Alumna Dr. Linda Pauliks obtained a medical doctorate in 1992.
What special memories do you have from your time at Freie Universität?
The fall of the Berlin Wall... We all sent Western medical books to the East when that became possible. It was fascinating to witness the reunification of the medical world first hand!
What is the most important thing you learned here?
A university cannot thrive without freedom. In America, I am often asked whether Freie Universität stands for “free of tuition” (and what a nice break that must have been to graduate without debt). That is a great opening to talk about the free West and what it stands for. The older I get, the more do I appreciate the importance of freedom and how we have to fight for our values over and over again. During my time at Freie Universität, I found critical thinking, dialogue across a diverse spectrum of view points and tolerance. May Freie Universität continue to live up to its name!
What advice would you give your younger self today?
Don't worry so much about the future and don't listen to older people who try to discourage you. My birth cohort was the largest in German history. Everything was over crowded and there were no jobs for us. “You won't stand a chance - but you better make the most of it,” the old folks told us mockingly (instead of looking for a solution). Many of us work abroad now. But we all found our way. Every generation has to invent its own future.
If I could give my university a present for its 70th birthday…
...it would be an annual alumni weekend... The alumni are one of the best ressources that any university has. There is so much untapped potential.