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Olivia Hogenkamp
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Olivia Hogenkamp

Graduation year: 2021

High school: Lakewood High School

Hometown: Lakewood, Colo.

Majors: Applied mathematics, computer science

Activities: Varsity cross country, varsity track & field (USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition), Student Government Association, Rocky Mountain Club, Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society

Post-grad plans: TBD

Why Augustana?

Augustana is my mother’s alma mater, my sister was a student, and several other relatives were Vikings. So when it came to picking a school, I applied as a formality. I was adamant about making my path and felt that following in the footsteps of so many relatives would restrict me from setting myself apart.

After visiting, I understood what people meant when they say you know when you find the right fit. Augustana felt like home, and not even my stubborn self could let that feeling slip away.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

I originally saw college as the final step until my life began. I planned to graduate with my dream career, a one-way ticket and an exciting adventure ahead. This is a mindset I was able to outgrow.

Augie helped me slow down, prioritize, figure out and interpret my interests. I let go of the preconceived idea I had of success and found myself in positions I would never have had if I had kept my head down and checked items off my to-do list. I can confidently say Augie is more than I imagined.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

The wonderful professors in the math and computer science departments in whose offices I spent countless hours for both office hours and advising. Professors are truly committed to the success of every student.

My roommates and teammates who listened when I came home and exclaimed yet another career change, ran with me on the most beautiful days but also through the Midwest winter, danced with me in the gazebo when school got heavy, and taught me that it’s the people who make a place home.

My sister, with whom I was able to share my college experience, as teammates and classmates. Someone who believed in me to the point where she didn’t encourage me to shoot for the stars, she simply met me there. Coming to college with that sort of support is the reason why I was able to jump in with both feet and fearlessly attack this chapter of my life.

Peak experience?

My peak experience was being a member of the cross country and track teams. This last month has made it clear how much strength and confidence I can attribute to having run with such an empowering group of women, and I believe that I would not be anywhere near the person I am today without them. Practicing and competing with these girls has been my favorite part of the past four years.

What surprised you?

I'm surprised about how much I'm going to miss Augustana. I'm not saying this as someone who had low expectations coming in and was pleasantly surprised that they enjoyed themself, but as someone who gets restless and finds themself fantasizing about new places and people. Augustana became my home.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to fund an internship in the EDGE Center. Here, my hours were spent gaining real-world experience working with local clients and designing websites that incorporate client preferences and needs.

What will you miss the most?

I’ll miss the mundane. Time spent in the Fishbowl, a place where I have spent hours studying and laughing, over-caffeinated and unable to focus as friends pull up chairs and laptops are shut. Also, showing up to practice and existing in a liminal space, where stress is shed, stories shared and bonds formed over miles.

I can walk through campus pinpointing landmarks, reminders of funny and embarrassing moments, good days and bad. These memories create a mosaic of my college experience, and I will miss each piece.

Advice for the Class of 2025?

Take it slow, embrace the uncertainty, enjoy being exactly where you are. Because you’ll blink and find yourself with your random roommate now best friend reminiscing on freshman year, wishing time would slow, soaking up every moment, as our time is almost over, but yours has just begun.

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"It was always a great pleasure having Olivia in class and interacting with her outside of class. She always just made learning new stuff fun! She always went out of her way to learn and understand new stuff. A character trait that will take her far in life!"

– Dr. Jon Clauss, professor, mathematics and computer science