Where does one begin when describing the campus presence that is Carolina Echenique ’15? After witnessing her idiosyncratic antics for two weeks of Junior Advisor (JA) training, I realized that the Puerto Rican soccer player, commonly known as just “Ech,” clearly has one of the most hilarious personalities at the College. Everything about her – from her jokes to her facial expressions – are unabashed and unfiltered. I was lucky enough to see her at a dance party last Saturday, where our adventure began.
How are you feeling, Ech?
A little sweaty. What’re you gonna do? When there’s music, you’ve got to dance.
I’ve noticed that wearing bags of wine on your head seems to be a party trick of yours – what makes you do that?
It’s hard to tell – it’s kind of a coolant. It has a cooling effect because it’s chilled. And if you put it on your head, it kind of trickles down. It’s comfortable, too, a little heavy, but it’s good. I’m literally sweating my balls off [laughs]. It’s funny ’cause I was thinking when I was little, whenever I would try to exert myself in any way I would turn bright purple, and I would be purple or red for hours after that. And also I would sweat profusely. But I grew out of turning purple, so I’m hoping I’ll also grow out of sweating. I guess we’ll see.
How’s the entry with Patrick Johnson ’15 going?
Great! He likes to have fun, as you can see [gestures to Patrick]. He’s a great dancer.
So you’re from Puerto Rico – do you consider yourself primarily American or Puerto Rican?
People like to give me s*** and say I’m international, but I am American. I’m Puerto Rican but also American. I thought I was fully American, but then I came here and there was a little culture shock, but I definitely consider myself American no matter what other people say.
How many pugs do you have?
I have three. One of them is old and can’t really walk, so we got her these wheels that help her walk. But sometimes she flips over and is on her back like a turtle – it’s pretty cute. So people think I’m a lot more obsessed with my dogs than I really am, so they give me all this pug stuff. Like, I have three pug shirts, and my frosh got me a pug mug for my birthday – it’s very cute – and another frosh for my birthday got me pug socks. It’s a vicious cycle, I guess.
How’re the frosh? Any good stories?
We hate them. They are the worst… No, they are not that crazy. They are pretty mellow. I have one frosh who likes to fight me, like physically fight me, but other than that…
She does. I’m pretty weak.
How’s the soccer team been with the new first-years this year?
It’s been good. They’re all pretty cool. I’m also basically like a [first-year] because I live in Mission and most of them live in Mission. I just want to be their friend because they’re so cool, but it’s weird with being a JA because you can never really – I don’t want to say you can never be fully friends, but there’s always this sort of weird thing.
Do you have any good stories from freshman year?
I’m very clumsy, and my freshman year over Winter Study we were in our [soccer] seniors’ apartment on Spring Street [which belonged to Brett Eisenhart ’12], and those walls are like paper, so this is not my fault. I was trying to put my boots on – and to be fair they’re very difficult to put on for some reason – and I was the last one up there because I’m always the last one to everything because I’m very slow. And so I was in the hallway bouncing around on one foot trying to get my boots on, and I fell over onto the wall. And then, like, into the wall, and I was sitting in the wall and I was like, “Oh, my God,” and nobody saw me, so I was like, “I can run!” So I ran out of there, didn’t finish putting my boots on, looked back and there was a hole the size of my entire butt and back. So that was very embarrassing. And I felt so bad – the whole rest of the night I ran around to probably 10 people and was like, “I have something to tell you – I broke Brett’s wall!” I told her the next morning it was me, and she actually thought it was hilarious. Freshman year…
Speaking of which, you have a way of making really funny/embarrassing faces when you see your friends – is that something you’ve always done?
I think that I initiate, usually, the funny-face-making, and when I was little, my mom would get so angry at me because if there was ever a camera in front of me, I could not smile. First of all, I didn’t know how to smile, so I would just make faces ’cause I thought it looked better. I do know how to smile now because I grew up, but I’ve still held on to my habit of making funny/ugly faces, which my mom hates. She hates it so much.
Oh, and I have to ask about your nickname: Everyone knows you as Ech –
Ech-a-Skech, Sketchy Echy…
I mean, obviously, it’s the first three letters of your last name, but how did it become so ingrained?
I guess it all started because of soccer. The summer before my freshman year, my class came to work at a summer camp here for [Head Coach] Michelyne [Pinard], who’s our coach, and we sent e-mails back and forth and I signed them either Carolina or Caro [pronounced “car-oh”], which is what people call me at home. So when I met her for the first time, she said, “Okay, so I have to ask, how do you pronounce your name? Is it “Care-o?” And I was like, no way is anyone calling me that here. But for some reason people just have a lot of trouble pronouncing my name, and that wasn’t going to fly. It doesn’t actually matter a whole lot, but especially on the soccer field, if you’re saying “Carolina,” it’s a lot to handle. And it’s funny because my sister went here, and they used to call her Ech or Echy, and to Michelyne, I was so nervous so I was like, “They used to call my sister Ech,” and she was like “Okay, we’ll call you Ech.”
Echy part II…
Or Swechy. I’ve earned that nickname.