The college admissions process was honestly one of the hardest times of my life. At eighteen years old, figuring out where you want to spend the next four years of your life is intimidating and stressful. I spent more time worrying that I wasn’t going to pick the right college than celebrating my acceptances and accomplishments. What’s funny is that while I hated this process myself, I was so excited about the opportunity to work in admissions at my college. Because my senior year occurred during the height of Covid, I didn’t really experience a “normal” college admissions process, so, now being a tour guide, I am experiencing this process brand new.
I went on one true college tour before the lockdown; this tour was a large group of prospective students with no personalized aspect. I could tell the guide was reciting a well-practiced and informative script, and while I’m not sure if this was the final reason, I essentially decided not to apply to this school. When I started my tour guide training in August of last year, I was intimidated by the amount of information being thrown at me. I was unsure if I could ever memorize all the facts about the school, but I quickly learned that the Kenyon Admissions Department was different from other offices I had come in contact with. One of the main points I took away from my training was that we are not supposed to be reading a script; Kenyon’s tours are small (most of the time just one family) and are personalized to the student’s interests. Every tour guide I work with has a different personality, so everyone’s tour has a different style. My tours manifest differently every time I walk up and down our campus. I value connecting with the specific student and making them feel welcome based on their identities and interests.
I’ve been hit by a second wave of love for Kenyon by being a tour guide. I find new things I love about my college every time I talk to a prospective or admitted student. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m so fond of a certain aspect of Kenyon until I start rambling about my experiences, and then I become aware again of how important this college is to me. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the college admissions process as a senior in the pandemic, I’ve come to appreciate how colleges like Kenyon treat prospective students during this challenging time. I’ve learned that to Kenyon, each newly accepted student is not just an extra number to the incoming class, but is valued for their interests, talents, and identity. When I got admitted to Kenyon, I was happily surprised by the personalized letter they sent to me and continue to send to every admitted student, one which detailed what of my interests stood out to them on my application. As someone who loves to share my passions and stories with others, I couldn’t have asked for a better job on campus. I value spending time with people all around the world that all ask the same question: “Why did you come here?” By spending hours a week discussing my love for Kenyon, working in admissions has made me feel so confident about my decision to come here.