Opportunity on the Hill
“There’s a real air of promise to the beginning of the year,” my roommate says to me as we sit in our lawn chairs behind our apartment. We’ve both come back from being abroad and have come back to Gambier a few days before everyone else does to readjust to the Kenyon lifestyle.
That air of promise is undoubtedly there each year, but this year it seems more potent. Partially because this is our final year, but mainly because we’ve been away from Kenyon. My time away really made me appreciate a lot of things about Kenyon, but probably none more so than the opportunity. In a city like Cape Town, there is plenty to do and see, but I found that there weren’t the same opportunities to create as I had back at school.
At Kenyon, not much is given, which creates a huge impetus for students to create. In lieu of a coffee shop with live music, one friend of mine hosts singer-songwriter shows in his apartment. We’ll be hosting one in the coming weeks. Last year, a theater company ran a series of plays in different students’ bedrooms where the audience walked from room to room. This is what originally drew me to the rural, liberal arts colleges in the first place and continues to be my favorite part. While the cities may offer these things to you regularly, there’s something so much more rewarding when you make it yourself.
We always seem to be working on projects here, and the best part is that these projects begin and end with the students. Often there aren’t institutions bearing down or other authority figures. I think this most frequently manifests itself in music and theater, but just this last week a few friends of mine began putting together a new literary magazine where all the pieces will have been inspired by the same prompt. Student life at Kenyon is really an incredible place to experiment with your own activities. The rural setting provides a blank canvas for you to explore, and it is definitely the best part of being back on the Hill. If you’ve got the time and are willing to put effort into something, you can make it happen.