Section: Features

Kenyon students share highs and lows from academic year

It is no small feat that Kenyon students have arrived at the last week of classes. Global events such as the war in Ukraine have shaken the community, and students continue to encounter various challenges on campus. This year, Kenyon students witnessed the beginning of a momentous student worker strike against the College’s alleged unfair labor practices, several COVID-19 outbreaks and the perils of what felt like an endless winter season — all while juggling the daily ins and outs of life in Gambier. Yet despite several hardships, the 2021-22 academic year also brought some particularly wonderful moments. Students engaged in the exciting Marriage Pact project, experienced the College’s long-awaited decision to change its controversial moniker and took part in a once-per-century celebration of 43022 Day. As the semester comes to a close, the Collegian asked a handful of students to reflect on their personal highs and lows from this academic year. 

 

Caroline Tanner ’25

High: Going to the WKCO Fest a couple weeks ago was one of my favorite experiences this year because it was the first time I was able to play in a show at Kenyon. For a while, I was hesitant to get into the music scene here, but when Carrie Dactyl invited me to play with their band, I knew it would be a great way to dip my toe in. It ended up being super fun, and the crowd was excellent. 

Low: Two days before my birthday, all of my friends tested positive for COVID-19. They all had to quarantine at the Comfort Inn, so unfortunately we couldn’t celebrate together. 

Karina Morey ’25

High: Joining the ultimate frisbee team was one of the best decisions I made this year because I really love the experience of being part of a sports team. Even though Kenyon’s classrooms are so collaborative, it’s really special to be part of a trusting and supportive team, too. It was also very rewarding to make it to Nationals because it felt like our practices were paying off.  

Low: My low was dealing with family matters in the early Spring while I was away from home. It was tough having to stay focused on work and my obligations at Kenyon even though there were important matters taking place elsewhere.

 

Zoey FitzGerald ’24

High: Since I transferred to Kenyon, I’ve met people that care about me, who think I’m cool and beautiful and nice and smart and funny — and who really make me laugh every single day that I’m here. And it’s amazing and I love them.

Low: When I was 16, I used to get lice from working at a restaurant in Cincinnati, and now I have lice trauma. Back in January, I could have sworn I saw a louse in my hair, so I made my friends give me head-checks. But I didn’t have lice, I just had anxiety. 

 

Zane Stenerson ’25

High: Meeting everybody at Kenyon has been the highlight of my year. I made connections with more people here than I thought ever possible in my life. In my hometown, I felt like I didn’t have a solid group of guy friends who I could hang out with, but at Kenyon, I’ve been able to make deep bonds with other guys that I think will last a lifetime.

Low: Having to adjust to a new

place through the orientation program was difficult. I think orientation forces random people together that otherwise wouldn’t coalesce, so when I first came here, I felt like I didn’t get an accurate picture of what all Kenyon students are like. 

 

Zoë Packel ’22

High: My high is finishing my history honors thesis. It was on Haudenosaunee agricultural practices in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and how they enabled Indigenous groups to navigate the pressures of colonialism. 

Low: I was at my low when I slept in the 24-hour reading room of the library three days in a row while trying to finish said thesis. At least I didn’t have to do it in Mod B!

Flynn Klace ’23

High: My sister and my cousin entered Kenyon as freshmen this year. I had a really tumultuous sophomore year and I was worried about feeling homesick this year, so it was especially comforting that my family chose to come here. 

Low: My best friend of three years has been studying abroad in Scotland this semester, and it’s been a little lonely on campus without her. Ultimately, though, it’s led me to branch out and hang out with new people.

 

Emma Reed ’25

High: My highs are the times that I walk home from a party with my friends. It’s always so fun to end the night that way.

Low: My lows are the times I go to the third-floor reading room of the library. I always go there when I have too much work to do. 

 

Will Bryant ’25

High: The highlight of my year has been volunteering at Wiggin Street Elementary School. Shoutout to Krisha ­— she was one of the kids I tutored. We both struggled with fractions. 

Low: My low was my first night in the Comfort Inn when I had COVID in January. The help desk called me to ask if I had received any food yet. When I said that I hadn’t, they told me Peirce wouldn’t be able to deliver food to students at the hotel because there was a snowstorm that day and the roads were too dangerous. The hotel staff told me to order from Panera. But Panera was closed.

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