By Gerianne Wright
Erin Burdick is a self-described former over-perfectionist.
She didn’t just strive for perfection. She expected perfection.
“My self esteem was dependent on external factors, making me put forth as much effort as I could to ensure that I didn’t make a mistake,” she writes in an essay on her Plattsburgh experience. In high school, she threw herself into everything she did, took all the Advanced Placement and honors classes she could, headed several clubs and organizations, wrote for the school paper and shot photos for the yearbook.
“If you were to ask me how my senior ball went, I wouldn’t be able to tell you; I didn’t go,” she wrote.
It wasn’t until Burdick, now a junior English and political science major from Penfield, N.Y., came to SUNY Plattsburgh that she realized how much of an über-perfectionist she was. After her resident assistant found her buried in work and said: “No one is perfect, Erin. Once you realize that you make mistakes just as much as everyone else, you will be much happier,” Burdick said she realized there was more to life, and she started embracing that.
She still excels academically, but, in her first two years at SUNY Plattsburgh, she has found other outlets for her creativity and desire to be involved. She is an RA in Wilson Hall and writing tutor in the Learning Center. She works at the front desk of the Angell College Center, writes and copy-edits for the award-winning Cardinal Points college paper and is a member of numerous honor societies.
“I’ve participated in numerous clubs, hall councils and the executive board of the Honors Student Association,” she said. “I’ve always tried to make the most of my time here. Plattsburgh has a lot to offer. I just felt that I should take advantage of it and do my best to excel beyond the classroom.”
That combination of academics and involvement was the right combination for Burdick to receive the 2012-2013 Toni C. Bloom Scholarship, given to academically and socially responsible and involved students each year in honor of Toni C. Bloom, an active and charismatic student who was struck and killed by a car on Court Street in January 1987.
“Plattsburgh gave me the opportunity to be who I am,” she writes. “I couldn’t be happier with where I am in life and where I am heading. For the first time in a long time, I am happy and for that, I thank Plattsburgh. And to be recognized as a student following in the footsteps of Toni is something to be sincerely proud of … and one in which I feel has given me all the more reason to be proud of the person I have become — mistakes and all.”
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Phone: (518) 564-3095
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