An Open Letter to College Students: No Drama!

Dear College Students,

            We have the unique and (for the most part) incredible opportunity of going to school in a supportive, small, close-knit environment that truly fosters community and thoughtfulness. I love walking around campus and being able to recognize at least 90% of the faces that I see. I value how quick and easy it is to make quality friendships that are meaningful and healthy. While my friends at big schools go out and explore the city around them, it’s at a school like Kenyon where I really see the people shine. What I’m trying to say is that I wholeheartedly appreciate how I’ve known my friends here for less than a year and already I know so much about them; I’ve picked up their isms, know their pet peeves, and know how to make them happy.



            That being said, at a small school in a rural area, we can tend to live on top of each other. I know I’ve lashed out against people for no reason other than I see my friends everyday, and sometimes that consistency can lead to animosity… also, I’m an Aquarius, and need my independence. But that’s a topic for another article.


            As a long-time camper and camp counselor, I’ve learned to pick my battles. And now as a first year college student, I’ve had enough experience living in close quarters with people to know the tension that can arise simply from intimacy. You’ll get mad at really dumb things, like how loudly your friend chews their food while you’re trying to study in the library.



            I didn’t realize the value of conflict resolution until I came to Kenyon and understood just how small it can get when you have an issue with someone. You let the tension fester and fester, and maybe more people get involved, and before you know, it a little dispute is blown into a full scale dramatic situation. Maybe people take sides, or you walk into Peirce and people who you barely even know ask you how you’re doing… the point is, in college, drama travels fast.



            It’s hard, it can be awkward, and sometimes you need a little time afterwards to let things settle, but talking things out is honestly the best way to go. If there’s something bugging you, the fastest way to resolve the issue is to go to the source of the problem! Especially at a small school, there is no reason to get other people involved, and most of the time the issues can easily be settled by just talking it out. Letting your friends know how you feel should be something that is natural and a good friend will acknowledge how you feel and will work with you to figure out a solution. Most of the time they may have not even realized there was an issue to begin with.



I think there is really something to be said about surrounding yourself with people that make you happy. Some say that girls thrive off of drama, and that girls at a certain age are mean-spirited and like to gossip and make their friends feel bad. And while I witnessed my fair share of drama in middle school and high school, I thought that these petty situations would be long gone come college.



            If there really is an issue and your friend is refusing to talk to you about it, or the second that your friend puts something trivial before your relationship, that is a sign that you’re in a toxic relationship. And while it’s hard to acknowledge when it may be time to let a friend go, the truth is that toxic relationships form templates for future relationships. If you have a friend that is a notorious gossip, it’ll only cause further issues for yourself and the people around you.


            Learning how to recognize healthy relationships, knowing how to continue a healthy relationship even despite small quarrels, and cutting unhealthy people out of your life is a crucial part to growing up and will no doubt make your experience in college and even after college exponentially better.



A college student.


P.S., I used cute videos of animals to lighten the mood, but if someone is seriously damaging your mental health or wellbeing, it is imperative to take care of yourself, and sometimes that means cutting people out of your life that are just hurting you rather than helping you. Feel free to contact the PCs, the SMAs, or the DAs if you need some help around campus!


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