Seniors offer advice to students remaining on the Hill
It is traditional at the Collegian for the outgoing editors-in-chief to write a column of some sort. Intended as a farewell to appear in the last issue of the year, for which the new editors take over, the column is often a somewhat-bitter but well-meaning pronouncement on the importance of journalism.
We don’t wish to bore you with any of that, except to say it has been an immense privilege to serve as your editors-in-chief this year.
We both began at the paper as first-year copy editors and news writers and found a place where we could indulge our curiosity about the world, a place that gave us a blank slate to ask why things were the way they were.
Rather than tell you about what attracted us to journalism, though, we would like to encourage you, our fellow students, to identify and pursue your own passions.
Kenyon’s people are its greatest asset. To that effect, we offer the following suggestions for the remainder of your time on the Hill:
- Explore widely. Also deeply. Try out different activities and academic disciplines at Kenyon, but find one or a few and commit yourself. That said, don’t think anything you do here necessarily dictates what you will do with the rest of your life.
- Find the people, not the job. Network with alumni early and often to find the best summer and post-grad opportunities. Don’t settle for mediocrity.
- Go to office hours. Get to know your professors outside of the classroom. Take them out for a beer — only if you are over 21, of course. Babysit their kids or ask them to work with you on a research project.
- Get off the Hill. As enriching an experience as the classroom can provide, get outside the very real (though not in the sense of “literal”) Kenyon bubble and explore central Ohio. Volunteer at East Knox Elementary. Go to Ariel Foundation Park or Build-a-Biscuit in Mount Vernon (try the Georgia peach). Visit the Danville Turkey Festival or do karaoke in Columbus. Have fun.
- Support one another. To quote David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon Commencement address, “You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t.” Recognize the deep meaning in the friendships and relationships you develop here, and don’t take them for granted.
As we prepare to leave the Hill, we are excited to see on what paths you and Kenyon will head.
We know we leave the Collegian in good hands — with Editors-in-Chief Maya Kaufman and Victoria Ungvarsky and Executive Director Nathaniel Shahan — to face the challenges the Kenyon community will continue to confront, be they issues of sexual assault, campus drinking culture, the makeover of the Village or the College’s limited financial resources.
We know next year’s editors, and those who come after them, will attempt to get to the heart of these issues with nuance, empathy and passion. Thanks for reading. We hope you’ll continue to do so.