10 o’clock list: Things I Learned Outside the Classroom at Kenyon


When I first came to Kenyon I wasn’t sure whether or not I would like it. Four years later, my love for this place has never wavered. My parents always told me though that I should be focusing on the classroom and not to let it out of my sight. That’s all well and good, but some of the best lessons I learned, I learned on the fly, outside the classroom.

  1. Drive-Thru Liquor Stores are great — I didn’t know there were drive-thru liquor stores until I was a senior, but not only is it cheaper and more convenient, but it’s way more fun.
  2. Absolutism isn’t that useful — This will come up later, but reserving a final judgement up front is useless. College is for challenging your beliefs about all sorts of things. If you feel the same about everything when you leave, you wasted your experience.
  3. Kenyon is a big school — It’s fun to joke how Kenyon is a lot smaller than a lot of our high schools, but those were more homogeneous communities. There is a lot going on on this campus, even more than most people realize. Turn over some stones and find out what everyone is doing. I can’t even count the things I didn’t know existed until Senior year. Try everything (at least once).
  4. Pick a mentor (or two) — Find some people that you really look up to and consult them (obviously not all the time), but a lot of the things I came up against in college I couldn’t handle on my own. It can be a professor, an administrator, a community member or even a peer, just find one.
  5. It’s hard to make a wrong move at 20 — It’s way too early to know what you want to do at this point in your life. You may have an idea, but there is really no telling what you will be doing in five years. If you aren’t constantly questioning or challenging your goals/opinions, you aren’t testing yourself.

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