lot for a student wallet, but not so much for someone with a stable job that worked for a few months.

So now that we had the date fixed, how much prep work did we put into it? Not a whole lot to be perfectly honest. Now that was not just because we were a bit lazy – which admittedly we were – but we also didn’t think that the 3-year celebration really warranted anything special. So, what did we do then? We booked an evening at our favorite bar. It was the one we pretty much spent all of our weekends at during school (yeah, there’s not that many alternatives in rural areas).

The evening itself, though, went amazingly. As class president I had to be the first one there, but I also had the honor of setting up the tap with 1500€. It didn’t take long for the first people to arrive as the allure of free beer is just too big. Most classmates arrived with their old friends, but they actually all dispersed quite quickly and everyone started talking to everyone, which was amazing to see. Admittedly, we’ve always been a tightly knit class, but some of the classmates I saw talking to each other had barely anything to do with each other during school times. For those of you wondering how long the tap lasted: It took our class of 80 people (20+ or so were designated drivers) 5 hours to kill the tap, which was longer than I expected. But the end of the tap also ushered in the end of the night. The majority of people left within the next hour, except for a small group of maybe 10 people, myself included, that stayed until the sun dawned, before we all trotted home just as we did all those years ago.

Author/Photo: Johannes Banzhaf

Underrated University Events: The Elections

It took around two terms at Augsburg University until I realised that there are elections – and four more to wake my interest. Credit to a coursemate of mine, who ran as a candidate for the Young Socialists (Jusos). This term I wanted to vote. This term I wanted to use the right we all have and barely ever think of. And there’s more: I even planned to write an article about my experience and the electoral system.

The Plan

The first thing I did was visit my coursemate. Solid as a rock he stood, promoting the elections, waves of his fellow students passing him by with very indifferent looks on their faces. Most of them didn’t even glance at the small booth in front of Alte Cafete where info material and small giveaways were neatly arranged on the table, waiting for interested people to come. I was greeted with a smile as I advanced with determination. In a few moments, I thought, I would finally understand the electoral system and the possibilities of participation we all have. I thought of this to be the easiest research I’d ever done.

How my plan failed

The guy standing in front of me answered my question on the electoral system with a slightly uneasy smile and led me to an enormous chart. Really, it was huge. After two minutes I lost my confidence and after five my focus. Most countries have easier electoral systems. Even the American system is easier to understand. How should I ever write an article about that? I had to change my plans, so I decided to write about how I experienced voting in general. Polling day advanced.

How my second plan failed

As always, I waited until the very last moment. Only 15 minutes were left before the polling stations would close. Stressed out I was looking for the small slip of paper with the room number given to me by my coursemate. I couldn’t find it. Running around I asked people where the polling station was. Nobody knew! I couldn’t see a damn sign anywhere. Not even an arrow! How was I supposed to write an article about an election I never took part in? I could’ve written about how the university should inform the students about the elections from their first day on. Or how they could put up a big banner with information as they do for the exam enrolment. Finally, it came to my mind that there is something more important to say.

The last straw

I decided to say thank you. Thanks to all fellow students who ran as candidates in these elections. Thanks to everybody who voted in the election or took part in its organisation. And finally, thanks to my coursemate and all the other students who make an effort to represent us, even if we don’t know. Without them, we would hardly be represented at all. If we don’t take part in the elections for ourselves, we should take part as a small gesture of respect and appreciation towards our representatives. It would have the positive side-effect of shaping the university’s politics as we want them to be. How is there supposed to be any change, if we don’t vote on it? Next time I will vote. We should all vote. It just takes a few minutes and doesn’t hurt. Or so I’ve been told.

Author: Nicolas Pols

Fridays for OUR future

“We’re on a planet. That has a problem. We’ve got to solve it, get involved. And do it now, now, now. We need to build a better future. And we need to start right now.” – Read that part again, with the melody of “Bella Ciao” in mind and imagine being surrounded by hundreds: then you’ll catch a glimpse of how a Fridays for Future protest looks and feels.


May 24: In more than 2000 cities (about 200 of them in Germany), young people once more took to the streets, to fight for climate justice. But I’m not writing this article to tell you to stop wasting food, go vegan, quit flying or whatsoever – not again! You’re old enough to know that you should change your lifestyle to help our environment. Instead, I’ll try to share the feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of people that fight for the same goal.

The demonstration

One of the demonstrations started on Friday at 11:30 in Kempten. Pupils from a range of about 50 km had come to protest. First, everything was quiet as we gathered. As you looked around, you tried to read the other signs. Those beautiful, sarcastic but also terrifying signs: One said: “This planet is getting hotter than young Leonardo DiCaprio!”, another one read: “Wake up Humans! You’re endangered, too!“. They’d have been funny, but as the topic is so relevant, they were simply sad and scary. You could already hear strident whistling everywhere. A lot of pupils had brought whistles and started to sing: “Wir sind hier! Wir sind laut, weil ihr uns die Zukunft klaut!” (We are here! We are loud! Because you’re stealing our future!) Everyone else joined. And it was getting louder. We wanted to make (fucking) noise. We wanted to be (fucking) heard. So we screamed our heads off.

As we started to walk, the one big chant developed into more smaller chants in smaller groups. We were followed by disapproving glances of people. But we didn’t care. I mean, why should we? They apparently don’t care about our future, so I don’t give a fuck if I jar on their nerves. After an hour of walking, we topped at a little square. And the speaker started to sing the recasted “Bella Ciao” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zemK3S79tpU). Then, he talked about the European Elections. And I would like to do the same thing now.

There’s no excuse for today!


I know as a student it might be hard to participate in those projects because of work or other obligations. But there is no possibly accepted excuse for not voting today. You can change the world. You can make a difference. You can make the difference this world needs so desperately. I plead you: Don’t let your vote be wasted because you are too lazy after a boozy night.

Author: Leyla Bayraktar

Picture: Ela Bayraktar