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Emmy Pusula: “Success means being at peace with yourself”

I first met Emmy at our breakfast meeting with the Helsinki Summer School team in early June last year as part of our internship at the University of Helsinki. Little did I know back then that in the coming 6 months, this Human Geography major was to become my confidante on all matters, from scrutinising the day's lunch menu, tackling problems in our daily tasks to contemplating life after graduation. Despite working closely together for half a year, there was so much I still didn't know about Emmy, such as the answers to the following questions...  

What do you study and what does your dream job look like?

I study Human Geography and my dream job is one where I can develop my own skills and deepen my knowledge in the field of urban planning and design.

If you could redesign the infrastructure of Helsinki, what would you change?

A lot is being done right now, but in order to make Helsinki more urban it has to tighten its population density. For example, to develop our public transportation we would need to increase the population per unit area in order to get more passengers. This can be achieved by condensing existing living spaces by building in a more compact way. 

You’ve travelled around Europe for quite a bit, what’s your favourite city so far? What about from a Human Geographer’s point of view?

This is a really hard question, because I've liked every city I've visited in some way. You can't really compare one destination with another so to mention just one is extremely hard. But there is one where everything just came together for me and had everything I've searched for and that is the eternal city of Rome.

From a geographer's point of view it's easy to mention my favourite and it's Sofia. Sofia is a lovely city with a lot of character; it's the second oldest city on the continent so it has many historical layers, such as old ruins and other ancient architecture. I especially liked the majestic socialist buildings that seemed to project infinite future possibilities and the vividness of Sofia's city life.

What’s your most memorable experience from your exchange in France?

I had many memorable experiences in France, many of them had to do with travelling and so does this one: I was exploring the southern coast of Bretagne with my friend during our winter break. On the first whole day of our vacation, we decided to take a bus to Quiberon and from there we took the ferry to Le Palais on Belle-île-en-mer. We hung around and had a picnic in Le Palais and after that we decided to explore a little bit more the coastline towards Sauzon. On the map the distance between the towns didn't look that far, but we soon realised from the route guide that the distance was in fact 12 km and the terrain was not the easiest one with a lot of small beaches and cliffs. But eventually we did get to Sauzon and enjoyed 12km worth of wonderful views! Later we had to rush back to Le Palais to catch the last ferry back to the mainland, but as it was off-season, we had no other option than to hitchhike our way back. Luckily the very first car that went by stopped and an old couple got us back to Le Palais just in time. The day was a success with the spring sun and coastal scenery - I really have to get back there some day.

What does success mean to you?

Success means that you are content with your life. It means that you're happy, content with yourself, your job and so on. In other words, to be at peace with yourself.

Finally, what do you do to relax?

Something that doesn't involve having to go anywhere, like to eating ice cream or stretching. But the best thing that I know is sunbathing.

Photos © Emmy Pusula. Profile photo © Lyra Li.  


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Lyra Li


A perpetual dreamer searching for new adventures, more crime novels to read and the determination to become a minimalist.
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