Senior Spotlight: Sam Sweet

Q: What are your majors and minors?
A: Liberal arts and elementary education, and I have endorsements in math, science, social studies, reading and language arts.

Q: What are you involved in on campus?
A: I’ve been a CA (Community Advisor) for three years. I was on the golf team for three years. I’m in ODK (Omnicron Delta Kappa). I did RHA (Residence Hall Association) for a couple years.

Q: Why did you decide to do ResLife for three years?
A: Initially, I wanted to do ResLife because I was really interested in helping people, and I found out being a first-year CA that I really got to do that. I grew really close to the set of residents I had my first year and I wanted to continue to do that. That was at a point when we were trying to start Living Learning Communities and it didn’t go so well our first year and we wanted to try again the second year. This year I decided to do it in the apartments because I wanted to feel more like a regular college student.

Q: What do you think you gained the most from ResLife?
A: Definitely a sense of patience and understanding that you don’t otherwise get. I didn’t quite realize how much empathy I would develop for first-year students. I think a lot of times people overlook the amount of changes and the amount of stress a first-year student undergoes.

Q: What is your favorite Simpson memory?
A: I have lots and lots of favorite memories but I think one of my top favorite memories is my first year on staff when I came back and my resident made this huge card and it said, “Thank you, Sam!” and everybody had quoted on it. They gave me gift cards and they gave me chocolate and they gave me hugs. It was super, super sweet.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I’m hoping to find a teaching job either here in Des Moines or around the Des Moines area. I’m also looking into potentially going to University of Northern Iowa’s teacher abroad fair. You can teach at military bases around the world. Since I can teach basically everything K-8, that would make me useful and I think it’d be really cool to teach somewhere other than Iowa while I’m young and not married and don’t have kids.

Q: What advice would you give to freshmen?
A: I think a lot of people say, “Don’t be afraid to get involved,” but I think it’s, “Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.” Figure out what you’re not good at and work on developing those skills. Do something you’re uncomfortable with because you’re not going to get an opportunity like this to do it anywhere else with all of these people around you who want to support you and see you succeed.

Q: What do you think is the biggest lesson you’ve learned during college?
A: Don’t underestimate yourself. I think you really have to realize that the amount of hard work you do put in actually produces really good things.