I write this apology on behalf of all of the New York first years as sort of a self aware notes-app apology. I have just joined this midwestern safe haven, but I’d like to address my community and say this: I have failed you. I am so angry at myself for not seeing it sooner. I have not leveraged my New York identity that no one cares about to speak up for people from the ‘burbs. I’m sorry. Here is my commitment to do better.
Like many NYC freshmen, I was a barely existent fish in a pond that is basically an ocean, but I come here, in earnest, to ask you if we have any mutuals. You’ve heard us. You’ve seen us. You’ve hated us. We’re everywhere. And we need to make a commitment to change. Do you have any idea how many people I know that went to your middle school? Do you? I just need to tell you. We just need to talk about my Preschool nemesis who went to Hebrew school with your godfather’s step-son. Go ahead. Ask me if I went to a Bat Mitzvah with the child of a celebrity. Or maybe don’t. Watch me sweat under the spotlight as I figure out a reasonable tangent to bring up that flex.
This phenomenon is obviously worse if you went to private school. You can call it teenage Linkedin, or you can call it what it is: straight up annoying. I myself, self aware goddess, humbly before you, admit that yesterday I asked a girl who lives in the suburbs of Illinois if she knew a girl I did a summer program with three fiscal years ago, who went to a tiny charter school in Chicago. I know that I have a sickness. I’m admitting I need help, and admitting that I need to do better.
When I applied, I had no idea the amount of city kids who would show up here. I had cemented in my mind that Kenyon was such a unique and indie college choice that I would show up and be given a masterclass in layering. I had set my heart on this post-post-post-Urban-Outfitters, pre-amish, current-english-major heaven that I barely checked my Instagram for Kenyon ‘24 bios, and attempted to let my NYC mutuals spidey sense be absconded with the prom I never had. Silly. So, so silly.
It turns out that these kids are cool in their own way, and asking if you know this random gutter rat I rode the subway with one time, or if you live in Cobble Hill so maybe the girl who works at the deli around the corner from my dad’s house dated your neighborhood orthodontist in high school is foolish. Maybe it makes me look dumb, pathetic, obsessed.
I have no idea how you should avoid throttling my kind in public spaces. All I can tell you is that I hear you, I see you, and I’m committed to repairing the harm I’ve done to this community.