Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

How Did I Get Here? And Other Existential Questions

Kate Lindsay
December 6, 2012

My name is Kate and never once in my life have I enjoyed eating a vegetable. I have, however, lived in England, lent a pen to Simon Schama, and successfully licked my elbow. Currently a sophomore at Kenyon College majoring in English and Creative Writing, I have had more dreams about Daniel Radcliffe coming to my birthday party than I’d care to admit (Six. Okay? It’s six. Now get off my back.). I knit more than the average grandma and will passionately talk about it with you to the point where you get uncomfortable and try to subtly leave the room.

On campus, when I’m not singing with The Stairwells, being an editor for The Kenyon Thrill blog, or abysmally failing to fulfill my quota as an associate at The Kenyon Review, I’m spending most of my time in a booth at Wiggin Street Coffee (Wiggle Ground). Here I think deep thoughts like, “What should my screenplay be about?” and, “If I eat a double chocolate chip muffin now, is it still acceptable to eat dessert after dinner in Peirce?????” (It is).

The first time I came to Kenyon was with the Young Writers Workshop the summer before my senior year of high school. After spending two weeks frolicking with other teen writers and poets, I wrote Kenyon off as one of the best camp experiences I ever had, but too small to ever attend full-time. I then skipped off gaily in pursuit of NYU, where my heart had been set since my freshman year of high school. However, when decision time came, and the busy streets of New York City became a reality, I couldn’t do it. I realized that a place where I once saw a man walking around with a piece of cardboard that had “BOOBS” written on it was not a place a girl from the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania should suddenly be dropped. New York could wait.

I had applied to six other schools, five of which I was lucky enough to be accepted. I never expected to get into Kenyon. It was my last application and therefore, I thought, my sloppiest. I just wanted the whole process over with. But one day I came home to a giant envelope with a purple thumbs-up on it, and I thought back to the two weeks I had spent there that past summer. I had really good memories of this place, but they were camp memories. I knew Kenyon couldn’t be all warm weather and leaning against trees while writing in notebooks and lying on the lawn with your friends. But that’s exactly what it is. I came here on my last college visit and saw that, even during the school year, students were reading on benches and sitting on the grass, and going to classes and getting excited. When the cold weather hits, you just bundle up in your bed or in a coat and find a cozy place on campus to settle down. The feeling of creativity and acceptance is not just a camp thing, but year-round.