I still remember reading the copy of The Collegian Magazine from last April, with the big purple thumbs up on the cover. I felt surprised that the entirety of Kenyon was fixated on the entering class — it seemed like we were the first group of 18-year-olds to go to college, and the Kenyon students were already writing about us. I remember opening up my admissions decision online and starting to cry.
Aside from how much I wanted to go to Kenyon, I believe it was the full release of every emotion I’d felt over the six-month college process that had consumed my life since, well, early childhood (I’m a planner). I was going to college — adventure and maturity awaited! Everything was new and fresh and oh my, it was as if no one had ever gone to college before. The Class of 2019 was to be the pioneer of higher education!
This sentiment continued after my arrival on campus: a mixture of knowing I was part of a historic class and the complete awareness that I was a first year, and people would stare. Convocation was the summation of every trial and tribulation from high school, a celebration of mass achievement. Through all of this, prospective students and their eager parents meandered around our campus with expressions of hope and excitement. Their parents were whispering to them, “Well, if you go here you’ll have to …,” the same statement I heard from my own parents on the countless tours I took.
Once classes started, prospective students showed up and eagerly listened to see if they would get what they sought in our undergraduate education here. During one class the prospective student got more face time with the professor than some of the enrolled students, as the professor asked the student if they were looking into Kenyon and what they hoped to pursue. It was as if the admissions office briefed each professor on recruiting more students to rapidly expand the student population.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for the admissions officers here. But now it seems attention has shifted away from the current community and toward the incoming class, even though the Class of 2019 has just arrived.
By nature, colleges are businesses and the admissions process is cyclical — a college cannot function without its next incoming class. But should the nature of the selection process effect the attention paid to current students?
A benefit of attending Kenyon is that it is a close-knit community. While we want Kenyon to retain this sense of approachability, it cannot come at the expense of what is already here.
Eve Bromberg ’19 is undeclared from Brooklyn, N.Y. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.