Though at first convinced that his WesCeleb nomination was a practical joke, Noah Olsen ’22 is well-known on campus: He spends his days setting records on the track team, cosplaying as a cardinal at football games, and being tagged constantly in the senior GroupMe. The Argus (miraculously) was able to convince him to share more about his Wesleyan experience.
The Argus: Why do you think you were nominated to be a WesCeleb?
Noah Olsen: Not for a very good reason. Honest answer: I don’t know why.
A: What are some activities you’re involved in around campus?
NO: This is so high pressure. What do I do? I do track, I am a psychology major, I am in Alpha Delt, I am a director for TERP, I am in a comedy group, I’m in SAAC [Student-Athlete Advisory Athletics Committee].
A: What are some of your favorite memories from Wesleyan?
NO: One time I got kicked out of Usdan for not wearing shoes. Don’t worry, I had socks on, I’m not disgusting. I walked into Usdan with no shoes because I was doing “No Shoes-dan,” and I was walking around trying to get food, and then a manager came up to me and said that I had to put shoes on. I asked him why, and he said, “Allergies.” I don’t know if he meant my allergies to the floor, his allergies to my socks. I had never heard of a sock allergy before, especially when it’s touching nobody and only the floor and everyone else has shoes on. That’s my story about socks.
A: Any other stories?
NO: What else have I done at this school? Do people usually have trouble answering the questions?
NO: I should’ve seen this coming.
A: Do you feel qualified to be a WesCeleb?
A: Why not?
NO: I don’t even know how you become one.
A: You get nominated because people think you’re WesCeleb-worthy.
NO: This was a mean prank. I was nominated as part of a long prank to embarrass me in The Argus. Is it because I got @-ed so many times in the fucking [senior] GroupMe?
A: Yeah, why does that keep happening, by the way?
NO: I don’t know. If there is a reason, I don’t have anything to do with it, but now it happens all the time.
A: What are your events on the track team?
NO: I do high jump, long jump. I run the 400. I sometimes throw javelin. I do the heptathlon and the decathlon. I really like running the 4×4, but I also hate running the 4×4 because I always throw up afterward. It’s really painful, but it’s rewarding. I always feel like I did a good job if I run it well, and because it’s a team thing, you’re running in a relay. The most actual fun one to do is probably high jump. Also, if you need something to say, you can say that I have the heptathlon school record. I did the heptathlon one time and now I have the record.
A: What is the heptathlon?
NO: It’s seven events and they score them all together.
A: Did you feel proud of yourself?
NO: No, because the old record was not even a real record. It was like the easiest possible record to set. But now I have it, so they had to write my name on the board, so now I live forever in Freeman [Athletic Center], until someone beats me, so hopefully they let me do it again so that it’s not as bad. Because right now my record is easy to beat.
A: How did you decide to major in psych?
NO: I liked the classes. They didn’t even have psych at my high school, so I don’t even know why I wanted to do it, but I came in being like, “I’m going to do psych, probably because I didn’t like anything else.” Or, “I kind of liked science, but I didn’t like microbiology.” That’s my main problem with bio. I hate cells because I can’t see them and it doesn’t make sense to me, but I love evolution stuff. Maybe I should’ve just done biology and gotten over the cells thing. But I also like psych when they tell you about how people think and why. I love messing with people’s brains. It’s like my favorite hobby. My primary hobby.
A: What do you mean?
NO: I don’t know, I just lie all the time to see what people will believe. I usually keep a list of things that I say that I’ve done, just to confuse people. Like I say that I’m a double University major in Puzzle Architecture and Horror Cosmetics. Like zombie makeup, just with a funny name, so people won’t question it. I tell people that I grew up in Germany and that I was in a production of “Tarzan: The Musical” in Hamburg when I was eight years old. I tell people that I voiced Rudy Tabootie in “ChalkZone,” a children’s cartoon from the early 2000s. I tell people that I played Zack Mooneyham in “School of Rock on Broadway,” because normally if you put enough detail into something and you believe it enough, everyone else will. So it’s fun to just be a made-up character.
A: What is the most interesting thing about you that IS true?
NO: Here are my true fun facts: I was in the circus when I was a wee lad, I’ve broken eight bones, and I used to play Mario Kart Wii professionally. So all the people on Yik Yak or on Tinder saying that they’ll beat me in Mario Kart, you won’t. People said that in their bios on Tinder, like, “Play me in Mario Kart.” I’m like, “You don’t want that. It won’t be fun, it will just be me winning over and over.” You can’t compete.
A: You mentioned Yik Yak. What are your thoughts on Yik Yak?
NO: I’m retired. I’m a retired Yakster. It was too much commitment. You go for a week being 50% of the content on Yik Yak, and then you realize that you’re doing it too much and you have to take a step back and let others shine. Obviously, it wasn’t fair when I was on it because I had all the best Yaks.
A: What was your best Yak?
NO: None of the Yaks that get a lot of likes are ever good because I have to make them about Wesleyan so that people will care about them. Best Yak I ever made was “Planted a plant, let life begin.” That’s the funniest thing anyone has ever said on Yik Yak, that’s it. Most successful Yak I’ve ever had? I don’t know. Probably some bullshit about the CFA, I don’t know. Something people thought they could relate to. Also, I’m not a hater. That’s what annoys me when people are haters on Yik Yak. They’re like, “You guys aren’t funny.” Like, shut up. That wasn’t funny. Tell a good joke.
A: Do you have any advice for your freshman self?
NO: You’re going to do everything right. Go you!
A: For real?
NO: Don’t try to do so many things because you’re not going to be able to do all those things. Then do the other things that you didn’t want to do and you do now and are good. Oh, another thing I’m doing on campus because this is free press—I might be teaching a student forum on “Survivor” in the spring.
A: How did that idea come about?
NO: Someone told me to teach a student forum on “Survivor” because I watch so much “Survivor”. I don’t remember who it was. I was like, “I’ve seen all of ‘Survivor.’” And someone was like, “Oh, you could teach a student forum about it.” Because I was talking about it so much because I’m a dumb nerd. But I’m only a dumb nerd about not school [things]. Everyone else here is a nerd about school. Not me.
A: Best class you’ve taken?
NO: My FYS [First Year Seminar], “Intro to Contemporary Dance from Global Perspectives.” It was very fun and there were a lot of cool things we got to experience for free. We got to have a class taught by the Royal Court of Java in Indonesia and they taught us Javanese dance. It was really hard though, and I was not good at it. Also, we had a field trip to New York where we got to see the Alvin Ailey dance company, except I couldn’t go on that field trip because I missed it for headshots for track. What a disappointment. I would have much rather gone on the field trip than get a headshot taken, but I’m sure that was great. Other good classes, my student forum, that’s gonna be incredible if it happens. Also, “Sensation and Perception” with [Professor of Neuroscience and Behavior] Barbara Juhasz. That’s a really good class. You just look at illusions, basically, and ask, did it work? Some of them did not work. I don’t think I’m good at seeing illusions. Maybe it’s because my eyes don’t work.
A: Your eyes don’t work?
NO: Yeah, I’m blind. I cannot see without contacts or glasses, at all, so if anyone ever steals them from me, I will be very sad and blind. Please do not take my glasses off my face if I am wearing them. Please do not remove my contacts from my eyes if I am wearing them. That would be a cool prank, to steal someone’s contacts from their eyes, but only do it if you yourself have contacts. Otherwise, it’s probably dangerous because you don’t know how to take them out right so I’ll get an eye infection. Don’t do that. I’ve managed to avoid all the plagues at Wesleyan, somehow, like hand, foot, and mouth and mono and chlamydia.
A: Do you have any plans after graduation?
NO: Plan A, accidentally become famous. Plan B is to hope for the best. Just kidding. What will I do? Maybe I will do consulting work. Probably, I will end up as a guidance counselor, in a school, because I kind of want to be a teacher but I don’t really want to be a teacher because I don’t like school, and I do psychology, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I also might go back to school after like a year, which is fairly likely, and then I’ll become a therapist. Although I don’t really want to become a therapist. So I probably won’t do that. I lied about that part. Maybe I could be a psychologist for an organization. That would be fun, to be a psychologist for a sports team. But I don’t want to do therapy sessions exactly. Or maybe I do. Anyway, I haven’t decided on my plan, and I don’t have a good one. Should I say I have a big plan? Would [The Argus] like that? Should I lie to make myself sound interesting?
A: Anything else you want to add?
NO: Are you going to be able to make an article out of this?
A: We’ll see.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Annie Roach can be reached at email@example.com