Living in the Moment

Reflections on starting senior year at Kenyon.


After sitting down with a prospective student in Lowell House, I said, “Tell me a bit about yourself.” As a senior admissions fellow, one of my roles is to talk with high school students to get to know them better, and be a resource as a current student at Kenyon. 

We talked about our similar interest in politics, sports and books. Then we got to the part where I ask how their high school experience has been interrupted by COVID-19. As we both are a part of the Class of 2024, our first year in our respective schools occurred during the height of the pandemic. Finding clubs was hard, the teaching style was completely different and making new friends was challenging. 

During my first year at Kenyon, I kept telling myself, “It will get better soon.” Every milestone was met with relief, not just because I accomplished something, but because it happened and now I could focus on something else. Needless to say, my introduction to life on the Hill was not the smoothest. 

In the interview, I asked the student about their upcoming year. They talked about how they have a rough few months ahead. They are planning on waiting until next semester to enjoy themselves, since college applications still need to be finished, taking multiple AP classes and a participating handful of extracurriculars — Model UN, debate team, club soccer — that they enjoy. After all, most of the fun stuff is in the spring of senior year — prom, senior pranks, graduation. What could go wrong with waiting to enjoy the moment? 

“Hanging out late into the night playing a board game with friends, staying late talking to a professor, going to a club meeting, or attending an academic talk – I wish I could do it all over again.”  

Caleb Newman '24

I told them to enjoy the moment. Sure, applying to college can be tedious at times; but, it can also be very rewarding and self fulfilling as you learn more about yourself. While the classes may be difficult, they often are fun because of the cool information you learn. Sometimes dropping a leadership position in a club may feel like the right move, however you got involved with the extracurricular activity for a reason. In other words, despite the busy times, it is still important to do the things you love. 

Throughout my time on the Hill, extracurricular activities have been an outlet for me even as I dealt with a big academic workload. As a first-year, I problem-solved with my peers in Campus Senate and First-Year Class Committee. During my sophomore year, I spent my Wednesday nights in R-17 with the editors of the Collegian, learning to become a better writer. In my junior year, talking with admissions staff in Lowell house to plan for a group visit required me to be a better planner. This year, working in the writing center has allowed me to connect all the skills I have learned to help others. 

As I write this blog post, I have eight months until graduation. While there is still time to complete my senior capstone, take a fun class or start a new club, each day that goes by makes my journey on the Hill come closer to the end. 

I cherish even the darkest times at Kenyon because there is always a ray of light peeking through, reminding me how lucky I am to be in rural Ohio. Hanging out late into the night playing a board game with friends, staying late talking to a professor, going to a club meeting, or attending an academic talk — I wish I could do it all over again. 

The prospective student and I wrapped up our conversation. I said goodbye to them, grabbed my backpack and headed to lunch with friends. 

While walking, I saw a group of first-years gathered together trying to get to know one another. My heart was smiling. A short time ago I was on Peirce lawn introducing myself to what are now my close friends. I watched the group head north back to their residence halls. In a short period of time, it won’t be Lewis Hall, but a North Campus Apartment they walk towards. The next time chairs and a stage are set up outside Samuel Mather Hall after Opening Convocation, after all, is Commencement.