Sarah Bennett is the epitome of cute. Never allowed to wear make-up until the age of 16, Sarah has mastered the look of the pretty girl next door. With her confident demeanor during our interview, it is difficult to imagine her as the awkward teenager she promises she was back in high school. She is also full of surprises: At one point she had five wisdom teeth, her cell phone ringer is Crank Dat, she bets money with grandparents and even now can’t stand to be outside during a storm.
p. **Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in Richmond?**
p. Well, I was born and raised in the same house (which we have only renovated once). My mom is a gynecologist, which always proved for fabulous dinner conversations and never failed to embarrass my brother. My dad worked for the Department of Transportation and now works for a private company. I have one older brother who graduated from Virginia Tech two years ago. I used to hate his guts, but we managed to become a lot closer when he went off to school.
p. My older cousin Jeff was also around a lot when I was growing up and he was always the one to protect me from my brother. I remember days when we used to play football and Jeff would pity me and take me on his team. We would always win, too. We also have a fat dog named Lucky. She had two litters of the most adorable lab puppies and never seemed to lose the maternal weight. Now that my whole family is older, we respect each other a lot and have fun together.
p. **What types of activities are you involved in at the College?**
p. Let me think. Tour guide, Service Leaders Corps, OA, student mentor and this past year, I was the president for Kappa Delta sorority. I have also volunteered all four years with READ, which is an adopt-a-grandparent program. For the past two years, I have taken the role of director at the Blayton Building. I love going there because we play a game which they really enjoy called Pekeno, a mixture of poker and bingo. The stakes get pretty high … okay, we play with pennies.
p. **Can you tell me about some of your experiences serving as president of KD?**
p. It is really difficult, as president, to strike a balance between keeping your friends as well as being an effective leader of the organization. You need to not only maintain roles, but to also keep everyone happy. I think I did that relatively well unless my friends are all lying to me.
p. I would say that the most rewarding experience for me was serving as our chapter delegate to the Kappa Delta national convention, where I spoke about what the sorority meant to me. It was important to share and represent our chapter in such a positive light because, often times, the large southern chapters dominate those conferences. Really, my main goal with the job was just to have everyone be happy. People shouldn’t pay for something if they aren’t enjoying it. At the end of the day, I feel good about where we stand.
p. **With that position and a pre-med track, you were unable to study abroad. Is there anywhere you would love to go?**
p. I would really like to go back to Rome. My grandmother was born there and when I was younger, my family went there to visit. I really enjoyed myself, mostly because of the food. [Laughs] I think I was too young to actually appreciate what was around me, though, so I would like to go back to enjoy the history and sights.
I would especially want to go to this one place right below the Spanish steps. It is the best pastry place with an enlarged window and it is my favorite place. I would be that little kid that just stood outside staring at all the desserts all day. My mom usually let me go in to buy something and if I went back, that would be the first place I would go. I also had my worst eating experience in Rome. I went to eat at the McDonald’s there and I guess the ground beef is different, because it was awful. I have never eaten a hamburger since.
p. **What do you wish you had known coming to the College?**
p. I wish I had known not to stress about the future because you will eventually realize what it is you want to do with your life. Graduating from William and Mary, you can really accomplish whatever it is you have your heart set upon. It might not be right away, but it will happen.
p. I want to become a doctor and I was on the track of going to medical school right after graduation. I realized I was burnt out and wanted a break and you know what? That’s okay. You don’t have to lock yourself in at the age of 21. I’m a strong believer that things will fall into place. Even my boyfriend told me when I was freaking out in the beginning of the year that I shouldn’t stress out about such things. If I had listened to him and known that, I would have stayed much saner.
p. **So you had five wisdom teeth? Can you tell me about that?**
p. [Laughs] Yes, I like to say that’s why I am so wise. I had them all removed, though, so maybe that has been the cause of my downfall. I don’t think that five is that abnormal. It was a really small one, and they took it out with all the rest of them, which I was fine with them doing.
p. **That must have been a little scary. What are you afraid of these days?**
p. It’s a tie between fire and lightning, and that joint fright comes from the same story. When I was seven years old, my neighbor’s house caught on fire from a lightning bolt. Our house started to fill with smoke from theirs. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two houses and what was and wasn’t on fire. We had to run outside during the thunder and lightning storm and that whole experience scarred me for life. I’m getting better with thunder now, but it still freaks me out a little bit. I don’t understand how people enjoy going outside to watch the storms. I’m always inside with the windows bolted shut.
p. **Any other weird tendencies or traits you’d like people to know about?**
p. Well, my first crush was Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw “Titanic” in the movie theater 13 times because of him. I still can’t believe I paid that much multiple times to see it because it wasn’t even that great of a movie. I was obsessed with him though; I had 10 posters of Leo throughout my room when I was younger. It’s funny because he left the scene and just came back recently with films like “The Departed” and he’s even hotter than before. I guess it was a good crush. Unfortunately, I don’t have posters of him up in my room anymore … I was too ashamed. I mean seriously, 13 times? That’s just pathetic.
p. **Is there one thing you’d like to do before you graduate from the College?**
p. I really wish I was part of a secret society. I’m nervous for you to write that because then they might read it and not let me in. I don’t know how their whole selection process works, but I think that is my biggest desire. I mean, they have to still be taking people right? Like maybe they have one for just seniors. They are running out of time and I’m starting to wonder when they are going to come knocking. I remember when I became a tour guide, one of the societies sent me a letter. It was the coolest thing ever. Basically, I’m a loser. [Laughs] That’s the whole point of this story.