Profile: The Typical First-Year Girl Navigating Kenyon Hookup Culture

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Kenyon hookup culture. As our first year at Kenyon comes to a close, my friends and I have been reminiscing about our year together, bringing up memories and funny stories some of us had forgotten. As I was listening and talking, it occurred to me that a lot of those stories had to do with hookups or almost-hookups or awkward situations avoiding ex-hookups and so on. Kenyon hookup culture had very much defined our first year, whether we noticed it or not.

Another thing that occured to me was how dehumanizing it was. On the one side, my friends and I had turned these boys into mere benchmarkers or stereotypes, like “the guy from orientation” or “that junior on the baseball team” or “the high dude on Weird Friday.” We talked about them almost like they were things, not people. On the other hand, we complained about them, about how everything here was a one-night thing and how guys just treated us like objects. Hypocritical, for sure, but accurate.

This realization made me want to do an anonymous profile of my friend. I asked her basic questions, silly questions, and also difficult questions about herself and her relationship with Kenyon hookup culture.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

“Ireland. That’s where I want to study abroad. I need to figure out where exactly, but my family and I went when I was six years old and I am so frustrated because I don’t remember like any of it. My family is mostly Irish, too. Plus, I love Irish accents. I think they are super freaking hot.”


If you could only keep four possessions, what would they be?

“My teddy bear named Periwinkle that I got when I was three years cats, that’s three...and then one of my fancy pairs of shoes, just because they are super expensive and I love shoes.”


What cause are you the most passionate about and why?

“Spreading awareness about eating disorders and how to prevent them. You know why.* That’s why I want to be a clinical psychologist when I grow up.”

*Author’s Note: Both my friend and I have struggled with eating disorders.

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you would do with the money?

"I know I should say donate to charity, but I’d probably buy a private jet...or go on a cruise, or buy an island, or build a giant house…"

Author’s Note: It was then decided that she would take her private jet to go on a cruise to her private island where she would then build a giant house.


What is the number one quality you look for in a guy?

"That they care, that they respect me. I mean, I hate it when guys don’t respect me, and I know when they don’t. They don’t give a shit and I know that. They can’t be too clingy, but if they care and they respect you, there’s gonna be an even ground there."


What is your least favorite part of the dating/hookup culture at Kenyon?

"Oh my god...The fact that men just have this, like, underlying notion that the norm is to never consider actually being in a relationship. And that, like, if you even say anything at all about stuff like that they freak the hell out and they ghost you."


What’s your best personality trait?

"Um...I’m silly, I’m spunky...I’m funny. I make people laugh and I laugh really hard. I love to be the center of dumb, silly attention. But I also care very deeply about people. Like I love giving, and that ties into it."


Would you change yourself for a guy and why?

"I would not be as clingy. I would not think about texting him all the time. That is my number one problem and it happens every single time. It becomes all I think about all day every day until that relationship is over, and it’s a problem. I’m also needy and I have no patience and I expect things in the moment and get ahead of myself. I don’t wanna be like that."


Thank you for your time!

My goal in this interview was to take a typical first-year girl who participates in hookup culture at Kenyon and humanize her. I wanted to show that she isn’t just “a slut” or “that tall girl from Highlighter.” She is a person with dreams and feelings and interests outside of her body. I think that this is important for everyone, regardless of gender, to keep in mind when participating in a hookup culture like Kenyon’s. That person you took home last night is a human being, and whether you intend it to be a one night stand or possibly a future relationship, you should treat them and talk about them as such.


Image Credit: 1, 2, 3