Tag Archives: integrity

My 10 Best Traits


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I sincerely apologize again for my lack of updates. I recently graduated, moved out on my own and have had a terrible case of writer’s block. I told myself that I would not fill this blog with fluff just for the sake of posting something and I stick by it. This blog is about quality not quantity.

Honestly I’ve been going through a lot lately and been thinking about a lot of things.  Of course, I’m not going through what many college graduates are enduring: the job search. For now I’m just embracing this period and treating as a summer vacation of sorts. I still have my full-time job which is good and all and I’m thankful for it but it’s definitely not my calling. This period has definitely given me the opportunity to think about what I truly want out of life but that is a post for another day.

The ever-going battle with myself wages on. I’ve conquered a lot of personal hurdles in the past couple of years but my confidence, or should I say lack of, still remains a problem. So yesterday one of my friends gave me a “homework assignment” of sorts to help me with this problem. The assignment: Write 10 traits/characteristics that you like about yourself. It seemed like something so simple and yet it actually took some time to think about it. If someone told me to think of 10 things I don’t like about myself I could’ve probably shot them off right away without hesitation. I think that alone shows where my mindset is.

So without further adieu my 10 best traits (no particular order):

1. My Integrity- I feel this is one of my greatest strengths and something I feel others would agree I possess a great deal of. I am trustworthy, honest and take full responsibility for all my faults. I make no excuses for my actions or inaction. I also won a scholarship based on integrity so that’s gotta say something.

2. My Open-Mindset- Another thing I pride myself on, especially as an aspiring journalist. I have my own beliefs but do not push them on other people. I am curious to hear about others’ beliefs even if a avidly disagree with what they say. I do not dismiss or ignore them. Right-wing or left-wing, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian I’m as objective as possible. It is not my place to make judgements.

3. My Dependability- This goes with integrity. My friends, co-workers, bosses and family know they can count on me.

4. My Work Ethic- I’ve held numerous jobs at a time on top of going to school full-time. I’ve worked for everything I own and pride myself on it. When I have a goal and set my mind to it, I do whatever it takes to make it happen. It may not happen overnight but I hammer through it.

5. My Lack of Jealously/My Desire for Others to Succeed- I used to want to bring people down, but now I strive to help others rise. For example, I’ve helped two people get jobs in the past couple of months and it’s truly a great feeling doing so. I think jealously is one of the most disgusting traits a human being can possess.

6. My Creativity- I have always considered myself to be a creative person. However, I feel my true potential remains untapped.

7. My Flexibility- I consider myself to be a jack-of-all-trades of sorts. I’m a fast learner and have the capacity to learn about a variety of different topics, gadgets and programs.

8. My Humility- One of my strengths and also probably one of my greatest downfalls as well. People have told me I am too humble. I definitely agree, which is why I’m writing out this list. Still, I feel humility is a great trait for a person to have and something I strive for.

9. My Wit- I don’t say much, but when I do people listen. I am an observant person and I try to make light of any situation.

10. My Determination- I WILL NOT settle for less in this life. Nuff said.

Well that was a good self-esteem boost. All kidding aside, I encourage everyone to make a list of their own. Self-insight has always helped me out. It seems like I spend a majority of my time looking at my weaknesses when I should be attending to my strengths as well.

Stay tuned for more (frequent) updates.

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Never Give Up


Once again I apologize for not updating my blog as frequently as I would like to. It really has been a crazy quarter for me so far. I have had a lot of things happen to me, some terrific…and some not so terrific. I wanted to sum up the past month of events and cover a very important topic: no matter the obstacle, no matter how impossible something looks, never give up.

Towards the end of March I received an e-mail from my school. It was a department-wide e-mail about a scholarship. It was called the Greenwood Integrity Scholarship. It is a scholarship, created by a local couple, given out to juniors in the department that would pay for their whole senior year. The winner didn’t need a 4.0 GPA,  have to be a certain race, or be left-handed to win it. All you had to do was write a five-page paper that answers the question: What makes you qualified for the 2012 Greenwood Integrity Scholarship?

            This scholarship had my name all over it. After the events of the past year this scholarship was perfect for me. The problem: the deadline was in a couple of days. Being a college student, writing a five-page paper on limited time isn’t a problem but it happened to be final exam week and spring break just was around the corner. Adding to the difficulty, I had to get three of my instructors to evaluate me. Initially, I thought about forgetting about it and just moving on with my life.

            Then something came over me. I have missed out on so many opportunities in my life simply because I was too scared to try. In the past year I actually took risks and they paid off. I left my dead-end job for a temporary position. Now I’m hired on permanently, making way more money than I was, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. In the winter, I applied for a highly competitive summer internship despite barely making the deadline. I had to go there and hand off my application personally and in time I ended up getting the internship. After those two decisions that I made that completely changed my life for the better I’m about to take the lazy route now? This was simply something that I had to do. For myself.

            So I wrote the essay. It was like writing this blog. I told them all about the past year. How I am a completely changed man as a result of my experiences. In fact, I think if it wasn’t for the blog I couldn’t have written the easy. I wrote like I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, because really I did. The paper was the easy part. The hard part was running around the school getting evaluations from my professors and, more importantly, making sure they were sent in before the deadline. To make matters worse, one of my professors just got a job in Florida so he had to fax in my evaluation. I wasn’t sure if it was all going to work out. There were definitely times where I wanted to give up but I kept on going. Finally I got it done and turned it in hours before the deadline. I mean it when I say that I didn’t really care if I won the money or not. I was just happy that I made the extra effort despite the fact that it was final exam week and I wanted nothing more than to just kick back and get a head start to my spring break.

            A couple of weeks passed and then one day I received another e-mail. It was from the head of the department inviting me to the department awards ceremony. I was shocked. Could it be? Did I actually win it? I wasn’t sure. The winner was to be announced at the ceremony. Needless to say, it consumed my mind for the next couple of weeks.

            Finally the day had come. The awards ceremony was impressive. There had to be around 100 people in attendance. They announced all of the various award winners. They would come up receive their awards and sit back down. The ceremony lasted about two hours. The final event on the program was the announcement of the Greenwood Integrity Scholarship. By then I was incredibly nervous. The Greenwoods walked on stage. They were a wonderful couple. They explained the details of the scholarship and why they choose who they did. At last, the moment of truth had come and with the words “Andrew Mundhenk” my life changed forever. For the first time in my life, I had won an award. My senior year was paid for! I couldn’t believe it! They quoted highlights of my paper to the audience and I even received a standing ovation from the crowd. I was speechless. I didn’t know how to react. I just stood there. Nothing like this had ever happen to me. Even to this day I can’t get over it. To think that I was seconds away to placing that e-mail in the trash.

            This experience forever solidified my belief in being persistent and never giving up.  Don’t let anything or anyone get the way of bettering yourself, especially your own self. It’s easy to say, “There’s no chance I’ll win” or, “Write a five-page paper and get three professors to evaluate me? During the last week of school? That’s way too much work.” It’s easy to settle for instant gratification instead of putting in the extra effort. However it will be a lot easier to look back five years from now and know that I gave it my all rather than living with regret.

            Winning a scholarship with integrity in the name does not mean that I am a perfect person. I still have a long way to go and obviously I will never be perfect. I’m not trying to be. I’m not trying to boast my achievements on here. I wouldn’t have won it without the trails that I’ve been through in the past year and the support of my friends and family, especially the latter. I just hope that I can be an example of someone who takes up a challenge that may or may not pay off and put 100% effort into it. I have failed many times before. I’ve had numerous job and scholarship applications get shot down. I’m more than sure that I will have plenty more in the future. The important thing is that you remain persistent and never give up. Laziness has run amok in this culture and it’s easy to succumb to it. Just remember this: you only have one life. Do you want to spend your time living it or watching it?