Name: ToniAnn

Instagram Handle/Username: @toniannpipitone

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: Hi! I’ve been born and raised in Staten Island, New York. I come from a family of 5, with me being the baby. I’m currently a senior at a university in PA and I am so excited to be graduating this may of 2021 with a degree of early childhood education! A strong dream/passion of mine has always been to not only work with kids and teach the future generations (especially because I feel this world needs more teachers/educators), but I also have always wanted and dreamt of having my own classroom! However, I do still like to branch out and have my options open, so I plan to attend grad school within the next year and study business.

What Inspires You Every day? : This is definitely a tough one to answer because nowadays I find that it’s sometimes difficult, especially lately, to find motivation, inspiration, or even just interest at all, whether that be a simple task as getting up and getting ready for the day or something more specific as completing an assignment. But, as much as a procrastinator that I am, I cannot have a job or task incomplete, especially when I feel responsible for it. So, I would definitely say I try to be my own motivator and plan things ahead so that I could create a steady pace and step-by-step process if possible.

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What is some words of wisdom you live by?: Patience – this is such a big one for me and very important because it’s a trait that I have very little of and I would really like to work on that and increase it. I get impatient with almost everything in the world, so I think by improving that and gaining patience will benefit me to create and maintain a more calmer mindset.

Fearless – I actually have this word tattooed on me because you can read it as fearless or fear less. Whichever way you want to take it, I personally am most of the time not afraid of anything or anyone. I’m very bold, adventurous, and love to explore/try new things. However, I most definitely have my moments where I’m insanely full of fear, to the point where its uncontrollable and I face anxiety. So this word/tattoo is kind of just a daily reminder for me to just remember you only have one life and fearing things will just make you miss out on opportunities.

What is your ultimate goal in life? : As of right now, my goals in life are pretty set, even though I’m fully aware and somewhat prepared that they will most likely 100% change over the years. But, regardless of them remaining the same or having small changes, my main goals/priorities right now are to focus on myself, especially in 2021, which I feel is 100% my year to shine. I want to graduate college in May, get a steady job, and then hopefully be able to use those tools and skills that I’ve gained to not only real life applications, but grad school as well.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : Well, to state the obvious, of course this pandemic and deadly virus was a complete shock to everybody all over the world. We have gone years and basically our whole lives with us just having a little sicknesses and being able to cure them almost immediately with either medication or vaccines or surgeries. So it was definitely a huge shock and I think even culture shock to some that we not only had a powerful virus that was taking over people, but the scariest part was that it was very deadly and I think some people weren’t taking that as serious as they should have. It’s very frustrating in the world that everybody has different views and opinions. So me personally I have just always taken every sickness as serious as I could even if it was just a small cold. This not only put a negative impact and effect on people‘s jobs and education, especially my college life being cut short back in March, but just every day lives of being able to hop in the car and no longer being able to go to the simplest places of a grocery store or a bank. It was very overwhelming to have to be stuck in the house for months straight with limited resources and due to that, I know a lot of my friends have personally suffered with severe mental health issues because of no longer having that freedom and being limited.

What is a positive message you would like to give others? : I feel that this message is so basic and everybody just overlooks and ignores it, but it should be taken serious just because of the meaning behind it. I always tell people when I’m giving advice to just be themselves, whether that applies to a relationship or meeting new friends or a job interview. Regardless of anything or anyone, you need to show the world that you are your own person and you have your own special traits and characteristics that contribute to your personality, both inside and outside. I don’t think it should be a norm at all of having beauty standards to look or talk or act a certain way in the world, because every single person no matter how identical you think you are to someone, you still are very very different and people will recognize and remember you for that if you stick out on your own and make a difference without coping to societies wants and needs.

What questions would you like to ask others?: I personally have always loved getting to know people on deeper levels, pertaining to their beliefs or religion or culture, just really anything in that realm. Beforehand, I didn’t really do any of that when meeting new people because I thought that my hometown was holding me back and putting me in a bubble, so definitely branching off and going away to college gave me that full opportunity to be in a completely different state and school and get to know a bunch of different people and how they were raised, their backgrounds, and just overall their stories that you could really sit down and listen to and understand and connect with on a deeper level.

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