Sunday, October 5, 2008

Amanda Senft

SUNY Geneseo Student

How do you define success?
I think success is defined by a personal standard. If you honestly believe that you committed yourself to something 100% and did the best you possibly could, that is a successful experience whether you reached the goal or not. Success is not necessarily the opposite of failure, it's how much you learn and grow out of a particular experience, and how you feel about it at the end of the day.

Who inspires you? Why?
I am unbelievably inspired by my aunt, who is a very independent woman and has the most positive outlook on life I've ever encountered. She is living proof that bad things happen, but the way you handle it has everything to do with how things turn out. I think it's also important to inspire yourself a little bit - sometimes I look back on the things I've accomplished in the last week or in the last month, and they prove to me that I am capable of making things happen.

If you could pass any bit of information or an idea to everyone in the world, what would it be?
That the values and ideas of every single person count. I think the world is in limbo a little bit right now, with economic crises, the threat of global warming, and the shadow of nuclear capabilities. Now more than ever it is imperative for people to understand that every human on this planet needs to do all they can to preserve it for future generations - the time for letting others take the reins is over.

What do you consider your greatest personal strengths?
I was afraid of this question! Whenever I have to answer it, I always say something about how much drive I have to accomplish things, my open-minded approach to solving problems, or how I consider myself a "people person". The thing is that none of these attributes by themselves mean much - I am who I am because of a beautiful combination of strengths, weaknesses, personal qualities, and character flaws. I've just chosen to let the "strengths" define who I am more than the weaknesses, which I suppose is a strength in itself.

What do you consider your greatest personal weaknesses?
The need to make sure everyone else is satisfied and inconvenienced as little as possible. I don't always delegate, or say no when I become too overwhelmed, because I would rather sacrifice my own time than disappoint others. I have to constantly remind myself that sometimes it's okay to slow down and just let things be.

If you could snap your fingers and create anything, what would it be?
A 26 hour day!

Where do you want to be 5, 10, 20 and 50 years from now?
Five years from now I hope to at least be on the right track to deciding what I want to do with my life. At the moment I'm thinking of exploring publishing, advertising, or school counseling. Hopefully in ten years that will have culminated in supporting myself in a career I enjoy that is making some kind of impact on the world, even if it's just a local community. I do look forward to settling down and having a family, but it's important to make myself happy first. Twenty and fifty years down the road will take care of themselves after that!

So, why English and Psychology?
English because I am in love with the written word. Books, quotes, articles, writing, poetry, all of it. I think there is something incredibly beautiful about the ways people express themselves. Also I think being able to write well and interpret material are valuable skills to have. I added Psychology during sophomore year because it's really fascinating to learn why people do the things they do. I'm hoping the combination will serve me in publishing or advertising.

Final thoughts
A very wise teacher once told me that if you can't think of a profound way to end something, let someone more articulate do it for you.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in, but forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson