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Britny Patterson: A PoliSci Major Who Hails from Sunny California!

Age: 18           

Year: 2019

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Orange County, California

Campus Activities: Softball Team, Alpha Sigma Tau, Model UN


HCK: You’re from California! It must have been a huge move down to (much colder) Ohio this year! What was the first snow like? [Author’s note: she threw a snowball at me during the first snow. That’s what.] 

Britny: “So I was sitting in Will [her boyfriend’s] room and I was doing homework. I turned to talk to him and looked out the window and I just saw snow flurries. I ran over to the window, tried to open it, and realized I couldn’t touch the snow because there was a screen. I was wearing slippers and no jacket and I sprinted outside and I just kind of stood there looking at it. I had never been out in snow before!”


HCK: You’re super into PoliSci—what do you think is challenging about being a woman in politics?

Britny: “There’s a challenge in being a woman in PoliSci, since women are expected to be a lot more reserved than men are, and if you want to be successful in the field, you can’t be [reserved]. If you’re too expressive, you’re seen as more abrasive much more quickly than men are. It’s been interesting in classes seeing the gender disparity of how many guys are in PoliSci versus girls.”


HCK: If you had unlimited funds for a long weekend (four days) what would you do over that weekend?

Britny: “I would try and help with the refugee crisis, honestly, as best as I could. Whether it’s building houses in countries that still have space, or helping pay for transportation to get them [refugees] places.”


HCK: What is your state of perfect happiness?

Britny: “Usually it’ll be after church on a Sunday afternoon, when I don’t have too much work and I can just sit and have coffee and hang out with my friends—there’s no stress there and I can have genuine human connection.”

HCK:  Would you rather work a job that you loved but paid a low salary, or a job you didn’t like but that paid well?

Britny: “I would never want to work for a job I didn’t like—I’m the type of person who needs to be constantly learning and constantly engaged. I need to do something where I feel like I’m making a difference, or at least learning something so that I can make a difference.”


HCK: You’re also on the softball team! That must be super fun—what’s your favorite part about being on a team?

Britny: “I think the best part, especially as a first year, was coming in and having fifteen other girls who felt like family. The team is really close knit—it’s great to know that people have your back and are basically like sisters. Plus we get to play a sport we love!”


HCK: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Britny: “I don’t know if I want super strength, the ability to fly, or be invisible. I’m going to go with Superman powers—he has both super strength and the ability to fly. Or the ability to influence probability.”


HCK: What’s your favorite part about being at Kenyon?

Britny: “That’s a hard question! It’s a completely new experience for me, and I honestly have to say I love all of it. Being around a group of peers who understands me is great—I feel like I can hold genuine academic conversations with people and have them genuinely understand me. People also push me further to get better. Also, the small town village feel- it feels safe and feels like home. From someone who comes from a city area, it’s a great place to focus on my academics. Also, fall is gorgeous!”


HCK: Would you rather live in the clouds or live under water?

Britny: “I’m terrified of water, so clouds.”


HCK: Name the most embarrassing thing on your bucket list.

Britny: “Skinny-dipping in the Kokosing.”


HCK: As a member of Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) what’s the most unexpected part of being in a sorority and what surprised you about joining one?

Britny: “Well, I think the sororities at Kenyon—specifically AST—have the lack of hazing, and I’m very happy with it. I like that they’ve found ways of making us get closer and bond without feeling the need to make fun of us as pledges. I definitely feel a lot less intimidated than I thought I would be. It’s a lot more about being a family.”


HCK: Give one piece of advice from your dad and one from your mom that you think is incredibly wise.

Britny: “I think the one from my dad is that it’s great to help people, but at some point, you have to understand that you need to take care of yourself and make sure you’re okay before you give any piece of yourself to anyone- if you can’t take care of yourself and make yourself happy, you’re not going to make anyone else happy.

My mom’s advice is that when things get hard it’s when you need God the most, and when you need to step back and appreciate everything—that you need to balance everyday life with your own emotional and spiritual health. It’s also a reminder that nothing going on is permanent, and there’s always a way out.”


HCK: If you could change anything about Kenyon, what would it be?

Britny: “Though I do like the small village feel, I wish that the administration stopped treating us like we aren’t adults. Especially with the changes that are happening on campus, I’m a little bit disappointed with the administration, especially that they’re giving AVI a monopoly over our food. Especially with Pierce only having specific hours and there’s not an option to not be on the meal plan, it makes it difficult to get into Pierce at certain times. I have to pay out of pocket to get food when we have practices. If I could change anything, it would be more food options.”


HCK: Okay! Last question. It’s super serious: what’s the craziest thing you’d do for a Klondike bar?

Britny: “I don’t know! I need options! I think that’s something you only know when you’re faced with the situation. The craziest thing I’d do is skinny dip in the Kokosing.”


Thanks for having us prod your mind, Britny! What would you guys do for a Klondike bar?


Image Credit: Isak Davis

Lindy is a current senior at Kenyon college majoring in Anthropology and Art History. She enjoys travel, books, cinema, art, food, and Scottish Whisky. Someday she hopes to travel around the world with a corgi named Max.
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