What Alumni Miss about Kenyon

With graduation two weeks away, seniors are preparing to say goodbye to the Hill and their time here. Some may be counting down the days with excitement, others with deep existential dread. Above all, these weeks bring a time of reflection on the memories made in their four years. What comes to mind are big moments like First-Year Sing or Senior Soirée, but there are also little moments and details of Kenyon that go unnoticed only until one leaves the Hill. There are smells, sounds, and feelings that don’t exist outside of Kenyon, but it’s hard to put those into words while we’re still here. So, we asked alumni to think deep back into the pockets of their memory and share with us their small moments of nostalgia. The things they didn’t expect to miss about Kenyon, but found themselves longing for anyway. Hopefully, for us still here, we can take a moment to realize these taken for granted aspects and relish them while we can. Below are responses from Alumni.

Leslie Martin ’14,

I miss all of the porches. I live in an apartment on the 8th floor and have no access to porches or their swings. Other people have porches and swings but it is considered trespassing or something if you go and sit on their porches. I miss the free range porches.

Libby Gardner ’15,

The last night of the year when you haven’t slept and haven’t packed but aren’t willing to give up a minute of finishing a bottle of something with your favorite people. Accidentally sleeping through class on the couches on 3rd floor Ascension. Trying to fit an entire film crew under a quilt at 5am in November at the Kenyon farm in the pitch black with an angry rooster that may or may not be on the loose. All nighters where more time is spent eating Smart Food and bonding with other lost souls than actually writing the paper due in 6 hours.

Kate Lindsay ’15,

WIGGIN… Also the feeling of walking down Middle Path and having pretty much your whole world be less than a mile long and knowing you were never far from a familiar face and having a comfortable space in Kenyon’s arbitrary made-up society.

Allie Lembo ’14,

If you think it’s difficult organizing clubs, rehearsals or meetings around everybody’s schedules now, wait ’til everyone in your group works 3 jobs. Also vegetables are expensive. Cherish that Peirce produce, my children.

Edward Baxter ’15,

I would say that I miss how easy it felt to meet and keep new friends at Kenyon. The Bubble has its faults, but it’s still easier to maintain close relationships when your friends are a ten minute walk away. Also, advice: be nice to Peirce and Peirce’s staff. You’re going to miss them when you’re gone.

Becca Haftner ’14,

I really, really miss Peirce. My favorite car game is guess-the-Peirce-food themed 20 questions (“Is it hot or cold? Does it appear at Action? Would it be served at lunch?”) and when I’m bored at work I like to whisper “Let Us Pesto You” and giggle loudly. Mostly I miss it not being weird for me to be deeply involved with Peirce’s social media.

Audrey Davis ’15,

I would definitely say that I miss being able to walk everywhere. If I was ever late to something at Kenyon, I could just walk faster, but the same concept doesn’t really apply in LA traffic. So yeah, cherish Middle Path while you can!

Asha McAllister ’15,

I miss Market sandwiches, middle path, Wednesday night powwow and all the resources to a large world. I miss all my favorite people being in the same place and the safety to make mistakes. I really miss the tree swing behind Leonard.

David McCabe ’14,

I miss the library and having a quiet, but also appropriately communal, space to do work outside of my house or office that doesn’t require spending $3.99 on an iced coffee.

Emily Sussman ’15,

I miss having all my meals made for me and the freedom and flexibility to make meals on my own if I wanted. I miss having the energy to go from event to event and to chose my own schedule. I miss having all my friends within such a close proximity to each other.

Are you an alumni who wants to add things you miss about Kenyon? Let us know in the comments!


4 responses

  1. Being in a world where everyone is intelligent. Everyone. Where everyone holds the same basic values. Where inspiring discussion and debate is an ordinary part of everyday life, where people read books, where mixing and matching of ideas come together in a conversation to reach new ideas you are certain no one ever had before (but of course, once you leave the Hill, you find out they did – but that’s not the point); where everyone you see is someone you know. I miss the common geography, the secret words and codes unique to Kenyon. With all my heart I miss the church bells, the gravel of Middle Path, the light across the lawns, and most dearly of all, I miss cheese soup.

  2. Long nights working on The Collegian back when the office was in the Tower. Dancing till all hours in Gund Ballroom with KCBDC. Being in awe of my professors in every class but still forming close relationships with them. Sitting at lunch for 90 minutes just so I could aee teo different groups of friends. Having interdisciplinary conversations over dinner or late night in someone’s room. Going to the bookstore for just about anything I could need. Driving into Mt Vernon to eat out or see a movie. But mostly the people.

  3. Pierce: All-you-can eat cereal, And many varieties! Only Jerry Seinfeld can get away with having 10 boxes of cereal and living alone.

    Support: At Kenyon, everyone cheers you on — your friends, your professors. People WANT you to succeed. In the “real world,” you get baseball bats to the kneecaps — you will encounter some people, even colleagues, that want you to fail. A sad, but true testament. Be prepared.

    Hold your Kenyon experience close and rise above the unintelligent, unworldly, narrow-minded people you will encounter “out there.”

    p.s. I also miss the VAX.

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