I met Kelsey Roggensack ’13 on an incredibly busy Sunday: Between Race for a Cure, JA entry draw and a normal College student’s workload, it is clear that she had more than enough to keep conversation going. And most importantly, she is happy doing it all.
The first thing I learned about you in my preparation was your favorite quotes. They range from Yogi Berra and Albert Einstein to Maya Angelou and Buddha. What do you think makes a good quote?
A good quote is something that sticks with you, whether it’s funny or meaningful or bizarre. Just something that later on comes up in your head again as a reoccurring thought.
If there is one quote or one thing about you that you want to come out of this entire interview, what do you think it should be?
I would want the message to get across that I don’t think anything is worthwhile unless you are happy doing it.
That’s pretty sweet.
I don’t want this to get too heavy since it’s “One in 2000,” but in terms of people at Williams, everyone is really high-achieving in all aspects of life – academic, athletic, artistic. I feel like there is always a lot of stress and I can feel that here. I used to have the idea that stress equaled success because it means you care about what you’re doing. But I’ve found what works better for me is to enjoy myself. For example, swimming – if I’m not feeling happy – won’t go well and I don’t really see the point in doing anything unless it makes you happy.
How would you rank your happiness level right about now?
Oh, good! I’m great. It’s beautiful out and I’m going to be a JA next year and we choose our entries tonight. My co and I are going to go to Wal-Mart to get some silly costume.
Do you think being a WOOLF leader prepares you for being a JA?
I think so. Any position of leadership prepares you for a future position of leadership, even though they are very different. Obviously, WOOLF leader is very temporary. But what I found so valuable from that is the balance, because you are in a position of leadership, but the people you are leading are also very much your equals. So you also don’t really have authority over them, but you are a figure of authority so it’s this weird balance. They are 18-year-olds; I’m 20, which is different. But it’s not like I’m a counselor, which I’ve also done. I lead canoeing trips for girls ages eight to 15 and there we are really out in the wilderness. It’s character building, and that’s a very different sort of leadership.
Any ideas for your JA costume thus far?
We had some ideas. We were thinking maybe we would be the hot members of the Scooby-Doo gang. Fred and Daphne, not Shaggy and Velma. It’s so disproportional. Why are two of them really hot and two of them are just such a mess?
That’s totally fair. Is Scooby-Doo one of your favorite cartoons?
No, it was just random. We were thinking about famous couples and they came up.
Do you watch a lot of TV?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I hardly watched any in high school and here I don’t ever watch TV really. I just feel like our time here is so limited with schoolwork and also most everyone on this campus has other commitments that take up a lot of time. Time when I can be social – just talking to someone or dancing or doing something crazy – I think is valuable and really kind of limited here. So, TV, I don’t personally rank it as very important. Not saying that I don’t enjoy TV – I do – but especially in college you have four years when all you have to do is go to school and do things you’re into.
College is pretty special.
So on a related note, we’re both sophomores. Did you just declare your major?
I did. I’m going to be a history major.
Me too! That’s awesome!
I’ve kind of been saying I’m undecided until I had to decide. I feel like I really did the liberal arts experience to its fullest. By the end of my sophomore year, I had only taken one class in each department, except I had taken two math courses. I actually hadn’t taken any history classes until this semester and now I’m taking two. I just went with it because I like it.
Do you think people here take enough advantage of the liberal arts experience?
I don’t know. I think it varies from person to person. If you know what you like and don’t like, then you can roll with that. I feel fortunate in that I had no idea because it forced me to take a lot of things and I liked them all. I think it is intimidating too because of how difficult the courses are when you take a course outside of your comfort zone. It’s really hard. It’s not just like I’m going to take something that is going to be cool and interesting – it’s going to be cool, interesting and really hard. Some people just have more sense of direction.
Speaking of direction, you’re from Arizona? What led you to the College?
I really thought there was nothing else like it in my college search. Everyone was so nice and enthusiastic and wanted to help me. For a place where it’s so academically rigorous, it’s kind of unreal that people are so friendly here. I don’t know that you can get that any other place, and if you can it’s rare. I’ve taken to making Arizona part of my image here. It’s kind of a random state. Obviously, politically Arizona is pretty whack – not something I buy into. I’m pretty liberal, so New England is more suited. I feel like I’m converting into a New Englander. I love the West and I think it’s made me who I am and so upbeat. Sometimes I think I look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I’m happy for that.