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Kenyon is a tiny school in a tiny town - it's too small and isolated for me, but that's obviously something of personal taste...
Kenyon is a tiny school in a tiny town - it's too small and isolated for me, but that's obviously something of personal taste, though that tends to be the feeling after four years. This lends itself to an excellent academic atmosphere in which students and professors interact outside of the classroom when they bump into each other getting coffee or at performance, etc. Unfortunately, this also creates a very intense social situation in which you live in closes quarters for four years just over 1000 people. The best thing about Kenyon is the small classes and the professors. I would change the Greek system, either by getting rid of it, or adding legitimate, NATIONAL sororities to give girls an option equivalent to the entrenched fraternity system, which controls much of the social life (basically, the school needs to make up its mind, since it is very Greek, but pretends not to be). When I tell people I go to Kenyon, they either have never heard of it (most often), or know someone who went there/have no strong reaction. Well, I spend just about all of my time on campus, like everyone, and on campus, I am outside when it's nice, in the coffee shop, bookstore, or study lounge working and socializing, or in my room trying to snag a bit of time alone. The town of Gambier and Kenyon really aren't separated; in fact, Kenyon's campus exists on either side of the main drag of town, so it's all basically the school. It has a couple of bars and a deli, coffee shop, etc, but nothing else. You NEED a car, even just to go to a movie or to buy toiletries. Kenyon's administration seems to be a bit out of touch with the reality of the school, maybe trying to make it into some "New Ivy" cookie-cutter school. The most recent campus controversy was over the proposed addition of swipe-card entrances to dorms, which was loudly and overwhelmingly opposed by students. The administration wanted to appease parents, and students want to keep Kenyon the small-town kind of community that it is. There is a certain kind of school pride - not in athletics, except for from athletes, but in its quirkiness. I'm not sure if Kenyon is all that different from a lot of small, rural liberal arts schools - they all have their traditions and quirks, but I will say that that experience is very singular and bonding. You could take two kids from the same class who are different and never meet, and in ten years, they would have very different memories.
Very white, mostly wealthy (either private schools or high-tax bracket public schools), and mostly moderate-liberal politically. People pretend to be more liberal than they are. Most people would feel accepted by some group or other since it's a diverse set of kids in terms of interests. One nice thing is that it's regionally diverse, though there are large pockets from the coasts. It's impossible to call it a preppy or a hippy school, but it is not a very attractive school, maybe because everyone meshes together and there is no "look". People don't dress up - the best way to stand out at a party is to wear what you would wear to go out at home, i.e. try hard to look like you don't try hard. I wish people just looked nice and didn't wear sweats all the time. Would it kill guys to wear tuxes to "formals"?
Kenyon used to be more of a hippie school, but now that it's harder to get into, there are a lot more emo over-achievers that suck. They don't contribute to the social scene.
Well, it's not the most party-hardy school, so yes, that's accurate.
Academics at Kenyon are close-knit and very important. Everyone at Kenyon has some kind of academic pursuit that they care about, and you do find kids having conversations about classes at dinner tables or even parties - discussing the Civil Rights Movement or the merits of a stream-of-conscience narrative over beers. Professors are laid-back and honestly care about getting to know students, especially in upper-level classes. I've found them all to be very helpful during office hours, even if you're a non-major, if you put work and time into the class. Participation if very common, but the academic atmosphere is friendly. My favorite classes have been in the history department - Roman history and African American history, and also Creative Fiction (short story writing). The education is the part of Kenyon that I value the most (and the reason I haven't transferred) - it's a true, classic liberal arts education that is not pre-professionally geared, but for the sake of learning itself. That said, I would NOT recommend the freshmen IPHS class.
Social life at Kenyon sucks. It's intense, cliquey, catty, and isolated - worse than high school or middle school. Kids are very active and friendly, but the party scene is boring after two months because of lack of options. There are weekends when there nothing going on, which I thought was the opposite of college, though you could drink seven nights a week. Average is going out three. I met all of my closest friends freshman year through parties, hanging out, dorms, etc. You just have to get out of town at least once a semester, and if you don't have a car, I feel bad for you. Living in Amish country is quaint, but after a while, you want more. Looking at percentages is deceiving: fraternities are very important on campus, but there is no real alternative for girls (a few local sororities without much presence due to housing inequivalent to the boys'). For a relatively Greek school, the party scene leaves a lot to be desired, and everyone is thankful when they are 21 and can finally go to the two bars in town. Dating scene? Dating doesn't exist at colleges where everyone already knows each other, unless you're already sleeping together. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I'm probably walking home from the library or hanging out in someone's room watching tv or a movie or talking. I'm probably asleep. I'm not sure what events there are on Saturday nights for non-partiers (I DO have friends that go out and don't drink), but there are some groups that have like pajama party movie-viewing things. I've never been. Outside of the party scene, lectures and a capela concerts are well attended. Sports games are sometimes - depends on the weather and the team (boys soccer does alright, no one watches football). Apparently we have a great swim team? Some fun traditions are the Halloween party, Philander's Phling (all school semi-formal), and Summer Sendoff (big all-day party and concert in the Spring). I go off campus around once a week to eat dinner, shop, run errands, see a movie, and try to keep my sanity.
I am not sure - one of the interesting things about Kenyon is that it's got a really mixed student body in terms of traditional stereotypes. It has its fair share of jocks, preppy kids, hippies, emo kids, etc. It's probably not considered a fun school.
I think the size is great, but my high school was tiny. Gambier is more of a "college village" than a college town, but ther...
I think the size is great, but my high school was tiny. Gambier is more of a "college village" than a college town, but there's something going on just about every weekend, and a reasonable variety of places to eat when the dining hall food just gets too bad. That's a common complaint--the food company, AVI. My friends call it "AVItus". One thing to remember: if you tell people you're going to Kenyon, they'll either ask "you're going to Africa?!" or give you a blank stare before asking "where?". Kenyon has a great email system. You can send an email to everyone in your english class (and the prof...), to all employees, to all students (the "allstu"), or to any organization. The allstu is everything from rideshare, to lost and found, to event advertisement, to general forum for debate. don't worry, you don't have to get allstu's, but it makes it easier to know what's going on. The winters are cold--be prepared. I brought a silk undershirt, and that really helped. You'll learn how to layer! Also, it rains. Bring rainboots.
I think a very conservative student might feel out of place, just because the campus is strongly liberal. This is not to say that everyone is liberal--there's a Republican student group as well as Democratic (and Libertarian). People seem very free to just be themselves, not caring what they look like. I know I try to look put together for me, not because I'd be out of place if I didn't. Politically, it's a very interesting campus--a few years back students waited for 13 hours in the rain to vote in the presidential election, but almost all of the student government positions run uncontested.
Laundry can be a little expensive ($1.50 per wash load, and 25 cents for 10 minutes in the dryer--but 2 wash loads usually equals one dry load). Also, all students in the Freshman quad use the laundry facility in Gund (this means if you live in Lewis or Norton, you've got to lug your laundry about). It would seem that not all freshman come prepared knowing how to do laundry--sometimes the washers are overloaded and then they break... People also seem to have a tendency of leaving thier laundry in the washer or dryer for a couple hours, frustrating everyone else who needs to do laundry. Thankfully, I've heard this is less common in upperclass dorms!
The distribution requirements can be tricky to follow--read the course book carefully. Also, if you want to major in certain fields (Bio, Chem, maybe Eng), you just about need to take an intro level class as a freshman. Some of the classes that are meant to help people get distribution requirements done (Intro Psych, Art History) can be bad or good, depending on the prof...try and talk to people about it! All of that aside, I've loved most of my classes. Most professors really enjoy thier subjects and are willing to discuss points of interest. Class participation really depends on the class and the professor (and the time slot!). Several of my profs give daily reading quizzes to make sure that everyone's done the reading, which is really good in a seminar class--it means everyone is prepared!
I'm involved in the archery club, which is both where I made a lot of friends and met my boyfriend--it's a great way to blow off steam on a Friday afternoon! I know lots of people that complain about the dating scene, and maybe I just got lucky, but I know lots of happily dating people--it's easier to find compatability at clubs and organizations than at parties, I think. There's usually a big party or two at the south end of campus every weekend, but I've never gone--I'd rather hang out with my friends. Getting off campus to the nearby town of Mt. Vernon means taking the shuttle, always an interesting trip!, but it means visiting lots of other restaurants, some big chain stores, or the movie theater. Sometimes it's just great to get out of the bubble. Middle Ground, one of the cafes on campus, is a great place to hang out, but sometimes it can be hard to get a table.
When I tell people I go to Kenyon, I am usually replied with "oohs and ahs" and strong compliments about the school.
When I tell people I go to Kenyon, I am usually replied with "oohs and ahs" and strong compliments about the school.
We are center-left, New York Times reading, student body that opposes the Republican Party. We're open-minded to different life-styles.
The stereotype about the college itself is far from the truth. Once, I was speaking with a former admissions officer from Yale and I told him that I was attending Kenyon. His response was that Kenyon is the only legitimate college in the Mid-West. While his comment was strong, generally you will find that the quality of the academics at Kenyon are highly regarded. And the character of the campus? Let's just say that we are referred to as either the "Princeton of the West," the "Williams of the West," or the "Amherst of the West" (or "'insert top-notch east coast school here' of the West).
The academics of Kenyon are top quality. The professors here take time to get to know you and will look as you as peers. As a result, the typical Kenyon professor is dynamic and and wants to see you improve as a student. The students here are (generally) not competitve.
As Bob Dylan once said about Kenyon, "If I went here, all I would do is go out into the woods and drink." Bob, you are right on the mark.
Generally, Kenyon is stereotyped as a generic Mid-West school that lacks character and prestige. The students here are usually portrayed as white, members of the middle and upper classes, and vote a straight Democratic ticket.
The best thing about Kenyon is the professors that take the time to get to know you personally, especially a student's academ...
The best thing about Kenyon is the professors that take the time to get to know you personally, especially a student's academic adviser. The village of Gambier is small. There are three restaurants, the bookstore, an overpriced small grocery store, and the post office that mostly comprise "downtown." In order to do real shopping, you have to go to Mount Vernon, which is about 5-10 minutes away. The administration think they have a handle on things, but I feel as though they are completely separate from the school itself. Our last big controversy was a scabies outbreak, and that was hilarious but scary. Not everybody buys into the Kenyon mentality, and there are some weird people here, but it all balances out.
The student body is very eclectic. There is a very active LGBT group on campus, as well as an Asian group, Black Student group, and visual/performing arts groups. There is a group for every student to fit into. Most people are open to interacting with different minorities, but it feels false when it does happen; like they feel they have to. Most students wear jeans, T-shirts, sweatpants, and sneakers to class. Most kids here are from wealthy or upper-middle-class families in the Northeast/Midwest/California. They are mostly liberal with a few conservatives and libertarians mixed in, but they're not politically active. Nobody talks about future plans because life changes and plans change every day that it's hard to get locked into one way of where you're going.
Too many people smoke here and I hate stepping on cigarette butts everywhere I go. In the winter, the sidewalks and Middle Path are atrocious. The elitist mentality sucks too. We are all smart since we got into Kenyon, so they need to get off their high horse. The food in the dining halls isn't that great either except when it's admissions season. There needs to be more parking, and the dorms suck. The showers have no water pressure, and the hot water is scalding. Everything here is expensive too. You would think they would give us a break since this is the second-most expensive school in the world, but they don't. They need to update the dorms and stop taking forever to renovate buildings.
Yes, they are.
The professors know who you are very quickly, since many of the classes are small. There's a lot of studying that goes on here since the level of academic excellence they expect you to be at is high. The academic advisers for the most part are helpful as well, though I have heard stories from people whose advisers are unhelpful. Class participation is very common, especially in seminars. In a way, most people are competitive, but it's never verbally discussed, as are grades. Intellectual conversations take place anywhere at anytime. There's never a dull moment when it comes to talking politics or philosophy. I love my seminar on the Black Public Sphere this semester because it takes a topic people rarely hear of and looks at it from different angles. The writing portion is hard, but it's a skill we need to learn. Kenyon's academic requirements aren't too bad. I don't have to take math or English or chemistry anymore. I plan to major in International Studies and Sociology. The Sociology program is awesome, but I don't like that you cannot focus on an established area of the world (i.e. Western Europe) for International Studies, so I've had to work my way around that. I wish they would offer minors in languages such as Spanish or French or in Political Science. The education is geared towards more education as well as getting a job.
Some sports are popular, like swimming and basketball, but not much else. Anything involved with the visual and performing arts is really huge. Fraternities are popular here as well since they throw all the parties every weekend. Partying is the biggest activity on the weekends and on Wednesday nights. Drinking is huge here. Most people don't seriously date; they tend to hook up with one person frequently (aka "Kenyon dating"). Every year, there's a school dance called Phling, and if both the men's and women's swim teams win the national championship, there's another school dance as well called "Shock Your Mama." You can guess what happens there. Last weekend, I played Twilight Imperium with my friends for thirteen hours. It was pretty sweet. Off campus, most people either go home, visit friends at other schools, and go into Mount Vernon and Columbus to shop and eat.
The stereotypes about Kenyon and its students are that everyone is from New England boarding schools, have a lot of money, act artsy and intellectual even though they probably are not, and dress like hobos (who have money to back it up). There's also a lot of elitist people here who think they're all that because they go to Kenyon and they look down on anybody who does not fit that mentality.
Kenyon's community- the students, the professors, bookstore workers, Safety and Security, all of them- is the best thing abou...
Kenyon's community- the students, the professors, bookstore workers, Safety and Security, all of them- is the best thing about this place. We're a friendly, supporting, warm group of people. Sometimes we're awkward, sometimes you walk down Middle Path and hear people very seriously discussing the deeper philosophy of Garfield. It happens more often than it probably should, and we're kind of proud of it. Kenyon is also prone to those "Oh! I'm actually in college!" moments when you're sitting out on the quad and discussing the idea of a meta conversation, or something equally useless and wonderful. The biggest problem right now is that there is a feeling that the administration isn't listening or responding to the needs and desires of the students and professors. Part of it is the ongoing construction projects that don't seem to make a lot of sense, and part of it is the students not wanting anything to change. There are real complaints, but sometimes it isn't as bad as student think.
Kenyon students are varied. A lot of people are lazy when it comes to broader issues, but that's definitely not always the case. We care, but we're disorganized. Some students are extremely active politically, and others don't want to be bothered with the issues right now. I'm involved with the LGBT community on campus, specifically the politically active branch, and getting others involved can be difficult. This is partially because Kenyon is generally a very welcoming community, so people forget what it's like off the hill in the real world. A lot of people are upper middle class, but not everyone. There isn't a lot of racial diversity, but the number is growing. There are religious groups and an active LGBT group on campus, all of which are very warm and welcoming.
All of it is pretty accurate. There are Republicans, but even they are socially liberal for the most part. Most people are from wealthier families, but some aren't, and it isn't money we're snobby about, but education. We value the education we're getting, and we're hear to learn. It's more intellectual snobbery against people who don't want to make the most of what they've got. That being said, we're not a really competitive group of people. We want to succeed, but we also want everyone else to as well. We're a really supportive group of people. Awkward and smart are pretty accurate.
The professors know their students well. Classes are small and supportive. Some professors can even tell how a student is feeling based on the work that student turns in. Of course, that kind of knowledge depends on class, how much you interact with a professor, and in some cases, the department. I'm an English major, and despite the fact that it is one of the largest departments in the school, class sizes are still pretty small- small enough that all the professors know the kids in their classes and remember them from year to year. We're not a very competitive school. No one knows their class rank until graduation, and it doesn't matter. Academic support can be found in a number of different places, and the first place most people start is with their friends. Kenyon is definitely about learning for its own sake, to the extent that some departments discourage professors from talking about practical job hunting skills or career opportunities. It can be stressful when you're an English major with no direction.
Kenyon has a huge number of groups on campus, though usually they are fairly small and/or informal. Hillel is a little bit more organized because we have two fabulous house managers. The Kenyon community is very open, or tries to be. It's pretty rare that students steal from other students, but it isn't unheard of that kids from the nearby town do so. There was a pretty big uproar recently when the college decided to introduce swipe cards for the doors, even though any student card will work on any dorm.
We're known for being liberal, snobby, supportive, awkward, and smart.
Kenyon professors are fantastic! Well, some are better teachers than others, but I have yet to meet one that doesn't really ...
Kenyon professors are fantastic! Well, some are better teachers than others, but I have yet to meet one that doesn't really care about their students and won't go above and beyond what I expect of them. They invite students into their homes, extend their office hours as long as possible if students need it, really care that we understand what they're trying to teach us, bring treats into class, let us play with their pets, socialize with students, and buy us coffee. I really respect all of my professors. That said, they have very high expectations of our work, which can be exhausting. For some reason, I find it hard to relax and forget about my impending schoolwork on this campus (although I don't drink, so maybe that makes a difference.) I like Kenyon's size. It's easy to walk everywhere, and it's quiet. The student body is big enough that I don't know everyone's name or face, so I can still meet new people pretty regularly. But, it's small enough that I feel comfortable because I usually know someone whereever I go, and we can bond together as a student body pretty easily. I'm a huge fan of the allstu email system- students have to subscribe to it, so not everyone receives them, but anyone can send out uncensored allstus at any time. It can be a pain when everyone's asking for a ride to the airport, or when people send mean, obscene, drunken emails. The allstu is an excellent means for learning about free food, events on campus, funny Youtube videos and other internet sites (particularly during exam time, when the campus wants to procrastinate), important news from around the world, writing bad poetry (like haikus about the scabies outbreak of 2007), and complaining about the administration (for example, why the dorms shouldn't get a swipe card system.) Most people don't know anything about Kenyon, where I'm from, and it's frequently misheard as "Kenya." But people who do know about it are generally impressed. There's no real athletic pride- Kenyon doesn't have a pep band or marching band. Apparently we do have a dance team. But the teams don't usually do very well, and nobody really cares. I like that. Apparently the athletic situation was much the same back in 1950.
Yes, mostly. It's hard to define Kenyon students. Most of us are too apathetic to really get involved in politics or student environmental groups or the like, so we're not like Oberlin students. Our main form of activism is through allstu emails. Now that it's become a better-known school, the students have to be pretty smart to get in, but some have an edge in admissions because they're "legacies." There's a lot of drinking, but we work really hard, too. Most of us are individuals. We get along pretty well as a student body, despite our differences.
I think there's a bit of a "preppy rich kid" stereotype, but also that we're very smart, to the extent of being nerdy and esoteric. We're also sort of a milder version of Oberlin students.
Kenyon is a great place where you can really be who you want. There is little or as much pressure in every sphere of college...
Kenyon is a great place where you can really be who you want. There is little or as much pressure in every sphere of college life as one would like. I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. I have been able to do everything I wanted to and even more. I have multiple groups of friends who are very different, but just as fun all the same.
The majority of students at Kenyon are very nerdy. The closest you get to a popular kid in high school is most often found on a sports team. The campus is also very liberal, and most students are very active in current political conflicts.
The relationship between professors and students is one that is very intimate. I have been over to multiple of my professor's houses whether it was just as a visit, or to eat dinner with the class. The classes are generally challenging although there are certain classes which are harder than others. I have learned a great deal, and have been able to reach out to many areas of academia which I may have not been able to at a different school.
There is an assumption that Kenyon students range from being very nerdy kids to almost hippy activists.
The best thing about Kenyon is the academics. Come rain, come shine, the academics make everything else worth it. I spend...
The best thing about Kenyon is the academics. Come rain, come shine, the academics make everything else worth it. I spend most of my time in my room or at the library, alternately doing homework and taking a break from doing homework by chilling with friends, watching movies, etc. Then on the weekends we spend a lot of time at the coffee shop, MiddleGround, which is sort of a social hub, or out at parties in dorm lounges and apartments. There is often a lot of drama surrounding the administration--I think the student body feels that they don't listen enough to student input in making decisions, but really I just think that Kenyon tends to be afraid of change. For example, the whole school is in an uproar over the pending installation of a proxy card security system on the outer doors of the residence halls. It's really just to quell parent fears after stuff like Virginia Tech, but everyone's got their panties in a twist because it's going to be tough to get used to carrying a card everywhere. We LOVE the whole "Kenyon community" thing. We love being able to brag that we don't have to lock our doors at night. I think that's one thing that people have a lot of pride about. The small town close-knit community thing is really what makes us Kenyon. I swear, the admissions brochures aren't lying. We have so much school pride. Nearly everyone who's ever been affiliated with Kenyon--students, faculty, alumni--we don't just like Kenyon, we LOVE Kenyon, and we will talk to you about it all day. If you meet a Kenyon grad on the street, you're automatically best friends. From talking to friends who go to other schools, I think it's rare and very special to love your school as much as we do. And you'll see more spirit wear on campus than you can shake a stick at. We love that purple.
Kenyon is admittedly very "white bread." We get a lot of east coast prep school kids. I mean, there are minority kids, there are "scholarship kids" who don't fit the typical profile, but on the whole, Kenyon students are rich and white and imported from Connecticut. I have to admit that as a public school kid from the Midwest, I sometimes feel out of place (ironic since the school is in Ohio) or intimidated by how much money my friends have! That being said, it really has little impact on day to day social interaction. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Kenyon community is a very level playing field. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be friendly with anyone else based on their background. As far as what people wear to class--sweats, leggings, and pajamas are all totally common sights in a Kenyon classroom. People who get dolled up to go to a party on the weekend look kind of foolish, in my opinion. I feel dressed up I bother to put on jeans in lieu of sweatpants. And it's such a small community that sooner or later, everyone's going to see you at your worst, so you quickly learn not to care about appearances.
TOTALLY FALSE. Well, not completely. Let me just preface this by saying that I'm an Ohio native, so I get defensive about this one. But in all honesty, you forget about the isolation. There's very little cabin fever. When academics aren't keeping you busy, all you want to do is relax and take a break from the stresses of school. As long as you've got great people with whom to hang out and blow off steam, you don't really need to go places or do things in order to have fun. That's what we call the Kenyon bubble. It's both your best friend and your worst enemy. I'll come home for break and realize that I've never heard of any of the movies that are out or the songs that are on the radio. That can be startling.
Yes, my profs know my name. Even last semester, when I was in a 70-student physics lecture (one of the largest classes on campus), my professor knew my name. It's so cool. Almost every class is under 30 students, and under 20 is even more common. Class participation is a must. Sometimes it's frustrating that profs often factor in attendance as part of your grade--it feels very high school, and it's kind of a blow to the independence that college represents--but if you think about it, it's really cool that they put such a high premium on the classroom experience. In the true spirit of liberal arts, a Kenyon education is predominantly geared toward learning for its own sake, but there are definitely resources and support systems (the Career Development Center is very accessible and helpful). Kenyon isn't stupid, they know that even graduates of liberal arts college have to get a job someday. Oh, and as far as how much people study? OFTEN. Academics at Kenyon are intense, no lie. Even the kid who was doing keg stands on Saturday night will be in the library Sunday afternoon along with the rest of us.
If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, you're either studying or cruising Facebook even though you know you should be studying. During the week, it's school all the way for the majority of students. I would definitely describe Kenyon as a work hard, party hard school. It gets so stressful that if you didn't party hard, you would explode. The fraternities and sororities are the main groups that throw the big parties on campus, but there are also plenty of smaller, more intimate options if you know the right crowd, and there's also absolutely no pressure to join Greek life. If you ask a frat guy why he joined his frat, chances are he'll say something about brotherhood, camaraderie or family that sounds like some bullshit from a brochure, but it really is true. That's one thing that impresses me about Greek life at Kenyon--it's not just a means to an end (the end being drinking). If you don't drink, there's usually some sort of goofy school-sponsored activity like karaoke, sumo wrestling, or a trip to Columbus for bowling or a movie, but I get the impression that those aren't too popular. Most people who don't drink hang around the dorms and goof off with their friends, watch movies, etc. You can definitely have a good, chill time if you decide to stay in on a Saturday night, but honestly, most people don't stay in. Off campus, there's Mount Vernon, a medium-sized town in comparison to Gambier, about 5-10 minutes away from campus, and there's a shuttle that runs every hour taking people to Wal-Mart, fast food, the movie theater, or to a mexican or chinese restaurant. That's fun every once in a while, especially since Wal-Mart is a great one-stop shopping spot, but I honestly don't go into Mount Vernon that often. Unless you really get restless, or are craving Taco Bell, it's really not necessary. We love our bubble!
A big one is that Kenyon is boring or lame or not special because it's in Ohio.
The best thing about Kenyon is how students stick together. It's a small community , and the students are definitely their ow...
The best thing about Kenyon is how students stick together. It's a small community , and the students are definitely their own little group within it. Unfortunately, the school is trying really hard to be an Ivy-type school with less personality. It used to be that most people at Kenyon were really unique, smart, and usually quirky people, but now it's pretty cookie cutter students from New England prep schools. Again, most people haven't heard of Kenyon, so when I tell them I went there, they kind of go blank. It's OK, I know how good of a school it is, even if they don't. There have been a LOT of recent controversies at Kenyon, most of them to do with the administration making unilateral decisions about student life. I spent most of my time at Middle Ground, the coffee shop on campus, or at the Cove, which used to be the only bar in town. There are a lot of unusual things about Kenyon -- its basically in the middle of a corn field, so you're going to have your unique experiences.
Kenyon isn't diverse. They're trying, but you can't really force that sort of thing. It used to be more socio-economically diverse, but because of the acceptance rates and the types of students they're seeking, that's going away, too. LGBT and religious diversity is pretty good, and both groups have an active presence on campus. For the most part, all different groups or cliques get along, because it's so small and everyone goes to the same parties and has the same classes. It used to be that most students would wear pajamas or casual jeans and t-shirts to class, but it's getting more dressy (and hipster), especially for women. As far as four tables go, that's a big part of Kenyon. The swimmers sit together, the betas (mostly football players) sit together, the circle table (mostly minority students) sit together, and then there's everyone else. Most Kenyon students are from New England, Washington D.C. or Ohio. Students are pretty politically aware, but there's also a definite bubble culture wherein its very easy to ignore the rest of the world.
The hippie stereotype might still be there, but the hippies aren't.
It's really easy to have professors know who you are if you want them to. It's also easy to just slide by without forming relationships with any. But they do care a whole lot about what and who they're teaching. I think the only bad classes I had in 4 years were the intro psychology classes and econ 101. My favorite class was a religion course I took senior year. Changed my world. Students study a lot, but they also have a lot of fun. Its not at all uncommon to have a straight-A student also be a huge partier. Class participation is a must, you really can't get away with not participating, since classes are so small. Students aren't at all competitive. I never heard someone ask about another students grades. Seriously, never. I definitely spent time with professors outside of class, often having dinner with my Russian professors and my English professors. It wasn't uncommon for our newspaper adviser to buy us pizza or drink at the Cove with us. The English department at Kenyon gets a lot of hype, and there are definitely some really strong professors, but there are also a bunch of lousy ones, too. I think it's a little overrated, but I wouldn't have majored in anything else. Kenyon's education is definitely NOT geared towards getting a job (and the career center sucks). The academic requirements are pretty standard and definitely reasonable, though I still wish I hadn't had to take econ.
When I was at Kenyon, I only locked my door when I went away for break. I think that's changed, but it's definitely indicative of the culture at Kenyon. Athletics are severely unpopular at Kenyon. There is no dating scene, just a hook up scene. Most of my closest friends lived on my hall freshman year -- we lived together until we graduated. The rest were on the paper with me. At 2 am on Tuesday I'm probably doing some reading or taking a trip into Mount Vernon for some tacos. Traditions include Phling (big party in February), Freshman Sing (embarrassing but necessary), Summer Send Off (wake up at 9 am and start drinking, dammit!). People party a lot if they want to. There's always a place to go. The fraternities are a fairly big part of campus life because they provide parties, but they are never exclusive and can definitely be avoided. Freshman year, frat parties were pretty necessary, but not as much later on. Sororities are a joke. Off campus there isn't too much except your bare necessities: walmart, food, the like. Columbus isn't too far and is a really cute city. There are different things to do Saturday nights if you aren't drinking, it really depends.
Not many people of heard of Kenyon, so there aren't too many stereotypes. People used to think Kenyon was a bunch of hippies, and it was, but not anymore.
One of my favorite things about Kenyon is the community environment fostered by the relatively small size of the school. This...
One of my favorite things about Kenyon is the community environment fostered by the relatively small size of the school. This provides for an excellent classroom experience, plenty of opportunities for close interaction with professors, and close relationships with peers.
While there certainly are students from privileged backgrounds, saying the student body is entirely composed of this demographic couldn't be farther from the truth.
The physics department is absolutely amazing. I routinely meet with professors outside of class to discuss both academic issues and hold leisurely conversations. The faculty is committed to providing an academic environment that students can feel both comfortable and challenged.
Kenyon tends to carry the stereotype of being a place for rich preppy New Englanders.
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