What is it Like to Attend Kenyon College?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Anna lives in Cleveland and specializes in French tutoring. She is a current student at Kenyon College. See what she had to share about her experiences at Kenyon College:


Describe the campus setting and transportation options at Kenyon College.

Anna: Kenyon College exists in a very small bubble in rural Ohio. The campus is very safe, but also very secluded from any urban surroundings. The campus has a kind of small-town feel, and farms and fields surround it. There’s a shuttle that takes you into town a few times a week, but the campus is small and most people get around via bikes.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Anna: I’ve found that professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants are always extremely available and willing to meet for extra help or discussion. In that way, Kenyon College presents students with opportunities to develop close relationships with their academic “higher-ups”.

How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Anna: The dorms are better than most dorms I’ve seen at other schools, and though there’s only one cafeteria, the food isn’t too bad. Most of the dorms are about five to 10 minutes away from the cafeteria by foot, which can be an issue in the winter; but by having only one cafeteria, there’s really a sense of community/family that surrounds mealtime.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported at Kenyon College?

Anna: Kenyon College is known for their English program, and from the very first moments you step on campus, that’s clear. They also have a fantastic Philosophy program, and a lesser-known Science program that I’ve heard to be pretty strong. I am studying English there, which is a large reason I looked at Kenyon College as a prospective student in the first place. The fame surrounding their English program is based in a very rigorous course schedule, and thus far it seems really worthwhile.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Anna: I’ve found that the comfortable atmosphere established by the school allowed me to make friends very easily. The Greek life is small and different than at most big state schools, but it still plays a large part in social life. As someone who is not actively a part of Greek life, I’ve never found our Greek life to be overwhelming, elitist, or limiting. Socially, the school is very welcoming.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? 

Anna: I’ve heard from many that Kenyon College’s Career Center is strong and has helped many alumni become successful.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Anna: Especially during the winter, students try to make a point to get out of their dorms and study in a more social environment. There’s a coffee shop on campus that is popular among students cramming for exams, and the library has three floors (one of which is a silent floor) to provide ample space for students who may need it. Kenyon College is also known for Ascension Hall, where, on the third floor, a study room exists with velvet couches and oak-paneled walls. It’s a beautiful place that is, by nature, kept completely quiet, and students who need a strong atmosphere for studying (or napping) find a lot of comfort in it.

Describe the surrounding town.

Anna: Between the North and the South side of campus is “town,” complete with a coffee shop, bookstore, market, deli, and post office. By ways of “town,” that’s what Kenyon College’s campus has to offer, and it’s central to the school, so it’s frequented a lot by students. Outside of campus (about a 5-minute drive), there’s a town where you can buy basic goods or go antiquing. It’s not a booming city, which is why most students stay on campus and consider going to the deli a “meal out on the town.”

How big or small is the student body at Kenyon College? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Anna: The student body has about 1,600 students, so in comparison to a typical state school, it’s very small. The size does have it’s advantages, though, including fostering a comfortable and welcoming community as well as allowing an individual course size of about 12 students at most, which gives much more one-on-one time with professors.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Anna: My first semester, I took an English class with Professor Matz about the art of writing the mind. It was a fascinating class, and it fit the mold, to me, of what a college class was going to be: discussion-based and encouraging of independent thinking. At the end of the semester, the professor invited the entire class to his house across the street, where he had prepared an amazing meal for us and allowed us to stay for hours roaming through the historical knick-knacks of his home and talking intently with his partner. I was scared of this entire interaction – going into teachers’ houses seemed crazy to me – but within seconds of being there, I was enjoying myself and completely amazed that a professional was willing to spend his night with all of us, talking about nonsense and getting to know us as individuals apart from our academics. That, to me, defines Kenyon College perfectly.

Check out Anna’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.