I know you’re sick of hearing about us, but students who studied abroad are facing some interesting challenges as we re-acclimate to Kenyon life. Apropos of Thea’s post earlier, here’s a list of the top five discoveries I’ve made in the last week-and-a-half being back on campus.
- Not all strangers are first years. Oops. My apologies go out to the guy I misidentified as a first year outside New Apts last weekend. Turns out he’s a senior, and I had just never met him. You can always backtrack and play it off as if you think they’ve got a very young face, or pretend as though you were just too drunk to recognize them.
- Speaking of first years, they exist. Starting at Kenyon in August, you get to experience the gradual integration of first years into your social life. Coming back after being abroad, I discovered many first years had already intertwined themselves with my friends, been active in my extracurricular activities, and grown comfortable crashing our parties. First years are real people, you guys. This is taking some time to accept.
- Peirce is confusing. Deconstructed sushi? Artistically plated tofu? A SOY MILK DISPENSER? This is not the Peirce I left behind. I like dictating my own portion sizes (three plates of “local” fries? Don’t mind if I do!) and designing my own dishes (“local” fries with more “local” fries). At least there’s a new panini press.
- Half of your friends are missing. Not only is it strange for me to adjust to Kenyon without last year’s senior class, many of my junior friends are currently abroad, and their absence is conspicuous. The picture of Kenyon I held in my mind while I was away doesn’t match the one I see in front of me, and that has a lot to do with friends, classmates, and notable personalities who are no longer on campus.
- Nobody wants to hear about your time abroad. Direct quote from a friend of mine: “Hey! Welcome home! You don’t need to tell me anything, I saw it all on Facebook.” The fact is, either your friends are jealous of your experience, or they had their own lives to live while you were away, and whatever you were doing wherever you were just doesn’t interest them. It’s time to move on.