Impressions Of
Kenyon College

Academic Experience

Male Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

Is there anything that you feel the Neuroscience department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think the professors are really good and they really care about you. If you’re particularly interested in a field, they help foster your curiosity and explore your passions outside of the classroom.

Transgender Male Math Major C/O 2020

Is there anything that you feel the Math department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think the Math department is really good at courting students and encouraging them to pursue mathematics. I also think they’re particularly good at being available to students. All of my professors are really consistent in being available. There’s a community in the Math major in which we’re all taught to be very collaborative with each other. That’s something the professors really encourage, and I haven’t found that [level of encouragement] in a lot of other subjects.

Female Molecular Biology Major C/O 2021

How does Kenyon’s focus on writing impact your coursework for Molecular Biology?
I get a lot more exposure to writing than I did in high school. For all my lab classes, I have to write up a protocol reflection of what I have done. I’ve also gotten exposure to how to write scientifically. In my other courses, we do a lot of primary source readings about what is going on in the world.

Social Opportunities

Transgender Male Math Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Frats and sororities will sometimes throw all-campus parties. I went to those a lot my first year, but now I much prefer to hang out with my friends, go to a small house party or rugby party, or just do things that are more insular.

Female English Major C/O 2018

What have been your favorite days or nights at Kenyon?
I have fond memories of my homecoming weekend not even because of sports, because I never really watch sports games at Kenyon. I just remember there was really good food and this really good cider. Homecoming is fun in a way because sports aren’t a huge thing, it’s fun to go to the game because it’s a more intimate homecoming than it might be at bigger schools.

Female Molecular Biology Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
There isn’t as much nightlife compared to the big state schools some of my friends go to. There are house parties, but all the residents live in on-campus housing owned by the school. I go to rugby parties, or sororities or fraternities will always have something. Kenyon is also good at bringing in musical talent, so you can see a band or singer perform as well. There are a good number of things to do. We also have one bar around campus called The Village Inn, so there isn’t much of a bar life.

Campus Culture

Female Biology Major C/O 2021

How has the size of your school influenced your social experience?
I like the size. You get to know so many different types of people. With that being said, it’s not too small that you can’t meet new people. Sometimes it’s overwhelming when you see the same people every day. Gossip and drama can circulate really fast, which you can feel heavily here compared to a larger state school. [Kenyon had 460 students enter the class of 2021].

Transgender Male Math Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene at Kenyon?
It can be really cliquey. Kenyon’s really small, so there are times when I’m walking around and I feel like I know everybody and that can be annoying because you can’t be anonymous. I also think that there are people who do feel anonymous here and they feel really isolated because everybody has their group that they’re a part of, and if you’re not a part of that you feel like you don’t have anything. People at Kenyon area really nice but awkward. It’s not that they don’t want to be friends with you, it’s just that people are afraid of social interaction with people they don’t know very well. I don’t think Kenyon students are mean, it’s just that we’re all a little socially awkward.

Female Molecular Biology Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the student body?
There isn’t a lot of racial diversity, which is something Kenyon is working towards. It definitely has pretty wealthy students, so the socioeconomic diversity isn’t as diverse as I hoped it would be. Other than that, I think people are pretty accepting and liberally minded, which creates an environment where people are open to new experiences. [Socioeconomically, 75% of Kenyon students come from families in the top 20%, and the median family income is $213,000.]

Gambier, Ohio

Pros of

  • The isolation helps you focus on your academics. There are very few distractions around so you can really hunker down, study, and focus on what you’re passionate about.
  • It really pushed you to be creative in terms of what you should do for fun and what you can do for fun. It really changes your perspective on that. We’re in a culture that is becoming increasingly consumer-focused, so being in a place where there isn’t a lot to consume really opens up your mind.

Cons of

  • The political atmosphere is pretty liberal, but there is a more conservative area surrounding Gambier.
  • It can feel very isolated. Freshman and sophomore year when I didn’t have a car it could feel very hard to get space from campus because I just didn’t have access to transportation. There’s a shuttle that runs between Mount Vernon and Gambier but it’s still difficult. The location can be a con just because you’re at Kenyon, and you couldn’t really go anywhere else super easily.
  • Because you’re in the middle of nowhere it’s hard to find alternative groups to hang out with if you don’t fit in with the general zeitgeist of the school.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Neuroscience Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Kenyon before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew that Kenyon’s social scene is cliquey.

What is something a prospective lower income student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
With college admissions in general, don’t always go for the most affordable option. It’s important to find a school that you really enjoy. Affordability is one of the reasons I came to Kenyon and I sometimes second guess myself.

Transgender Male Math Major C/O 2020

What is something a prospective transgender student should know that we haven’t touched on?
If people are mean to you, there are a ton of people on campus who can help you. You can go to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and figure out to make things better for yourself here because there are people whose job it is to make things better for you.

Female English Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew about Kenyon before entering as a freshman?
I would say to do an orientation program because I regretted not doing one. And I guess how intense the environment could be just because of how small and isolate it is and also because of the considerable workload. It can be an intense experience both socially and academically. Just remembering that there was life outside of Kenyon was sometimes hard to keep in perspective because it was such an immersive experience when you’re there. It could be overwhelming at times, I won’t lie about that. I think just being on a small campus in the middle of Ohio with a lot of people, who some of them are the best friends you’ll ever make, but at the same time spending so much time with the same people can be a very intense experience.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Kenyon College

To Attend

  • It being so small is a reason to attend because you get to interact with people like your professors much more, and you can have leadership positions in ways you maybe couldn’t at a bigger school.
  • There is nature around you. If you like meditation and being outdoors it’s a great place for that.
  • The alumni network has some very successful people who are very willing to talk to you because you’re going to have a lot of things in common with them by the time you graduate.

To Not Attend

  • If you are worried about being in a small and rural environment.
  • If you’re somebody who doesn’t like having a clique or tight-knit friend group, Kenyon is a tough place to be at.
  • With the intensity, sometimes people can get too high strung or anxious.
  • If you’re not a fan of rain or snow, Kenyon is not a good place.
Notice: Kenyon College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Kenyon College.

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