Proust Questionnaire with Emma DiNicola

Senior Emma DiNicola Answers the Famed Proust Questionnaire

Hailey Kessler, Staff Reporter

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having all the things you need in life. Like, if you have enough money to not be wondering where your next meal comes from and have enough freedom to interact with your friends.

What is your greatest fear?

Probably failure, I’m a little terrified that if I don’t do really well on one assignment I won’t get into a good college, I’ll have a terrible life, and I’ll make no money. I’m severely overly competitive, so if anyone beats me I feel like I am going to be a failure- which is not logical.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Being a violent perfectionist. I need everything to be perfect or I won’t let myself function. Namely, my bed needs to be made and my room needs to be clean

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People who put too much milk in their coffee. That really bothers me. If you have more than fifty percent milk in your coffee, you should be in federal prison. That’s terrifying…they are just drinking a cup of milk. If you don’t like coffee get a chi latte or something.

Portrait of Emma DiNicola on Senior Balcony

Which living person do you most admire?

The press secretary for the White House. I respect her for having a tough job and being a woman in politics.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend so much money on iced coffee- it’s so bad. I’m supposed to be down to one cup a day, but I have at least two. I feel like I would be much more financially stable if I didn’t buy so much iced coffee. I buy it from #1 Dunkin, #2 Starbucks, and #3 Muffin House.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Honesty. I think it’s okay to lie as long as you are not severely hurting anyone. I feel like we put too much emphasis on telling the truth all the time. It’s cool if you want to warp some things it might be kinda fun. What if it makes life more interesting?

On what occasion do you lie?

Whenever it’s fun. The other day I just straight up lied to my friend Hannah. I said ‘They found Amelia Eirharts plane’ and she asked ‘Really where?’ and I said ‘Chicago’. Sometimes it’s just fun to make up a little lie.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My quads. They are strong, but they don’t look strong. They are not muscular enough. I have great calf genetics from my father, but absolutely nothing in the quads.

DiNicola showing off her defined muscles in front of the HHS tennis courts
She gained this strength through 7 years of cheerleading. She is now a captain for HHS varsity cheerleading.

Which living person do you most despise?

Putin, Trump, or Biden. I don’t like them. I feel like every politician is needlessly dramatic. Politicians basically have to lie because that’s how the job works, but I don’t like the idea that these people have so much power and influence over so many people’s lives. I like the idea of being a libertarian because they don’t like taxes or the government.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

‘Slay’ I say slay every two seconds. It’s a good way to fill the time. If anyone says anything to me and I don’t know exactly how to respond I say ‘slay’. For example ‘That’s such a precalc slay’. Also sometimes I accidentally slip into a British accent, but that isn’t a phrase. It just happens too much. It’s gotten really embarrassing.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Myself, not in a narcissistic way, I feel like it’s really common just to put yourself down by saying you’re bad at things. I try to not hate myself and I think I do a pretty good job at that. Being a perfectionist is probably not good for me, but it makes good things happen in my life. I like the results of it, but I don’t enjoy the stresses of it on me.

When and where were you happiest?

Whenever I’m at a concert, two red bulls deep, surrounded by people who love the same music I do. The vibes are always really great and concerts just make me really happy. I saw Spacey Jane last Friday and it was my favorite so far. I saw it with Hannah Garage and we were really close to the band who sound incredible life.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would want to be less of a perfectionist. It would put less stress on me. I just want to be more chill as a person.
What is your most treasured possession?

Regional summit champion backpack, that was such a great experience winning that competition with my cheer team. We went down to Virginia which is when I first visited UVA and fell in love with the school. It was the best performance we ever put on as a team.

Dinicola is looking at her cheer bow in tennis lot
She was named captain of the varsity cheer team the year she tried out.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Forty-minute writes in AP Lang. I’m pretty lucky to not have experienced a lot of misery in my life. Forty-minute writes are just really hard and stressful. Not being super good at them doesn’t help.

What is your favorite occupation?

Invest Bankers are just cool. They are powerful, make a lot of money, and get to wear very cool suits.

What do you most value in your friends?

People that are just fun to be around and make you feel good. People that are funny and you just really click with.

Who are your favorite writers?

Henry David Thoreau who is also my favorite transcendentalist.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Carry A Nation was a cool lady who thought temperance was a good idea. She would go into bars and smash bottles of alcohol with an ax just because she didn’t like alcohol. She lived through the prohibition in the 1920s.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I don’t know because I don’t think of people like heroes. I just have the places I want to be and the characteristics I want to have, but I don’t model them after certain specific people.

DiNicola is showing off her cartwheel at the basketball courts
She ended her All-Star cheerleading career in Senior 4 coed.

What are your favorite names?

Bartholomew is pretty tight. Also Herbert and Cooper. I love girl names that sound like boy names for example Dylan.

What is your greatest regret?

Not letting my concussion heal. I had a headache for months and months which probably lead to brain damage. I can’t do all-star cheer anymore because of it. I didn’t let it heal because I didn’t want to let my grades slip and I didn’t want to let my team down by missing the first competition. I thought about the right now instead of the later. I didn’t consider the future implications of what I was doing. It took me three days to realize I had a concussion. I now need driving glasses at night because my vision gets blurry. I have ocular migraines often and suffer from many headaches.

What is your motto?

I tell myself to ‘suck it up’, ‘push through it’, and ‘you got this’. I just have to tell myself to do things or they don’t get done.