Categorized | Viewpoints

Keep Wooster weird

Julie Kendall

Wooster is a weird place. It has always seemed to me as if somebody decided to drop two thousand young and confused individuals on one-square-mile of land as part of some sort of bizarre social experiment in which we are forced to live, work, study and socialize together for four years. We are provided sustenance in the form of quesadillas and coffee, we read academic journals for our daily activity and we venerate a particular day in late March.

It’s a weird place, indeed, but I could not be more grateful to have had the opportunity to come here. If there is one thing that I have learned from my time at Wooster, it is that, in the grand scheme of things, we are all incredibly privileged. Perhaps I learned this because I majored in Sociology and nearly every course in the department is a lesson in structural inequality. Accordingly, the point has been reinforced in my mind — college students make up a very small fraction of the population that gets to engage in lofty intellectual pursuits while somebody cooks us food and cleans our bathrooms.

That is not to say that students and their families don’t make sacrifices to get a Wooster education. But no matter how you got here, I urge you to never ever take this experience for granted.

In addition to receiving some of the best education money can buy, we are given a lot of freedom to decide how to spend four years in rural Ohio with two thousand other smart and fortunate individuals. Although our workload regularly demands that we hole up in our carrels and not interact with other humans for long stretches of time, it’s important to use this exceptional time to explore more fulfilling pursuits. My best experiences have been doing the things I never thought I would do, and may never have the chance to do again.

A year and a half ago, I was recruited to become a sports editor for the Voice. And although this job requires tediously decoding box scores and sitting in a windowless basement office for eight hours every Tuesday night, being part of this publication has truly been a fulfilling pursuit.

To cover the Scots’ athletic achievements and publish columns about sporting culture has been a small privilege within the larger privilege of attending Wooster.

To sign off, I want to publicly thank everybody who helped make my Wooster experience incredible. Thanks to all faculty, staff, bosses, co-workers, family, classmates, friends, co-editors, the people who read my columns and whoever decided to include me in this crazy social experiment. I am truly grateful.

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