A Summer Story: Snezhana Antonovna on Her Best Summer at Olimp Camp

Summer is very near, and every summer for 60 years now the South Ural State University recreation complex has been inviting people to take a break from the city, work, school, and daily stress by plunging into a special atmosphere of unity and warmth.

Olimp Sports and Recreation Camp has collected many good traditions over the years of its existence, and what is of no less importance, it has gained a mysterious power that makes students who have here come once, return many times over. Olimp has created a spirit of unity and friendship which brings students together over their time at the camp and for many years after their student days are over. SUSU graduate Snezhana Antonovna, who went to every camp session during her student years, both as a participant and as an organizer, tells us why students must go there.

– When did you first go to Olimp and why?

– I went to Olimp for the first time in my first year of study, in autumn of 2013 to participate in the school of KVN Humour Show (Club of the Cheerful and Sharp-witted). It was cold and very funny. At the end of my first year, in the summer, in my first two work sessions I gave my everything to Olimp. I decided that there is no reason to sit at home or in my small hometown, where there are even less people than in Olimp.

– What is the best thing about Olimp?

– There are a thousand emotions and cardinal changes of your consciousness. You are not just filled with joy, carelessness, and happiness like everyone thinks. You experience the full spectrum of emotions every day – from sadness and beating yourself up emotionally, to happiness that you live here and now, showing love to those who annoyed you just a short time ago. Those who have been to these kinds of camps will understand me. Olimp is not a camp with jokes and trips to the sea. It is a place where you can show students, who are just like you, who you really are. You wanna dye your hair blue? Do it! You want to cover yourself in glitter and pretend you’re a starfish – just go and lay down in the middle of the camp, no one will say a word against it.

– Tell us some interesting story from any of your sessions.

– Back at my first year of study I heard the story of my mentor Natalya Pavlova, about how her parents met at Olimp; it was so romantic, and they’re still together. Already in my second year of study I met my boyfriend Zhenya at Olimp. Zhenya and I have been together for 2.5 years now. I don’t know how our story will end, but I’m tightly tied to Olimp by it for sure.

– You weren’t just a participant, you were also an organizer – how was that? What kind of person does an Olimp organizer need to be?

– When I was a participant, it was fun and care-free, everything one needs from a first visit, and to make new friends. During all of the other sessions I was part of the organizational committee. Honestly, not sleeping half the night, not being able to eat well, but still giving 100% of your energy to completing whatever things you are trying to do, captivates you and helps you be more confident. Exactly when acting as an organizer I understood how much I was willing to work for what I really liked, what I was captivated by. Olimp organizers are people with an enormous desire to work and share the experiences of their student years within the student self-governance system.

– Why does everyone need to visit Olimp?

– Classes give us knowledge, university gives us chances. Olimp is a different world, or a planet. Olimp has given me friends, four of which I am still close with – we see each other almost every day; a team of creative students with whom we can take on any project; and emotions that no one can ever experience anywhere else. The main thing was finding myself. At Olimp you are your true self and no one else. Go and check this for yourself, the things stopping you are absolutely nothing compared to what you will experience.

Ekaterina Kuznetsova
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