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Going to Kenyon is like living in a snow globe--whether it's snow, rain or cherry blossoms falling down only depends on the s...
Going to Kenyon is like living in a snow globe--whether it's snow, rain or cherry blossoms falling down only depends on the season. It's a great college to attend because you can find your family here, find yourself here, find yourself having midnight conversations about the merits of libertarianism or how /Paradise Lost/ is applicable in everyday life. You apply your education here, and it's a great education to apply. Even the kids I know who avoid homework at all costs end up leaving their classes knowing something, and the kids who go above and beyond will graduate here being prepared to face the world. Admittedly, Kenyon is tiny. Everyone will know your business, even if you don't tell anyone. Thing is, most people won't really judge you--mock you a little, sure, but in the end they'll support you. And there's really no way to get away from it all, since Kenyon /is/ it all. The school is bigger than Gambier, the town surrounding the college. Quaint it may be, but sometimes you need to get away. The school knows this, and provides the occasional shuttle trip into Columbus, where you can watch a movie and do some shopping. Not to mention that there are some great concerts in Columbus, and you can usually find someone either willing to lend you their car or going to the concert anyway. Kenyon people are just that friendly. When I tell people I go to Kenyon, I get one of three reactions. The blank look dominates--where is that? Why are you going to school in Ohio? Following that is the semi-confused look, the "that sounds kind of familiar but I can't place it" look. You do get some people who know what Kenyon is, and all of those people are impressed. They give you the "wow, that's a great school, my friend's daughter goes there or I read something from the Kenyon Review or isn't that one of the new Ivies" look. That's a great look to get, because it's someone recognizing that you were prepared enough, smart enough, looked good on paper enough, worked hard enough to get into a great school.
Stereotypes normally stem from some grain of truth--sure, Kenyon can be really weird. But not in the way you think we are. We may live in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to have a good time. And not just partying it up, spreading debauchery and mayhem whenever it gets dark and we leave the library. There are campus wide events such as barbecues and picnics, there's an abundance of groups that have activities and get togethers, and the student social board always has something going on. We may not be surrounded by skyscrapers, malls and traffic but Kenyon has a camaraderie and a feeling of family that many larger colleges miss. We may be a bunch of hippies and prepsters, but this is a place where the hippies and hipsters all get along.
When people see that Kenyon is in Gambier, Ohio, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, they often assume two things: there must be nothing to do there and I bet that they're bunch of hippies. Who else would live in a rural Ohio village with fields of corn surrounding the two roads into town where the college is known for its English program? It must be a bunch of hippies who just smoke a lot of pot. And if these people are interested enough to visit the campus, they'll see that not only are there people tight-roping between the statues outside of Rosse hall and lounging on the abundant green lawns, there are a lot of people in pastel khaki shorts and popped Polo shirts. Hippies AND prepsters? Kenyon must be really weird.
The first thing my friends from other schools say when they visit Kenyon is how shocked they are that everyone's so nice. And we are. Sure, you'll find the occasional curmudgeon, but for the most part Kenyon people will do what they can to make you feel welcome. Within the first week of my freshman year, some of the people on my floor had taken to calling ourselves the family--and, two years later, we're all still friends. And we're very different people.
Professors here are great. The majority of the classes here are twenty people or under, but even in the larger classes the professors make an effort to know your name. And they all have office hours where you can go in to talk about an assignment, a test, or just to chat. One time I went into my creative writing professor's office and he ended up pulling out journals he had from when he was a little kid and we swapped tales about the ridiculous stories we'd written as kids. Pair that with my /Paradise Lost/ teacher, a class with about 70 people in it, who knew my name when I went into his office and said to me as I was leaving, "Ms. Day, please forgive me for poking fun at you, it's all in good spirits." Almost every professor I've ever taken a class with still remembers me and says hello to me around campus. They probably know their students so well because class participation is a big focus here--teachers often don't lecture all the time, but instead insist on students adding their opinion and occasionally engaging in debate.
There are two predominant Kenyon stereotypes: the hippie and the little rich kid. The hippie is the kid you see walking around with long, uncombed hair, Birkenstocks, ratty pants and a wrinkled t-shirt. The little rich kid is well groomed, has a popped Polo shirt, pastel khaki shorts and coiffed hair. The hippie walks everywhere, the rich kid has a Hummer. One carries a frisbee and the other spend his time at the KAC pumping up.
Yes, Kenyon has an amazing English program, but as a math major I have never, nor plan to, take an English course. The math a...
Yes, Kenyon has an amazing English program, but as a math major I have never, nor plan to, take an English course. The math and science here are just as strong, but are smaller programs with fewer majors. Having the smaller program gives each major more individual attention and more research opportunities.
That we are liberal hippies living in the middle of nowhere. Also, Kenyon has a reputation for its amazing English program and therefore everyone here is a humanities person not into the sciences.
Kenyon College is becoming more and more of an enigma to me. Some days, I don't know what the hell it's "about" or why I'm ev...
Kenyon College is becoming more and more of an enigma to me. Some days, I don't know what the hell it's "about" or why I'm even here. But the sense of community, as I said before, is really the best thing about it. It's great to be able to ask your friend, "Hey, did you hear that so-and-so did this?" (Not that my friends and I are gossipy--another bonus), and know that they will know who you're talking about. This community might seem stifling to some, but the campus itself is spread out enough that I've never had a problem with it.
Racial, religious and LGBT groups are fairly vocal on campus--sometimes to the point where they make some people angry. I don't think any student can feel out of place at Kenyon--unless they're close-minded. That's the thing I love about Kenyon: there are so many different types of people here, who all interact and become friends with people who are completely different from them. In the cafeteria, you can occasionally point out one table as the soccer guys, or another as kids from the Unity House (the LGBT meeting place on campus), but in general, I find people to be unclassifiable, which is absolutely wonderful to me. Geographically, politically, religiously, and economically, students at Kenyon are extremely diverse. There is frequent political debate, though you can easily stay out of it if you're not into that. Generally, I think Kenyon is a more left-leaning campus, but there are definitely conservative people here, too, which differentiates us from a place like Oberlin. The diverse student body is what makes the school so appealing to me. And even better is that are all unclassifiable.
Kenyon is in the middle of nowhere, but it's certainly not true that there is nothing to do. And there is a great sense of community--but the Kenyon students themselves are a much more diverse group of people (in terms of beliefs, politics, backgrounds, and interests) than is often thought to be the case.
Professors are very friendly and hardly stand-offish at all here. Every student has a faculty adviser--I have nothing but praise for mine. In terms of classes, they're generally very good, given that you're actually interested in the topic. I've made a couple of mistakes by taking some classes that it turns out, I have no interest in. Class discussions are generally very laid-back, and not heated at all, as can be conversations outside of class. We're very much a "learning for learning's sake" campus--although if that turns you away from the school, know that most companies are looking for trainable graduates, not necessarily people who already have a degree pertinent to their field.
Parties are pretty easy to find at Kenyon, which is another thing that separates it from many school. Fraternity divisions in dorms are usually places to be. Also, after music concerts, there are often really fun after-parties. This Friday, I'm going to the Kokosingers' concert (an AWESOME male a capella group), then to their after-party. Saturday, I'm going to see Fools on the Hill, an improv group, then go straight to a Stairwells' concert, a "folkapella" group. Then, I'll go to my friend's radio show, where she'll probably have a couple of beers for me and my friends. After that, who knows? Sunday, I'm going to a theater production of One Acts, and then to the college's Gospel Choir concert. Admittedly, there is a lot to do this weekend since school is almost ending, but one can easily find just as much to do on any given weekend. The frat scene here is interesting--there are the stoner frats and the bro frats, and all of them have parties on the weekends. The frat scene is definitely not huge here, though, and easy to avoid if you don't care for that scene. If you're not into parties or drinking, there are definitely things to do. The Social Board, as well as first year CAs, are always planning events that don't involve drinking.
Kenyon is a liberal school in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. This leads to a great sense of community among all students--who are thought of as neo-hippies.
When I tell people I go to Kenyon I most commonly get two reactions: either they're instantly impressed or they know nothing ...
When I tell people I go to Kenyon I most commonly get two reactions: either they're instantly impressed or they know nothing about the college. The most common complaint is probably the food, but only because there's nothing better to complain about. It's really not that bad. There's definitely a sense of community here at Kenyon. Since it's a small college you get to know a lot of people really quickly, which is great since most people come here knowing no one. The campus is gorgeous!! It really lifts your spirits.
The Christian community here at Kenyon is small, but amazing. They're like a family to me. Most people are very respectful of students' religious beliefs and I've never witnessed any problems with racial discrimination. East-coast fashion styles seem to be fairly popular here, although people tend to wear whatever suits them. Walking down Middle Path you'll see everything from high heels to sweats. People can pull off a lot here at Kenyon. Kenyon students aren't from any specific location. Less than 20% are from Ohio and the other 80-some percent come from all over the US and from abroad! I have friends from New York, Nevada, Florida, etc. There's really a nice mixture of backgrounds which lends to more cultural learning (and connections around the world!). I'd say students have predominantly left views, but all opinions can be voiced.
The athletic center is amazing! If I would have gone to another school I probably wouldn't have worked out that often, but at Kenyon I work out on a regular basis. The facilities are amazing--you have to see it to believe it.
No, there are definitely people with a lot of money, but there are also people (like myself) who come from average, middle-class families. The cool thing is that people really don't seem to be divided by socioeconomic status. I think the fact that we all worked hard to get here makes people more likely to treat others as equals. And Kenyon actually gave me more financial aid than any other college! Making the cost doable.
I love the academics here at Kenyon... and the fact that students actually care about their classes! In high school my friends would give me a hard time for putting so much work into my homework assignments, but here that's expected of you. That being said, classes are challenging, but definitely not overbearing. They're doable. Class sizes are very small. Even as a freshman, my largest class size is an Intro Psych class with about 25 students. Classes are interactive and engaging. In high school I had problems paying attention to teachers lecture, but at Kenyon I have no problem with that. All of my professors know me by name, even in the classes that I don't participate in as often. Kenyon's requirements are very easy to work with. There are a few general requirements, but they're very flexible! For instance, I'll probably never take an English class here (even though Kenyon is known for it's English department!), because Spanish fulfills my humanities requirement.
I've heard the dating scene can be awkward, mainly because it's a small campus and word travels fast, but many people do date here at Kenyon. Those who choose to party most often do so 2-3 times a week (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday). For those like myself, who aren't into that sorta thing, you can always find people who just want to chill and play games or have a movie night. Most people don't leave campus on a regular basis, but some take the shuttle into Mt. Vernon (the neighboring town) on $2 movie nights or take a trip to Walmart. Most of the fun takes place on campus, though.
That we're all rich.
I like the school size. I enjoy the remoteness of it. I wish there was more of a finance or accounting department at Kenyon,...
I like the school size. I enjoy the remoteness of it. I wish there was more of a finance or accounting department at Kenyon, rather than just the economics department. I do not like the typical college partier, and so sometimes I wish my fellow classmates were more academically serious.
Students are predominantly liberal. Very casual dress. Most students are from wealthier backgrounds. I think most of the students have a skewed view on what is really important. You will hear complaints about administration having to stop a "bonfire." However, the bonfire was a safety hazard. Or you will hear complaints about the dining hall.
Academics are really challenging, but that is the main reason why I came here. I enjoy the classes and professors. I have really been able to get to know my professors personally, which I do not think I could have done at a larger school.
Social Board does a great job of ensuring weekend activities that do not involve drinking. There still is a pretty large drinking atmosphere at Kenyon. Most of the student body are frequent drinkers (at least twice a week). I met my closest friends freshmen year. We both signed up for the "wellness" living space, which is designed for students who want to lead healthy lifestyles (i.e. don't drink). If I am awake on a Tuesday at 2am, I am in the math building working on a project/homework assignment. There is no dating scene at Kenyon. You are either in a relationship or you are not. There does not seem to be any way to just get to know the opposite sex in a dating fashion. There are random party hook ups. Theater is pretty popular. Some great speakers do come to Kenyon. I make an effort to see it, but the work load does not always allow that. Fraternities and sororities provide the majority of the parties on campus. However, most of the students are independents. Going off campus typically means going to Columbus (55 min drive) for some fun activity. Otherwise, it is just a quick trip to the nearby town for groceries (10 min. drive).
I don't know of any.
the best thing is by far the professors here. they unbelievably dedicated to each and every student. i would like for there t...
the best thing is by far the professors here. they unbelievably dedicated to each and every student. i would like for there to be more school spirit. there is little loyalty to the school here. i spend most of my time in my room studying. we have too much work. freshman year is fun because everything is new. after that the fun is taken out of learning and you do nothing but work. you are lucky to have a break during the day to watch a movie or have fun. there is no college town; it is a street that was promoted to being called the town of gambier. THERE IS NOTHING TO DO HERE...but drink, and if you are not the partying type, this can be a problem. the deans are nonexistent. we hear what they decide will happen at the school, but never see them at sporting events. the only time they appear is when trustees come, or parents are visiting. they focus solely on the business aspect of the college. the food is terrible mainly because they make us pay so little for room and board. they have to make room and board cheap so because the tuition is one of the highest in the country. this results in small rooms, bad food, and an overall below average living experience.
there are better places to go for a good education and college experience.
unfortunately, they are
academics are of utmost importance at kenyon. the professors push every student to reach their potential. this also results in heavy work loads. the classes can sometimes become so intense learning is not fun anymore, and becomes a burden. the competitiveness of the students depends on the class. some classes work together to become better acquainted with the information while other classes have students who gloat at others' misfortunes.
the only social activity here is having sex and drinking. these events are managed by the frats and sororities. this is really their only function other than raising money. this money is then spent on more beer. if i am awake at any time of the day i am probably studying, checking facebook, or staring at the food on my plate in disgust. people party four times a week. it is also said that if a person drinks more than three times a week, they are considered an alcoholic. i hate to think what percentage of kenyon's population is in this category.
the students are funky, its in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing to do but study and drink
Kenyon is a bit like camp. Except with classes. It is small, beautiful, and has exceptional athletic facilities. And did I me...
Kenyon is a bit like camp. Except with classes. It is small, beautiful, and has exceptional athletic facilities. And did I mention beautiful? I wonder how many students just love to walk around campus and look at the trees. Especially in the Fall. Everyone is nice, though the sports and singing groups form cliques.
There is no better place for academics. You won't really appreciate how outstanding the teaching really is unless you have taken classes at other universities. The professors are excellent teachers, as well as enthusiastic about their subjects and their students. There is a lot of discussion in class, which can make the classroom experience laid back and enjoyable. Even in the lecture classes questions and discussion is encouraged, and the classes are small enough to let every student voice an opinion or question. Professors are readily available outside of class and encourage you to go see them. They love to speak to students and I couldn't write of them more sycophantically if I tried. Basically, I am currently studying abroad and greatly miss Kenyon professors. Only by taking classes away from Kenyon can I truly appreciate how amazing are Kenyon classes. Many of them are especially interesting as well- from critiques of Roussea to problems with renewable energy.
The party scene pretty much gets laid upon the Fraternities, which are not stereotypical fraternities as you will find at larger schools. Most are inviting and friendly, and everyone is looking to have a good time.
Everyone is friendly.
There are some great things about Kenyon. Summer Send Off is really tight. Long day of hanging out, partying, and music. The ...
There are some great things about Kenyon. Summer Send Off is really tight. Long day of hanging out, partying, and music. The current implementation of proxy cards on the dorms has caused quite a ruckus, since by and large most students don't want them. Most people complain about things that happen but don't get involved in Student Government. Currently a plan is being implemented that will cause us to pay for printing, also a not popular item. The Administration (Specifically President Nugent) is not thought of very highly by the student population. One of the best things about it is how nice the people are and how relaxed it is. Everyone is just really chill and it's not competitive here for grades.
Pretty white, people don't really go to church that much or it's not a big deal at school. Very liberal campus with a mixing of conservatives. Pretty wealthy, a lot of BMW's and Volvo's to be found on campus. Most students are from the Northeast, New York, New Jersey, and Boston are probably the most prevalent.
Kenyon is great, I didn't want to come here originally but I don't think it would be possible for me to be happier anywhere else.
No, but there are a lot of English majors. The Political Science Department is also excellent, maybe better than English.
I'd say education here is geared more towards learning for its own sake and to become and more well rounded and intelligent person. Professors definitely know your name, and usually they know it by the end of week one, even in a lecture class. The professors are extremely nice and helpful in office hours. It's just dumb not to go to them and get help on papers or studying for finals. IPHS is a really sweet department. Some Faculty will have students over to their houses, but that only happens with small seminars usually.
Paryting happens every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights and that is about all there is to do at that time. There isn't much to do in Gambier besides party. For some people this is the biggest problem about coming to Kenyon. You can just hang out though if you don't party and chill with people, or go partying and not drink. Guest speakers are fairly common and there is usually at least one a week. Some big events that happen yearly are in no particular order: Summer Send Off, Shock Your Mamma, Phling, First Year Sing, Founder's Day. Frats and Sorority's are not that big on campus, though they do exist.
All of them are English majors. English is by far the best department
The academics are incredible here. I visited a number of other colleges in high school and last year when I considered trans...
The academics are incredible here. I visited a number of other colleges in high school and last year when I considered transferring, but I didn't visit any classes that were as thought provoking and insightful. The small class size allows you to really get to know your professors, which makes them much more willing to help you when you need it. Obviously the classes are a lot of work, but if you take the recommended course load and go to class, you should be fine. Kenyon is in a very small town, if it can even be called a town. If you're looking for anything remotely city-like, I don't know if I would choose Kenyon. It's nice that the campus is small so you can walk everywhere (especially nice in fall and spring), but the town of Gambier is the college. To go anywhere else you need a car, which can be frustrating. Luckily I think they're setting up more fruquent shuttles to Mt. Vernon/Columbus/airport. The student body is very, very small. This has it's pros and cons. It's nice to walk down middle path and see people you know. It really adds a sense of community to the place. I think the smallness of the student body helps to counteract the feeling of isolation one might get from being in such a small town. There's always someone you know around. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to avoid people. It also helps to fuel gossip since everyone knows each other. Gossip is at any school though.
I think the student body is more socio-economically diverse than one would expect, but as intellectual as you would expect. By this I mean that people are very smart in and out of class. I really enjoy it, and like that people understand my really nerdy references. You learn a lot about the other disiplines just by talking to people, which I think is really cool. There are definately the frat boys and the sports cliques, and I wouldn't recommend living by division housing if you're not in that frat, but on the whole they're respectful and throw good parties. There are a lot of people from Ohio and the surrounding states, but there have been a growing amount from New York and California. Some people dress up for class, which I think is kind of dumb, but most people just dress how they like and nobody bothers them about it. Again, most people think everyone who goes here is really wealthy and has money to throw away, but that's not true at all. You do hear through the gossip mill things like "oh, that's so and so's daughter/son," but that only happens once every so often and other than that we don't really talk about money, at least with my friends, beyond where to order dinner from.
Our food is not good, and included in tuition (as of right now... hopefully they're changing this). Basically, you pay for the meal whether or not you go, and usually it's not worth the $7 or so they're charging you. A lot of people complain about it, and I think the food service is trying to take into account the feedback they're getting. I've gotten food poisoning a couple of times from things as basic as salad. You can usually find something to eat, but it won't necessarily be tasty. Our housing is just OK. The housing lottery is the most stressful day of the year!! Bushell and Manning have TINY rooms, because they were originally built to be nice singles, but have since been made into doubles. The was the worst housing I ever had. Two people should not be squished into a room that small. Tafts are wonderful, but you have a be a senior to live there. New Apts are nice, but were built as temporary housing so the walls are really thin and they're far far away from classes. For freshman housing, Lewis and Norton have the thickest walls and biggest rooms. They're about to start building new housing, but nobody knows what it's going to be like.
There are some people like that here, but there are people like that pretty much anywhere.
The academics are great!!! They're what originally attracted me to the school and out of 19 professors, I've only had 1 I didn't get along with. Even classes I had to take for requirements weren't bad at all because the professors are so knowledeable about their field that they really try to make the students excited to learn about what they're interested in. The 18 professors I've gotten along with have always been willing to help me out when needed. I recommend any class by Tazewell for drama, and I've heard Kramer is excellent as well. Lester and Reinhert are also very enjoyable and knowledgeable!! For English, I've had Mason, Matz, and Mankoff, and they're all been incredible. Some people get competitive about grades, but no more than at other schools. I'd say the most competetive aspect of Kenyon is getting into the classes you want. English and Art can be difficult (unless you're a major). Also, music groups and plays are competetive to get into, but if you're persistent and get your face out there it's totally possible to do.
One group I'm a part of is the Archon Society. We're techinically a co-ed fraternity, but we only became greek recently. Our main focus is community service. I was big into community service in high school and I think it's something everyone should do, which is why I've joined. It's got just under 100 active members, which is good and bad. Good because we get more service done and there are more people to meet, but bad because we're in a greek system with only other small frats/sororities, so we get treated like a small frat, which we're not. The people I know in Archons are really fun, and our officers are for the most part really organized and good as melding the social and service aspects of the frat together. The dating scene on campus is really weird. People either just hook up or are seriously dating. Casual dating is virtually non-existent on campus. Kenyon brings a lot of great speakers/events to campus. This year we've had Margaret Atwood, Christopher Guest, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more come. In the spring, the school also brings in a band for Summer Sendoff. There are also other musical groups coming in and out throughout the year. I think the social committee realizes how isolated Kenyon is, and so tries to bring in the speakers, bands, etc. that we would have been more exposed to if we were in a big city. I think it's great, and I've enjoyed every speaker I've seen.
One stereotype is that all the student are privileged, selfish brats.
While the English department is great, the "writers' school" label sells the other departments short. The Physics department ...
While the English department is great, the "writers' school" label sells the other departments short. The Physics department is top notch with a spectacular faculty, facility, and student:teacher ratio (there are typically only 6-10 majors each year, and there are 8 professors on the faculty). That's the only department of which I have solid first-hand knowledge, but my friends (only on of them is an English major) are all quite satisfied with their departments and teachers. The student body isn't very racially diverse, but there are all types of people here, so in terms of interests and lifestyles, yes, Kenyon is kind of diverse, but yes, it is also quite white.
Kenyon is perceived to be a writers' school, a friendly, family-like community, and an isolated environment (going to school in the corn fields of Amish country). It's not seen as being very diverse.
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