First-Year Expectations and Realities of Matriculation

signing of the declaration of independence

Signing the Matriculation book will feel like this. Right?


At last, today is the day that first-years become “students.” Apparently, up until now we have been in purgatory and we finally get to take part in yet another ceremony dedicated just to first-years after Orientation. For many, the event could seem odd. Weren’t we officially Kenyon students that time a CA wrote us up in McBride? Nevertheless, Matriculation symbolizes a greater event. Finally we have proven to the Kenyon community that we are worthy to become part of an alumni group that includes presidents, writer, actors, and other notorious people. Frankly, I’m not sure what to expect out of the event. Perhaps some great Kenyon god like Philander Chase will appear and show us the “special” way to fame and success.

Personally, I am most excited to sign the book. I have a vision in my head of my signing becoming movie-like. The world will slow down and I will understand how the Founding Fathers felt as they signed the Declaration. In reality, I will probably flip to the tabs of John Green and Josh Radnor and convince myself that one day future Kenyon students may look on my tab. First-years: practice that signature. You never know who you could become and which students may look back on it. So, I advise you to not insert “Dick” into your name, save that for another time.


The ceremony wasn’t some grand event where the skies parted. It was like convocation, but shorter and more intimate. At Convocation we looked around us and didn’t recognize anyone, were boiling from the heat, and at the same time trying to dodge our parents’ attempts to snap pictures of us. Now, after 100 days at Kenyon, we look around and realize that we do in fact have a community of first-years. While I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the ceremony and the speeches, many speeches reiterated what I was already thinking. For example, the idea that the “Henry Clay” of our lives could be found at Kenyon should be exciting.  Overall, whether we remember this ceremony or not, at least we kept with a tradition. (Or not, since Power Point was used for the first time in a Matriculation ceremony. Huzzah technology.) The signing of the book wasn’t some great event either- I waited for that feeling Thomas Jefferson felt as he signed the Declaration but just felt tired and hungry. But, I did still feel some sense of accomplishment having my name in the same book as Rutherford B. Hayes. In the end, first-years are finally students. Upperclassmen- watch out. 2017 is coming in strong and spirited like you’ve never seen before.

One response

  1. Pingback: First-Year Expectations Vs. Reality: Sendoff | The Thrill

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