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.
kenyon has been a bit of a disappointment for me. Academically speaking (keep in mind--ive only been here a semester!) and socially (repetitive and limited). there is almost no political activeness on campus that i've seen. people here are very friendly, but can be fake. i've found that kenyon is a bit more high school-y than i expected, maybe that comes with the size and the location, but don't expect people to be super-mature and to have completely outgrown high school. getting off campus is virtually impossible unless you want to go to the local wal mart for an hour. if you consider yourself a city person, don't come here. its SO isolated. I cannot stress this enough. You must love nature and be willing to stay in one place for months on end.
The weather is horrible. I'm from Texas a place where there is snow 2 days on the ground... and then it doesn't come back until the next year. That's how it's supposed to be ..you see it .. you enjoy it.. and then it leaves... However at Kenyon... it just stays and stays and stays The boys look semi-appealing until they open their mouths. A lot of them talk about how much money they're going to make, how much money they already have.. or how much the girls at Kenyon blow. I hate the fact that people are dependent on alcohol to have a good time. You can't attend a stand up comedy show, or a party without being semi-buzzed. It's pathetic. The students are brilliant.. but seriously.. seriously.. can we work on social skills first???
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.
the amount of parent involvement at kenyon sickens me. when i heard parents were pushing for the dorm locks, i spent a lot time thinking about why i came to kenyon in the first place. I did not come to still be under the control of my parents, I did not come so the administration could hold my hand, and i sure as hell did not come and have my mother sign up for the PTA! honestly, kenyon makes me feel like a child. if I had known this before i put my deposit down, i wouldnt have come. i probably wouldve gone to colby. and, even though its so beautiful here and i love the village, im really looking forward to my year abroad to stretch my wings.
Everyone knows everyone. That can be good and it can be bad; it's certainly very intense--but we're a school that's very into community, into our collective history, into keeping Kenyon "Kenyon" and being active within the community as well as in the outside world. There's a hell of a lot of activism, political and otherwise, and it's an enormous inspiration. There are negative things about any environment, and believe me, Kenyon drives me bat-shit insane sometimes...but one thing you can't say about this school is that we don't care.
Because Kenyon is small, you really get a strong sense of community. The small population also allows students to form deeper bonds not only with each other, but with the faculty and staff aswell. When walking down middle path (a ten foot wide path that runs the length of the College), it is not uncommon for one to know the majority of the people they pass, including professors. Even if you don't know the person by name it is almost a guarantee that you have seen them around campus before or that you know someone else that knows them.
Because it is rather small, Kenyon allows professors to get to know all of their students in a very personal way. Most students can tell you stories of when they had dinner at a professor's house, or sat in office hours just to talk about anything that came to mind. Kenyon is also very focused on writing, so no matter your major, you will come out of this school with an exceptional ability to express your ideas.
Residential Life at the moment is terrible - although students are all housed and mostly happy, the administration of Res Life is driving their CAs away and their policies are making life difficult for a lot of people. This year, nine CAs have left and not many are interested in returning for another year.
There is a strong sense of community on our campus that strongly appealed me that I did not find at the other schools I applied to. In addition to the sense of community, the professors seemed genuinly interested in the lives and interests of thier students.