She is only 19 years old and has just entered her second year of studying IT and sports for a teaching profession: Sophie Felgitsch from Gleisdorf – a small town near to Graz in Austria. However, in comparison to the majority of her study colleagues, her extra-curricular activities and duties are a bit more demanding. Not only does the 19-year old coach a sports team in her home town while also being a member of the Austrian National team herself but she also creates choreographies for several events and participates in dance- and musical performances throughout the whole year. Yet, Sophie never misses out on showing her appreciation towards the people who are close to her, especially her family. In this interview, she openly shared some of her personal thoughts.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a specific reason for that but when I think of this question, I have two different answers in my mind. I would differ between the idea of ‘perfect happiness’ and of ‘happiness’ only because happiness in itself is simpler, I would say. For me, being happy would be enjoying life to the fullest. But my idea of perfect happiness would be enjoying life with my partner and kids, which I hope I will be able to do in the future.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing the ones, that I love.
Which living person do you most admire?
The person I admire most in the whole world is probably my mum. Her willpower, her energy and her commitment are just incredible. Watching her teaching and motivating children and grown-ups, as well, over and over again makes me feel really proud. So, in some way she also had an influence on my decision to become a teacher myself. She definitely is the strongest woman I know and a role model for me. And honestly, I think she knows that even without me having to tell her. It’s hard to explain but I feel like she can just feel it.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
Oh, that is easy: a cat. I would love to come back as a cat because, you know, everybody loves cats. And I mean, they usually eat, sleep, play, everybody wants to pet them, and they’re always taken care of. They’re simply living in the day and enjoying their life, so they’re basically pursuing my idea of happiness. *laughing*
What is your most marked characteristic?
I would say that is my empathy. It has always been quite easy for me to put myself into someone else’s shoes and to understand how someone was feeling in a specific situation. In some cases, this might also have a bit of a negative impact on myself when I let certain problems or challenges others are facing get too close to myself, for example. Then it’s getting harder to find a “healthy” distance in some cases. But all in all, I’d consider it a strength as many of my friends and family members have already confirmed valuing this character trait of mine a lot.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
This question goes a bit hand in hand with something that I said a couple of seconds ago – letting someone else’s issues get to close to me. So, I would say that I overuse words to apologize, especially in situations where I shouldn’t be the one apologizing. And also, I think that I say ‘yes’ too often. I should try saying ‘no’ in certain occasions instead of just agreeing and saying ‘yes’ to everything. Maybe that is something I could add to my New Year’s resolution list. *laughing*
What is your favourite occupation (i.e. thing to do)?
I enjoy doing everything where I am in motion. I love dancing, I love singing and I love Ultimate Frisbee, for example. These are all hobbies that I’ve been pursuing for many years now and I could not imagine cutting off any of them, even though I’m quite busy most of the time. But I just need this, I need to stay in motion because it makes me feel encouraged and strong. And I’m always motivated when there are new projects or opportunities coming up where I get the chance to contribute something, of course. So yes, I would say that my favourite occupation is everything where I’m in motion and where I can present myself.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
My favourite fictional hero by far is Nala, from the Lion King, simply because she risks her life for her family and I really admire her courage and her commitment. The whole movie actually means a lot to me as I’ve been singing and dancing to many songs of the official soundtrack already. I just love the spirit and the different emotions that the songs evoke, and I really hope that I’m going to get more chances to include them in performances or other projects.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty. That is something, which I appreciate most – having friends who always tell you the truth.
What is your motto?
My motto changes all the time, of course, according to what’s currently going on in my life. But right now, I would say it is “The past can hurt but you can either run from it or learn from it.” Not only is it true but it is something that I’m trying to remind myself of everyday. Whenever something bad happens, there is no use in avoiding it or acting like it’s “just not there”. I’m trying my best to figure out what went wrong and do everything I can to do it better next time. That’s something I think I can advise everyone else to try, as well.
Howest: Journalistic portfolio – Advanced interviewing (Proust questions)