Past Intern Updates: Ljubo Popovich

Ljubo PopovichLjubo Popovich, Poetry Editor from Issue 8, shares some thoughts about his time at ASU and his discovery of non-Western literature.

I always thought that my parents and elders were pulling my leg when they told me to enjoy my college years – that they are the best years of my life and so forth. When I was in college I came close to feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork, and I never got heavily into the social life of the students that lived on campus, of going to the football games or participating in clubs or fraternities. I had a few friends, but my main concern was getting out into the world, and getting through this period of uncertainty and dread of the future. Eventually, I switched my major (twice), and landed in English. Finally things were getting interesting. I could stop plodding through Architecture and Engineering and simply learn what I genuinely cared about. My appreciation for literature grew and blossomed at ASU in my last two years. I felt much more comfortable in this realm.

I spent hours in the library, wandering through the stacks, always using what I learned in my classes as a jumping off point for further exploration. This curiosity has become a central part of my life. I became interested in literature and culture outside of the United States. When I stayed in Montenegro, I had the chance to visit Italy, Greece, Germany, England, Switzerland, Serbia, and Croatia. Now I can’t wait to go back and eat the exotic food, walk on the beaches, drive through the mountains, and experience entirely different cultures. The great European and Asian writers that I discovered gave me further encouragement to see as much of the world as possible.

What the future holds is still an unknown, but I know that I found a limitless source of joy in the works of Chekhov, Goethe, and Gogol. Dostoevsky and Akutagawa, Maugham, Victor Hugo, Cervantes, Italo Svevo…wherever I turned, there was a fresh perspective. I have learned that one book is always the doorway to another, and that life makes sense when you are lost in a good book. My experience with Superstition Review gave me a taste of the publishing world, and I think that my thirst for literature will now lead me toward a career with a publishing company, or perhaps as an editor of a magazine. For the time being, I work at ASU Online, in student services. Though it gives me much needed work experience and enough of an income to plan for the future, I am always on the lookout for opportunities in the fields I am most interested in.

Although I have only been out of college for half a year, I am beginning to understand what my parents meant. My years at the university were formative and they were some of the happiest years I have had, despite the struggle and uncertainty of that period of my life. Most importantly, I met the girl to whom I am now engaged, and I received the basic tools I will use for the rest of my life: education, determination, love, patience, and intellectual curiosity.

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6 thoughts on “Past Intern Updates: Ljubo Popovich

  • February 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    You leave us some great insights. It’s so true that during the college years we get so overwhelmed with assignments and just getting the work done we forget what we’ve learned and what we’re taking from it. It’s really about just enjoying the journey.

  • February 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    It took me a very long time to branch out beyond the traditional western literature scene. However, now that I have, I find there is simply no end to the amount of wonderful reading I had been missing out on, especially some of the more recent Japanese authors.

    Good luck finding your place in the world of publishing. If we find ourselves doing something we love, it’s no longer a job.

  • February 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I think the idea of enjoying your college years could be expanded. Why mostly enjoy these wonderful years? All of life, if really considered, can bring great joy. Find it.

  • February 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I completely agree with your comment that one book is the doorway to another. As an English major, it’s so easy to stop reading things that are not required for class. But the more I branch out and read other things, the more I want to continue doing it. One book leads to another, which leads to another.

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