As the 2022-23 academic year comes to a close, many students are reflecting on their experiences from the past two semesters. Between power outages, new building openings and plenty of inclement Ohio weather, it’s safe to say that Kenyon life has been full of surprises — both good and bad. In honor of the final Collegian issue of the year, students shared the hard-won life lessons that they’ll be taking away from the Hill for this summer.
Like all undergraduates, Kenyon students occasionally struggle to step away from the computer screen and treat themselves to some non-academic rewards. Sophia Percy ’26 suggests weaving such acts of self-care into daily routines: “¾ soda water and ¼ cranberry juice for breakfast — it’s like a fancy drink to start the day!” With the Peirce coffee bar slowly but surely coming together, students will soon be able to take their pick of “fancy drinks” to ease long days of studying.
It’s an all-too-common refrain that college is the time to try something new, but despite the cliché, Ella Salvino ’26 has found stepping out of her comfort zone to be particularly meaningful this year. “It’s cheesy, but don’t be afraid to try something new,” she wrote. “The two clubs I participate in on campus that I enjoy the most and absolutely love (ballroom dancing and ultimate frisbee) I had absolutely no experience with before this past September.”
Graduating seniors have accumulated plenty of wisdom in their tumultuous years on the Hill, punctuated by the pandemic and ever-shifting political dynamics. Brookie Wilkens ’23 has learned to roll with the punches and change her thinking when necessary: “Be prepared to be wrong about things (it happens to everyone) and adjust accordingly as you learn.” Wilkens also stressed the importance of taking advantage of resources — especially professors. “Go to office hours; professors are helpful but also just want to hear about your life! They can be great supports when things get rough.”
Though it can be a sensitive subject, mental health is one of the most important and pressing issues that students have to deal with. Wilkens’ advice is simple: “Go to therapy!” Since Cox Health and Counseling Center appointment wait times can be daunting, perspective is key to managing the pains and stressors of everyday life in the meantime. Benji Rothman ’26 emphasized that Kenyon students are never alone in their experiences: “There is always someone more anxious than you about something.”
Even though the student body is departing for a well-earned break from the tribulations of academic life, their Kenyon wisdom will carry them over into the next semester and hopefully guide the incoming Class of 2027 as they begin their own journeys on the Hill.
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