__Kristen Pantazes gives off an air of confidence and enthusiasm, and before long, I can tell she has a great talent for bringing out the fun in life while not neglecting the important stuff. She’s double majoring in sociology and government to “find ways to help understand the social world and its influences on policy and governance.” For the time being, she’s been busy sharing her gifts with the College of William and Mary as a tour guide, an Orientation Aide, an Honor Council member, a member of a social sorority, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, a member of an a capella group and an important part of the College’s summer admissions staff.__
*What was the highlight of your weekend?*
Hands down, it was the giant leaf fight I had at 1 a.m. with this phenomenal group of people. We were walking across campus from Jamestown [Hall] and came across a huge leaf pile between McGlothlin-Street and Washington [Halls], and all of the sudden there were leaves and people flying everywhere. Literally, we played in the leaves for a solid 20 to 30 minutes, and it was just so much fun, even though we felt a little bit like five-year-olds.
*You’re wearing gold leggings and some sort of green cape in your Facebook profile picture. What’s the story on that?*
That was actually one of my two Halloween costumes from last weekend. I am currently taking an Age of Dinosaurs class in the geology department, and I was assigned to a group project on stegosauruses a few weeks ago. After going through that whole project, I thought it would be really funny to dress up as a stegosaurus for Halloween, so I actually went to the fabric store down Richmond Road and bought fabric and supplies, and then I created this green cape with back plates and a tail that included spikes. Throw in some gold leggings, gold fabric and some shades for good measure, and you totally have a fun costume.
*What’s an embarrassing moment at the College you’ve had?*
When I was at the football game this weekend I totally had this flashback of the homecoming game from sophomore year that I’m pretty sure I intentionally blocked from my memory. I usually dress up in crazy William and Mary gear for games, and I was a little late for this game, so I was trying to run up the steps of the student section to go cheer with my friends. However, I took one step into this puddle on the first step of one of the aisles and totally wiped out in front of hundreds of my peers while wearing green and gold tie dye and knee socks, face paint, feathers in my hair, necklaces and ribbons, green shorts and William and Mary Converse sneakers. I almost felt so cool. Almost.
*Tell me about being in Common Ground.*
Common Ground [the College’s Christian Women’s a cappella group] has really been a group that has anchored my time here at the College. I auditioned my first semester freshman year, and ever since getting it, the girls have really become my family — the ones I go to with problems and who I know understand me on every level.
*I hear you also have mad beat boxing skills as well?*
On a less serious note, it’s also gotten me into vocal percussion aka beatboxing, something that is downright awesome. Coming into the group, there was no way I would have thought I could percuss, but one of the older girls in the group took me under her wing and would literally sit with me for hours, teaching me all the different sounds and variations. I occasionally walk around campus percussing to myself — weird, I know, but it’s just so much fun. I was surprised that it is really not that hard to do.
*What myths would you like to dispel about the College if you were able?*
Somehow on my tours I always have students and parents asking, “Is William and Mary really the place where fun goes to die?” Being an out-of-state student, I never heard that rumor before coming here, and so the first time someone mentioned this to me freshman year, I could hardly believe it. Apparently that’s a rumor that floats around the state of Virginia, but I honestly think it’s kind of ridiculous. I mean, to be sure, Williamsburg isn’t your hotbed of crazy nightlife off campus, but one of the things I love most about our school is that there really is something going on all the time.
Definitely C. S. Lewis, although Jane Austen put up a good effort there, too. Lewis just has this remarkable ability to speak to me through his writings, to make things that are ethereal so easy to understand and relate to. His writings have taught me a lot about this world and people in general, and I hope someday I can be so well-spoken — or written, as it were — as well as have such a great sense of humor.
*Do you have any unfulfilled goals you’d like to see out before you graduate?*
I am actually working on compiling a bucket list for my senior year, making this list of things that I want to accomplish before I embark out into that proverbial real world. It’s getting pretty extensive, which I’m excited about, and it includes everything from having a CW day of visiting all the attractions to hosting a dinner party to befriending the students in my freshman dorm to completing the triathlon all in one night, just to name a few. I just really love this place and want to make sure that I’m treasuring my last few months here — incredibly sappy, I know, but still true.
__When I ask Kristen where she sees herself a few years after graduation, she tells me her primary goal is to be happy, whatever she’s doing. In whatever environment, you can be sure Kristen will stick by her motto: “Everything happens for a reason, so have faith and a smile.”__