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Kenyon College

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First, professors are incredibly knowledgeable, dedicated toQuite BrightUndecided
First, professors are incredibly knowledgeable, dedicated to their field, and enthusiastic about imparting what they know to their students, which is what will disappoint me most when I transfer. However, I've been less than impressed with most other aspects. I don't wish to turn this into a rant, but I feel that a lot of these things were shrouded from me before I enrolled and I'd like someone else to know about them beforehand.

? While professors are fantastic, at many points throughout the year I was wondering exactly how the material covered compared to other institutions. I was challenged much more in high school (overloaded schedule) and expected the same type of pace in college based on everyone constantly referring to it as so intense. This was not the case. In fact, there was comparatively much less academic stress and so little to be done outside of class that I went into mental shock (yes, literally) and found it hard to concentrate on anything, fearing that I had gone down a completely wrong path. Many people are absorbed in academics but, though I hate to sound haughty, don't have a lot to show for it, yet they hold themselves in very high esteem (and constantly talk about their past achievements, I don't know where this came from, honestly). This isn't to say there aren't mature, humble, and brilliant people?there are, but overall, this is the feeling I was left with.

? Please look at a map before choosing Kenyon. Gambier, OH is 15 minutes from Mt. Vernon, which is in turn 45-50 minutes from Columbus. This is completely rural. Unless you or your friend have a car, there is sometimes an hourly bus to Mt. Vernon, but otherwise you are stuck. As a result of such isolation, there are virtually NO attractions or events apart from sports, trail-running, or the occasional Amish sale. Mt Vernon is not really an escape either, though it has a few stores. You need to devote an entire weekend afternoon to restocking supplies at THE Walmart unless you want to pay exorbitant prices at the on-campus grocer. I had initially thought of college as being a large, fast-paced, cosmopolitan experience. 1800 sounds like a larger number than it truly is. If you choose Kenyon, you need to be comfortable with an isolated, bookish, subdued atmosphere.

? Diversity among students (ethnically) is minimal. There is a small community of Chinese students; there is also only one black male in the entire freshman class. Though a small portion of the class comes from disadvantaged backgrounds, by and large most students are from privileged white families (myself admittedly included), as reflected in the steep tuition. Good scores will get you a small scholarship, but this only brings it down to the price of any other private four-year institution. If it helps though, textbooks were surprisingly inexpensive.When first starting college, I was under the impression that, as my parents especially wanted to make clear to me, most any place will give you a "wonderful" education. I don't feel this to be untrue, but will say that some places are more competitive for fair reasons and renowned for reasons as well. Kenyon is highly regarded as a literature school and has its strengths in English, language, sociology, and other humanities. That's not to say one cannot be a pre-med at Kenyon, there's plenty. But whether they truly have as much within their immediate reach as students at medium or larger universities, I'm not as sure. This is what all has motivated me to transfer; there are many people who are perfectly happy with the education and experience that they've had at Kenyon, but I'm not as strong a proponent.

1st Year Male -- Class 1920
Friendliness: A, Surrounding City: F
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As a student, you mean nothing more thanBrightPolitical Science
As a student, you mean nothing more than a nice fat paycheck to the college. Kenyon only cares about being a "new ivy" school, and doesn't mind stepping on the toes of students and faculty in order to get there. I recommend staying away from this school -- they don't value you as an individual and they certainly don't deserve to call themselves an institution of higher learning.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2015
Education Quality: A, Individual Value: F
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Kenyon College is obviously has an amazing academicQuite BrightArt & Design Department
Kenyon College is obviously has an amazing academic program. Certain programs are ranked higher, such as the English program. Most of the academic programs are very good. I don't know of anyone who thinks that they are just doing busy-work.

Many people here are friendly, but just as many of them are arrogant and consider themselves to be brilliant. This did not bother me until I had to have class discussions with them.

Class discussions, as far as I could tell, seemed to get nowhere. I walked out of class with a random assortment of ideas that had been discussed for fifty to eighty minutes. It was difficult to take notes since there was simply nothing to write down. The main objective seemed to be throwing out facts and making yourself heard. This was quite foreign to me, and I often felt confused when faced with the prospect of writing a paper based on the ideas that had been presented.

The tours and student panels used during the visit days are not accurate. They tell you there is so much to do on campus. They tell you no one wants to leave. They tell you drinking is not that big of a deal. They tell you that the fraternities are not prominent on campus. Do not listen to this. For lack of a better word, it is bullshit.

Most of the parties, probably around eighty to ninety percent, are controlled by the fraternities. Every party revolves around drinking and dancing and possibly hooking up. It is rather incestuous around here to be quite honest. If you don't drink, the party is going to be pretty boring. Here are the events of a typical party: standing in line for cheap beer (Keystone), dancing, possibly puking depending on how much beer you've consumed, maybe hooking up with some random guy. And yes, you will have the pleasure of possibly seeing him everyday for the rest of your college career. This leads into the next point.

Kenyon is small. You may like small colleges. If you do, this is a great place. If not, you'll feel like you are still in high school. Middle Path is where you will always run into people you know, whether you want to or not. And the stuff admissions tells you about people always waving and smiling on Middle Path? Not that I can tell. Of course people will wave and smile, as long as you already know each other. No random person is usually going to smile and wave at you. Which, for me, was good. I would feel very weird if a random person started waving at me. But, to each his own.

This school is expensive. It is beyond expensive. It might even be more than the salary you will make for years afterwards. You could get a Master's Degree at a state school cheaper than you will get a Bachelor's degree here.

They will tell you that there are shuttles to take you to Columbus. And, there are. But, only if it's a holiday, and you need to get to the airport. This will cost you around one hundred dollars, and it is not round-trip. Otherwise, they school will take you to Columbus only for planned trips. I think they take trips to the zoo or the mall.

No matter what people tell you, there is a very high possibility that you will feel isolated here. I go to Walmart for fun. I do not like Walmart when I am living at home. But here, it has become a great adventure. Unfortunately, I have to plan a whole day around going because it involves catching the bus at a certain time on one of the four days the bus runs. And, to get food, you need to go to Walmart. The market here marks prices up to about twice of what they usually are. The cafeteria, despite being local food, is not good, especially being a vegan. It is horrible.

At this point, I feel like I'm just going on and dragging it out.
If you want to contact me, I'd be happy to tell you how I felt about it. I knew very quickly that I didn't like it. Never make your choice of a college simply because of a ranking in "U.S. News and World Reports." That was horrible decision on my part, and I regret not looking more at other colleges that were not liberal arts colleges. I understand that many people love it here, but it is not for everyone. It's not for me, and that's why I'm transferring next semester.

1st Year Female -- Class 2013
Friendliness: A, Social Life: F
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