Finding Myself in the Pages of Kenyon’s Publications

A student writer finds her footing in the College's literary scene.


Walking into the massive structure of the Lowry Center on the first Saturday morning of the year, faced with a hundred or so upperclassmen focusing their attention on having me join their organizationit was one of the scarier parts of orientation week as a freshman. This huge track room housing the Student Involvement Fair was neatly lined with tables and posters advertising different acapella groups, clubs, or sports teams.

This is what college was supposed to be all about, right? New experiences, an abundance of new people…yet it was so intimidating going up to countless tables of literary publications and quickly scribbling my name down on an interest list. But even through the stress of it all, I was grateful to have many opportunities for this type of creative involvement, especially since Kenyon is known for its rigorous English program.  

Persimmons, HIKA, HerCampus, Lyceum, The Kenyon Collegian, A Medio Camino, WKCO…my name was on all of their lists, but I worried more about their first meetings. 

My email inbox became a war zone. Endless flow of useful and useless information would bombard my notifications at the most random points of the day in huge bursts. I constantly starred emails about class registration and all the meeting times and information in the upcoming weeks. Every evening for the first two weeks of the school year was spent frantically trying to find any given magazine’s building and room number on a campus I barely knew. Whether it was at 7 p.m. on the grass outside Peirce or at 10 p.m. in a lab in the science quad, I tirelessly put my ideas and creative mind on the chopping block in front of people who were virtually strangers to me. 

It’s all about first impressions, I told myself. I wanted to maintain a cool appearance while staying true to myself and my passions. But it was hard to be so enthusiastic and committed to each meeting because it was one out of the other four I’d been to that week that had all blended together in my head. How could I differentiate between all of the groups?

"Although we were crowded in a small Peirce dining room in the middle of dinner rush, the small introductions and murmurs of Spanish from other Latino students instantly reaffirmed my place and purpose at Kenyon."

Mia Huerta '25

I felt utterly lost in the sea of publications and meetings and opinions. The spark I had for analyzing creative pieces and in confidently submitting my own was still fiercely bright, I just didn’t know where to go or what to do with it. I knew I could handle any criticisms and I had a plethora of pieces to submit, but I wanted to get involved in these publications, not just write for them. But which publications would those be?

One of the first publications that I’d immediately felt at home in was A Medio Camino. Although we were crowded in a small Peirce dining room in the middle of dinner rush, the small introductions and murmurs of Spanish from other Latino students instantly reaffirmed my place and purpose at Kenyon. Amongst the other bilingual writers, we planned a semester’s magazine and filled it with art reviews, Latin American political pieces, and poetry all in Spanish. And while I’m still struggling with my Spanish fluency, the other students who grew up and were just like me reassured any doubts I had. 

Not too long after my first A Medio Camino meeting, I eagerly found my way to Finn House for a late meeting of HIKA–the oldest student-run publication on campus. I’d submitted three of my poems to them a week before and that night was when they’d decide whether or not to take them. In the small room filled with windows, my poems were projected onto a big screen without my name to maintain anonymity. The other writers in the room unknowingly gave me constructive feedback and asked helpful questions that I hadn’t even thought of pursuing in my own writing yet. It was a warm environment with a group of writers who most closely resembled my creative curiosities. 

By the end of the night the magazine decided to take two of my poems and publish them in their fall preview and the end-of-the-year magazine. I was ecstatic. Less than a month at Kenyon and I was already published in an established magazine. The whole walk back to my dorm I was texting and calling my family, giddy with pride and excitement as the warm summer air rushed past me. 

In retrospect, my acceptance into publications on campus haven’t been as extraordinary as it felt that very first time, but it was one of the defining moments of my freshman year when I truly felt that I belonged at Kenyon. As the current co-director of A Medio Camino and the managing editor for HIKA, so each meeting cements further the passions I came to Kenyon with and the determination for the great creative work ahead. 

Now when I walk into a HIKA meeting late at night, I take my place at the familiar table as managing editor for the magazine, keeping track of meeting notes and accepted pieces. When I meet with my other three leaders of A Medio Camino we exchange creative ideas between jokes and conversation about Spanish classes or music in our native tongues. They’ve become more than fellow leaders or prospective writers for the magazine—they’re friends and true connections at Kenyon that tie me closer to the strongest parts of my identity.