Ask a Current Student Anything!

Hi guys, so I know that with COVID-19 you are all unable to visit campuses, which makes the college decision so much harder! Therefore, I wanted to allow any prospective or committed students to ask a current freshman at Kenyon some questions! I am an environmental studies and film double major, but I can try to answer whatever types of questions you guys have.

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1.) Is Kenyon really haunted? Have u ever had or heard of any weird experiences?

2.) What’s the courseload/rigor like? Is there grade inflation or deflation?

3.) What’s Kenyon’s reputation like in Ohio? What are Kenyon stereotypes and what are the stereotypes for people who attend Kenyon. Examples : “They’re Rich” “If you go to kenyon you’re super smart” “They have the weird artsy kids” etc

Hello!

1.) We all joke about it being haunted and talk about the stories, but I personally have not had any weird experiences, nor have any of my friends!

2.) The course load is definitely rigorous, but I have not had many problems dealing with it! Most Kenyon students take 4 classes a semester (some take 5) and you can make your schedule as hard or as easy as you want. The classes with the most work (that I have had) are writing classes, but once again, everything is very reasonable! As far as grade inflation/deflation, (this is something that was very important to me while college searching) there is no deflation, and in some classes, there may be inflation, but overall there is usually neither!

3.) Kenyon has a very good reputation in Ohio! We are definitely known for our small, but beautiful campus. The most common Kenyon stereotypes are probably that we are all rich and either super artsy or super athletic. Some students obviously fit into those categories, but everyone is so much more than how they appear at the surface level. I have yet to meet a student here who doesn’t have some odd hobby that they are insanely passionate about. Also, everyone here is very driven and it’s such an inspiring atmosphere to be a part of!
One last stereotype that people say all the time is that there is nothing to do at Kenyon since it’s located in rural Ohio. I, personally, come from a very rural area, so this wasn’t a big deal for me, but when I actually got to Kenyon I realized there is a lot more to do than you think. For example, I will often head into Mount Vernon on the KAT and just get some food with a friend, go to Walmart and the movies, or if I want to stay near campus I will walk around the BFEC, wander around Gambier with my friends, attend concerts at the Horn Gallery, go to club meetings, etc! Basically, if you want to do something, it’s pretty easy to make it possible (especially if your friend has a car [for times you might want to head into Columbus]).

I hope this helps and feel free to message me with any more questions!

Hi, I am a prospective student seriously considering enrolling for the fall. As Kenyon is known as a writers college I was wondering how writing intensive is Kenyon as a non english major (I will probably be a political science or history major if that helps). Also how difficult are the introductory English courses? Thank you so much for answering this question. I went to a STEM-focused high school where humanities were not emphasized so I am a little bit concerned about whether I can handle the workload of Kenyon.

Hello! I am a person where writing isn’t my absolute strongest suit, but I found that Kenyon has already made me a much better writer! In all the classes I have taken, writing is definitely prevalent, but it’s not overbearing or unmanageable in any way, shape, or form! The English classes will be the heaviest writing-wise (which makes sense), but you do not have to take any writing classes in your 4 years if you don’t want to! I, personally, took one this year, and it was a great experience. The English professors (and all professors) really care about helping you get better and they are extremely approachable! However, if you are nervous about talking to a professor, we also have the Writing Center which is student-run and they can help edit or talk through any paper you are working on. I know it can be a little scary when a college is labeled “a writing school” but I promise it is not as intimidating as it sounds and you will come out of Kenyon a great writer, whether you planned on it or not!

Also, I want to assure you that the workload is not crazy here. Of course, you can make it very intense by taking extra classes, but every professor is very understanding and in many classes, you can work with them to make a more personal schedule if things become unmanageable! I wish you the best of luck in deciding on a college!

Can you tell us about the freshman dorms? Best dorms? Things to consider? Any singles available?

@nervous4c0llege , Thanks for starting this thread. My D21 and I were planning to visit Kenyon (and nearby Denison) this spring.

As an URM, you would be in a good position to answer my question. How readily do diverse groups mix (or not) on campus, with regard to race, gender issues, socio-economic status? I’m not talking about diversity stats, per se, or how many diversity clubs there may be, but whether or not there is an easy, fluid social mix of students that are comfortable with each other, or whether sub-groups based on these divisions tend to splinter off ? Thanks so much!

So, for freshman dorms, we have 5 different options! There is Gund, Lewis, and Norton on the freshman quad and then we have Mcbride and Mather across the street. I lived on the freshman quad this year and loved it! Gund and Lewis are both coed, while Norton is all female-identifying! Gund and Norton are quiet dorms compared to Lewis, but Lewis isn’t that loud compared to Mcbride (coed), which is often a much rowdier dorm. Even though Mcbride is a louder dorm, the people who live there are quite passionate about it and love living there. Lastly, there is Mather which is a coed dorm that will also have students from other grades in it, it is in the middle ground (noise-wise) and is probably closest to Lewis in that regard.

The freshman quad has the biggest dorms, but not by much. All freshman dorms are around the same size and I don’t think you will ever feel too cramped in your space! Also, singles are available in every single dorm, although they are limited, it is not impossible to get one!

Lastly, I want to mention air conditioning, which is only in Mcbride, but I found that I didn’t really need it too much in the warmer months. (I might have gotten lucky being on the first floor)

Overall, you really can’t go wrong with a dorm, and if you are unhappy in the place you are living, Kenyon will make sure that you are living somewhere else as soon as possible.

I would say that diverse groups mix quite well on campus! We have a lot of amazing diversity-focused clubs and while many people form strong friendships in these clubs, they do not inhibit students from engaging with the rest of the student body! I would say, Kenyon, overall, has a very good “fluid social mix” of students. When I first got here, I did notice that people mainly stayed with those they had met at the start, but as the year progressed everyone began branching out much more! The atmosphere here is welcoming and strives to make everyone comfortable.

I would also like to add that Kenyon is definitely working on making the college more diverse, which is great and I hope that more students from different backgrounds will continue to come here!

Feel free to message me with any more questions!

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Thanks, @nervous4c0llege, that’s good to hear.

What would you say that you like most about Kenyon College which might distinguish it from other college choices you could have made (no need to name other colleges though) and what would you change about Kenyon if you could (please be honest!) It’s clear that you’re enthused about the school but every place has it’s room for improvement. Thanks!

Would you say there’s a type of student who would most thrive/benefit from a place like Kenyon (apart from budding authors, that is…) So hard to figure out “fit” in normal times, and these are not normal times!

@nervous4c0llege
Thank you so much for answering these questions, they’ve been a big help. You mentioned that you were a prospective film major - what’s your experience with the department been like so far, especially as a freshman?

@inthegarden I think the thing I like most about Kenyon is the people who go here. I have had such a positive experience with everyone I have met here. Kenyon really does attract a specific type of person and you will find something in common with everyone. I would say that a person who chooses Kenyon (and loves it here) is truly passionate, open-minded, and creative. When I was going through the college process, I thought I knew exactly what school I wanted to go to, but it wasn’t until I actually visited said schools that I realized they were not the right fit. However, when I visited Kenyon, I just had a feeling and the people I met on that trip solidified my choice 100%.

While I love Kenyon, it is definitely not perfect! I really don’t have many qualms with the school, I do have a few minor fixes I hope to someday see! (but also keep in mind that I am an extremely easy-going person) First, the wifi isn’t the best and it can sometimes be annoying, especially when facetiming with friends or watching movies. In addition, we do not have a library right now, which while it does not bother me that much, it would be amazing to have one. In the meantime, we have things called “mods” that are basically portable office spaces. We also have a multitude of different places to study, including dedicated 24/7 study spaces. Lastly, (and probably my biggest issue) Kenyon is not the best at telling you (the student) important information, and usually, you will have to figure things out on your own or with instruction from an upperclassman. It’s not the biggest issue ever, but sometimes it can be annoying. However, during this COVID-19 pandemic, they have been great about listening to the students and keeping us up to date!

I touched upon briefly the type of student that fits in best at Kenyon, but I want to emphasize that there is a place for any type of person/student on this campus. I can guarantee that you will not struggle with finding your group of people. There is a club and a group for everyone, I promise. (and if there isn’t, then you can make a club on campus and people WILL join)!

I hope this helps!

@coffeeat3 To give some background, I have taken 3 film classes so far, with 3 different professors. In addition, I was very active in the film department at my high school so I already had a very strong knowledge of most of the topics I have been studying this year.

The department is definitely a growing department, which is great news! We have a lot of wonderful professors, who deeply care about their students and the work we produce. With that said, there is a lot of improvement that should be happening in the coming years. I am hoping that the department will get more professors from different backgrounds.

While we are nowhere near colleges with well-established film departments, I do not think that we are lacking in talent. The students here are where the department truly flourishes! They are the ones that are driving outside of class projects and really working to better their craft. While you will definitely learn things in class, it is really about the actual experience of making films that matters the most and I can say for sure, that you will get that hands-on experience here.

Also, if you are a film-tech nerd like me, then equipment wise we are actually really well off for a small college (and we are continuously getting new gear)! That said, some of our equipment is totally wrecked, but with a little creativity, everything can work!

If you have any more questions, feel free to message me and I can get more in-depth about a lot more Kenyon film related topics!

@nervousf0rcollege Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer. It was actually my daughter that posted on my account and she has found all your comments about Kenyon very helpful. She is not sure where she will apply ED next year (she is a jr) and also has Vassar on her list (we see that you had considered it at one point) and she already eliminated Middlebury. Luckily, she was able to visit Kenyon prior to the shut down. Very thoughtful of you to take the time to start this thread. Looks like Kenyon made a great choice accepting you!

Thank you so much for sharing your perspective on Kenyon - particularly the housing. So helpful!

@coffeeat3 I am so glad that I could help answer your daughter’s question! I was looking at Vassar earlier last year but didn’t end up applying, however, it is another great school. She can’t go wrong, either way, and I wish her the very best of luck in this crazy process! I know everyone says this, but it will all work out!

@time4adventure Of course! I am so happy to answer and help anyone with questions :slight_smile: Best of luck with everything!

Hello, I am a prospective student and I have boiled it down to Kenyon and Dickinson. The thing that I am most worried about for Kenyon is fitting in. I’m not totally sure if there is a specific category that I belong to, but I would so that I slightly lean toward athletic preppy I guess. Preppy isn’t the best word, but I can’t think of any other. I don’t really party at all. I’m also not writing intensive either. I plan on studying economics. Do you personally know any economics majors?? My parents are also concerned that the school doesn’t fit my style as the stereotype that flies around my area is that Kenyon is “weird artsy students”

Also I have played sports all of my life and I am very active, will I be able to continue a similar degree of engagement at Kenyon???

I’m interested to see how the current student replies to the latest questions. My daughter has accepted her spot at Kenyon and she would definitely be defined as athletic, academic and more preppy than not preppy Lol. “Weird artsy” would not describe her at all. Lol