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Love on the Hill: Dating


In a new series, Love on the Hill, Her Campus Kenyon is going to explore all the aspects of—you guessed it—love on the hill. From the infamous “Kenyon Married” to singledom, hookup culture, long distance relationships, and even Tinder, we’re going to take you on a tour of the dark and dirty secrets of your fellow collegiettes.   Don’t think of this as a “How-to,” there’s no one right way to do the Kenyon experience, but rather as a collection of experiences to either draw inspiration from, or just laugh at.

First on the table we have Dating. Yup, not in a relationship, not single, maybe not with just one person, but that weird middle ground (heh, get it). To me, dating seems more of the era of my grandma, who would regularly ask me if I was “going steady” or “had his pin.” Sandy and Danny from Grease went on dates, Norman Rockwell’s models went on dates, they sat at the bar at diners and sipped two-strawed from the same strawberry milkshake, and then they went rollerblading. So how are we supposed to do that at Kenyon?!?

A class at Boston College offers extra credit for students to go on dates, which must be with legitimate interests, planned, and asked in person. The professor even refers to dating as an “art.” Other sources attribute the downfall of dating to a rise in feminism—women have historically been seen as dependent, overemotional, and needing to be pampered and so by rejecting these notions and embracing casual sex, friends with benefits, or less emotionally bonding relationships, the so called “art of dating” has declined. Whatever’s to blame is the topic for another article, because the facts are that going on a casual date (not a lifetime bond, not unprotected sex, just dinner) has become somewhat of a rarity on college campuses, and according to the students interviewed for this article, Kenyon seems to have followed suit.

However, if you’re looking for the Norman Rockwell experience at Kenyon College, the situation isn’t completely dire. Many of the students quoted here have been on Kenyon dates—it’s very possible and there’s no exact script or definition for how it happens or how it ends up. One collegiette, who has never had a relationship at Kenyon but has been on dates, says, “It can be difficult to see that a real dating culture does exist on campus. Not committed relationship, not hookup culture, dating culture exists. There is, in fact, a middle path in the dating spectrum. It can be frozen and slippery, but it can also be pleasant and sunny. I promise, dating at Kenyon is completely do-able. You just have to look for the right people.”

Read on to see how different collegiettes have navigated dating at Kenyon.



Not into neck beards and flannel (AKA not into Kenyon men)? You can always try your chances with a weekend visitor. Knowing that he won’t be around to run into at every Sunday Peirce brunch for the rest of your life can be quite liberating, so why not just ask him out?

Or, it might go the other way…Molly*, ’15, says “I had a friend visit for the weekend and he’d never been to Kenyon before and magically there were like three good parties happening…we bounced around before ending up at Unity House. He started dancing with this guy (who obviously does go to Kenyon) and then asked him on a date! For the next day! So they got coffee at Wiggle. Basically he accomplished more in 24 hours at Kenyon than I have my whole time here.”


Hold Me like Ohio

It makes sense that there wouldn’t be a lot of dating at a college that collectively has more ferile cats than sit-down restaurants. The VI’s closed or full, Wiggin Street is consumed by Macbooks, might as well just go to my bed? Is that how the hookup culture began? Seems both logical and depressing. However, Jenny, another Kenyon collegiette, has quite a few Kenyon-specific date ideas. “Although I’ve never had a relationship at Kenyon, I’ve been on a handful of dates: cycling on the gap trail, coffee at Wiggins, dinner in Mt. Vernon, lunch at the Deli, midnight walk to the train, movie in the dorms, cooking dinner.

Of these dates, the best one I’ve had was the midnight walk around campus. The cold night gave us a good excuse to snuggle up next to one another. We moved from place to place, surprising each other with special places on campus. Eventually, we ended up on the train, ringing the bell, staring at stars, sharing a few kisses. We walked all the way back to the dorms, arm in arm, just talking. Those are the best kinds of dates, I think. Simple situations that give you the opportunity to talk to your date, get a little cozy, and generally get to know your date better. Try to stay away from places with lots of other people, like parties. You’ll learn more about each other if you’re not worried about what the people around you are thinking. Being alone with the person takes the pressure away.”


Check Yes if You Like Me

You may be thinking, but how am I supposed to meet a guy/girl I want to date? (Frustratingly) there’s not one right answer, but it is important to know that the only place to meet someone isn’t the Cove or Old Kenyon. Another collegiette, Amanda, says that during fall reading days she was studying in the library when she noticed a cute guy sitting near her, after stealing glances, “on his way out, he dropped a note in my lap that read ‘I don’t usually do this… but you’re very cute and need a study break [with his name and phone number] What’s your name, cutie?’ I sent him a quick text with my name and after about an hour of him distracting me from my studying, I agreed to meet him for a coffee that afternoon.”


The Classic

Ah, the age old topic of who pays: guy or girl? That argument’s grown kind of obsolete, alongside assuming your typical heterosexual date pairing. However, you can always play it safe and head to the place that you’ve both already paid for… Lucy recounts her first Peirce date as a Kenyon student, “On the last day of freshman orientation, a guy from my hall asked me to breakfast at Peirce. After our date was interrupted three times, he sent me a text across the table asking if I’d like to “escape to Wiggins” and try to “save this date from invaders.” We ended up going to coffee several times, a few dinners at the VI, and on “expeditions” where we would walk around exploring Gambier, the gap trail, Mt. Vernon stores and restaurants, and just wander seeing what conversations would arise.”


We’ll be continuing this series throughout the year: if you have any questions about it or would like to contribute, feel free to comment below or contact the author! You can also reach out to us at Her Campus Kenyon on Facebook and Twitter. 


*All students’ names have been changed to ensure confidentiality.


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