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Amy Nicotra: Ambitious Leader, Aspiring Judge and President of KKG

Name: Amy Nicotra

Year: Junior

Hometown: Fleming Island, FL

Relationship Status: Single

Major: Criminology

Minor: Spanish

Her Campus (HC): What are you currently involved with on campus?

Amy Nicotra (AN): I currently serve as the President of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a Panhellenic sorority on campus. I am also an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program leader, similar to a FIG class, which is a volunteer teaching opportunity to mentor freshmen and sophomores in undergraduate research. I am the Director of the Student Council for Undergraduate Research and Creativity, which is a bureau in Student Government. In this role, I have the pleasure of working with leaders in the undergraduate research community to put on programming to engage students in undergraduate research, provide funding for conferences, and showcase their accomplishments through the undergraduate research journal (The Owl).  This is especially enjoyable for me as I undertake my own research project as an Honors in the Major student working on my Honors thesis. I am also an Honors program student and am active within Honors Legal Scholars. Additionally, I enjoy serving on the Student Foundation Board of Trustees to raise money for the university.

HC: Wow, good for you! Can you tell us a little bit about being president of a sorority?

AN: Being president of a sorority involves a lot of time management, planning, and communication. I am constantly on my phone speaking with sisters about various Kappa-related things or in meetings. It gets tough sometimes because of the dynamics of relationships it presents. I am challenged to hold my sisters accountable which means being firm and strict when needed, but also to always remain a supportive and loving sister. Above anything else, it’s a huge honor. It is still incredible to wake up every morning and be reminded of the blessing it is to be chosen to lead a group of about 250 women who are so beautiful inside and out. That sounds cheesy, but it’s so true! I never expected to be given this opportunity so I never take it for granted. Every day I experience something new – whether it’s building new relationships with sisters I didn’t normally interact with or just being there for a sister who needs to vent. One of my favorite parts about this role is my ability to directly impact women’s lives in a positive way, big or small. On the larger scale, I work to help my sisters see a bigger picture beyond the doors of our sorority house. It is really important to me to empower women to become involved in our community and make a difference in the world. Being in a sorority is about becoming the best version of oneself on a personal level but it is also about the betterment of our sisterhood as a whole. When of us succeeds, we all succeed. It’s with this mentality and vision that I feel proud to serve as president of my chapter. It’s not easy but it’s all worth it as long as I have left a positive impact.

HC: How do you unwind from all of your schoolwork and other commitments at the end of the day?

AN: Laughing. If I go a day without laughing, there’s something seriously wrong! I love to spend time with my friends and laugh over silly things. It keeps me sane. I also enjoy connecting with old friends that don’t live here anymore – with sisters that have graduated and with my best friend who goes to another school. It’s always nice to have people to talk to who can keep me grounded and help me step outside of my FSU and Kappa “bubble.” Other than chatting and laughing, I love to dance. Anytime, anywhere – dancing keeps me happy and energetic.

HC: What is your dream job?

AN: To be a judge. I’m a dreamer and a planner, so I have this all planned out (or so I think). I see myself as a judge for a juvenile court, after years of experience as a prosecuting attorney. Then, I would like to retire and start a nonprofit organization to benefit inner-city youth.

HC: Is there anything you would like to do before you graduate from FSU?

AN: I want to be thrown into Westcott fountain on my birthday. I have a summer birthday so I haven’t gotten to experience that yet, but hopefully I will this summer. I can’t wait!

HC: Where do you see yourself after graduation?

AN: Hopefully at a great law school! I will be taking the LSAT in June so it all depends on my LSAT score. The goal has been law school since I was in 7th grade. It’s hard to believe that time has already come!

HC: If you can choose anywhere to travel to, where would it be?

AN: I would love to go backpacking through Europe with one or two of my closest friends. Italy and Greece are the two countries I have been dying to visit. I am Italian so naturally Italy has always been a desired destination. I love adventures so I would take the opportunity to travel through Europe spontaneously any day!

HC: What does your typical day consist of?

AN: That’s a tough one because my days are always so different. I usually wake up after 5 alarms, get ready, and go to class. Then, I’ll have some meetings. There are always meetings. My friends used to tease me that I should start wearing suits to bed just in case I had to wake up for a meeting in the middle of the night. By the time dinner rolls around at the house, I’m outrageously hungry, so I’ll be the first in line. After dinner, I might have another meeting, but if not, I’ll probably want ice cream.

HC: What is your go-to meal?

AN: If you ask any of my close friends, they would laugh at this question because of how picky I am with my food. Chipotle is hands down my go-to meal. I get the same thing every single time: lettuce, brown rice, and steak. That’s it! I don’t eat dressing on my salad or condiments on any of my food. I’m as picky as it gets.  

HC: Favorite retail store?

AN: J Crew. I like to keep it classy.

HC: What is your biggest pet peeve?

AN: Ignorant people. “Seek first to understand before being understood” is one of my favorite sayings because it reminds me to keep an open mind with people and experiences. It bothers me a lot when people make ignorant comments or aren’t open to new ideas/perspectives. I think one of the most beautiful things about life is how it brings together the most diverse people. The world would be so boring if we were all the same. People who don’t care to appreciate differences or learn about each other are missing out. Just take the time to listen to someone’s story. Everyone has one.

HC: A genie just granted you a wish. What is it?

AN: To be able to re-live moments in time and look into the future…so I guess a time machine? One of my favorite things to do is look at old pictures and read old letters and play memories back in my mind. I also get too caught up in planning my future that I forget to enjoy the present. So, if I could travel through time, that would be pretty cool.

HC: Are there any fun facts about you that we should know?

AN: I studied abroad in Costa Rica this past summer. I did the Spanish Immersion program with FSU. I lived with a host family (who only spoke Spanish) for 3 weeks and travelled for the 4th week. I still keep in touch with the family and hope to go back and visit! 

HC: That’s awesome! If you could provide any advice to incoming freshmen, what would it be?

AN: There is no way to prepare for the next four years of college you are about to experience.  Nothing I could tell you would prepare you. You just have to live it. Then, when you’re getting close to graduation like I am, you’ll understand why I say that. You will be challenged and you will be strengthened. Your friends will change, your surroundings will change, and even though you can’t imagine it to ever be possible, you will change as well. It’s a good thing, too. Why? Because you’re not done growing. Time will fly by and you will wonder where it has gone and why it has left so fast. Soak up every single second of your college experience. Appreciate the toughest times because you will come out a better person. You will get knocked down 100 times but you will get back up 101 times. Every time you do, you will meet someone new who will surprise you and be there to lift you. Let them know how important they are to you and never let them go. Most importantly, never lose sight of who you are, what you want, and what you deserve.  Don’t ever become too comfortable. Step outside of your comfort zone and be open to new experiences. College is the time to make mistakes. If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning. “Freshman me” was confident, intrigued, and inspired. But she wasn’t perfect and she absolutely wasn’t prepared. That’s okay because the person I am today has been shaped due to my college experiences, and most importantly by the people I have met and carried with me along the way. That’s what college is all about. Through the good, bad, and the ugly – it’s about the relationships built and the memories that will last forever. Don’t forget to laugh along the way (you’re at FSU which is the BEST school in the world, what’s not to smile about?). College is a rollercoaster of a ride you’ll never want to get off!

Vanessa Coppola is a junior at the Florida State University, studying English: Editing, Writing, and Media. In her spare time, she loves reading and catching up on her favorite shows. She aspires to work for a publishing company someday in New York City, which is where her original hometown is located. When she's not writing up articles, she's either at the pool with a magazine in hand, or at the mall shopping for the latest fashion trends!
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