Oberlin Blogs

Choosing Oberlin

March 31, 2023

Phoebe McChesney ’25

When I was first looking at colleges, I applied to different kinds of schools, both public and private, big and small, urban and rural. While I had initially sent out 19 applications, acceptances and rejections narrowed down my options and I was faced with my final decisions.

I knew I wanted to be somewhere where there weren't huge lecture halls, where I could talk to my professors, and not have to stand in long lines for food. I also wanted short commutes to classes and to go somewhere a bit offbeat. I wasn't exactly sure about my major, but was interested in the Social Sciences and Humanities so I wanted to go to a school that was especially strong in these areas of study. Thus, soon I realized I was describing a small liberal arts college.

I visited my top three liberal arts options, including Oberlin, but although I appreciated all of my tours, I was looking for a certain kind of je ne sais quoi. While I didn't really see myself on most of the campuses, there was something about Oberlin that I couldn't shake.

Even though my tour was in the icy weather winter, I found myself thinking, I actually kind of love it here. It's a little bit weird and that's so cool.

I still spent time exploring virtual programming at other schools, but it only confirmed what I had felt on the tours. I liked all of these places, but for two out of three, while nothing was wrong, nothing was quite right either. Oberlin continued to stand out.

I took my time to decide, however, and didn't commit until right up to the deadline. But my final decision came down to what I had sensed early on. I went with my gut. It's like what they say, "When you know, you know."

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