Summer Wonders

A day in the life of a Gambier June.


When I picture happiness in my mind, a recurring image that comes to me is the summer greens of Gambier, Ohio. They are different from the deep mountain-ish foliage that surrounds and swallows you completely. Instead, I find them entirely inviting. They are lighter, mintier, livelier and filled with laughter. The greens in Gambier make you want to go swimming in the Kokosing River without caring if your feet stir up the mud on the bottom; they call you to play frisbee at sunset with barbecues on the side. Last summer, I spent the whole month of June at Kenyon alongside 100 of my classmates, and, quite literally, I would not trade it for the world.

I worked at a financial services firm based in Chicago during the summer of 2021, but the nature of having a remote job allowed me to take in as much Kenyon air as possible. I lived in a four-person apartment on the north end of campus with one of my closest friends, Zoë, and two other girls whom I had the pleasure to become closer with, Sarah and Liv. They truly made our house a home. 

As I reflect on my experience last summer, my fondest memories always rest somewhere between Saturday sunrise and after its sundown.


There was something about Saturday mornings that drew me in. My housemates and I all had our own responsibilities during the week – either working or doing research – but we never missed a Saturday morning spent sitting in the Adirondack chairs together in our backyard. The sun shined on our faces, arms, and legs, bright though never blinding. I drank cold brew while studying flashcards for the GRE with Zoë. Sarah read novel after novel, and Liv would get ready for a run outside. We struck up conversations with our neighbors biking by to go to their biology labs or the Lowry Center, people-watching at our finest.


The last time I played kickball before 2021 was in middle school, but that summer it somehow became a weekend afternoon activity again. We walked down to the elementary school’s playground just behind Wiggin Street Coffee on Saturday afternoons, picking teams and placing mats at bases. I cannot say I was the best kicker on the team, but I certainly tried my hardest. My most vivid memory from those games remains the time I kicked the ball so hard that my shoes came off… just for the ball to be caught by the pitcher. Though I took an L on that one, I did go on to earn my team a few home runs. 


Kenyon summer’s Saturday nights were one of a kind. The cool summer air on the lawn proved to be a calming masquerade for the livelihood inside the little white houses. It was almost a tradition that one of the houses played Spanish music while the whole community came and danced past midnight. We laughed, ate watermelons, danced salsa, sang along to Miley and Shakira, and made new friends. The summer breeze outside turned to moisture inside, drawing condensation amongst hugs and footsteps, between hands touching backs and arms trying to find the right placements. Funnily, when I think of the four Saturday nights in June I spent in Gambier last year, it is this warm moist air that I remember most. 



Summer 2021 in Gambier was not a city summer of a typical hustle and bustle, but a world full of peace, smiles, dogs, rivers, and cornfields. It gave me the perfect wind-down before my senior year of college—like the calm before the storm but in the best way possible. I learned to entertain myself with research and many novels on World War II in moments of quietness; I came to appreciate my relationships with old friends through hour-long chats on how much we all had changed in four years; at the same time, I pushed myself to form newer, and deeper, connections. What else could I possibly ask for?