Oberlin Blogs

A Day in the Life (academics, athletics, and more!)

November 3, 2021

Ish Houle ’23

Here at Oberlin, I am lucky enough to say I run and compete for the Cross Country and Track team! But, as I say on every tour I give for Oberlin, the reason I adore being an athlete at Oberlin is because my teachers and coaches agree that I am a student-athlete, not an athlete-student. In other words, my academics and college experience come first, and athletics is something that I love but is not my primary focus. Our Cross Country team just competed in our championship meet, and both our Men’s and Women’s teams got fifth place, in addition to three of my friends getting all-conference recognition (Anna Scott placing ninth, Phoebe von Conta placing thirteenth, and Ross D’Orfani placing fifteenth!). We have two more meets this year, one this week that is not a traditional Cross Country race as we are racing a 5K (as opposed to the 6K that the Women’s team and 8K that the Men’s team usually does), and instead of racing on a muddy, hilly course we are doing it all on the track! The weekend after that, we’ll be driving out to Indiana to compete in the regional Cross Country championships, which should definitely be exciting! After that, we’ll have a little bit of time off from formal practice, and then we enter indoor track season.

All this to say, my team is a huge and important part of my life, but I am able to do other things at this school! As an example, I’d love to give you a breakdown of a typical day of mine, full with classes, extracurriculars, and athletics.


9am – Wake up (which involves 8:48am, 8:55am, 9am, 9:02am, and 9:10am alarms)

9:18am – Buy a cold brew coffee from the student coffee shop in our library, Azariah’s Cafe. (Their avocado toasts are the fan favorites here.)

9:30am – Settle into a solo desk on the quiet floor of the library, I have an exam to take!

11am – I’m done with my Abnormal Psychology exam!!! Head home, take a break. 

12:30pm – I have a tour! (I work as a tour guide here at Oberlin too.) I show the sights to a prospective student’s father; his daughter is here on our Multicultural Visit Program but he wanted to make sure he got a tour as well.

1:30pm – I finish my tour and then go grab my “save plate” from my co-op, Pyle. Lunch is at 12:20pm, but if you can’t make lunch time you can request they make you a plate that you pick up at any time. It was phenomenally delicious: pasta, green onions, radish, mozzarella cheese, tofu, cucumbers, glazed carrots. Two of my teammates had meetings during lunch time, so the three of us eat lunch together now.

2pm – Homework time! I have a busy night, so I have to finish all the homework I can before practice. I settle into a booth in Azariah’s with a few friends. 

4:25pm – I bike from the library to the Cross Country team’s locker room, get changed, and head out to practice. I have a more chill day of 4 miles and some strength work, because championships is in 2 days!

7pm – I rush from practice to our town movie theater, the Apollo, because filmmaker John Waters is performing a show for us. 

8pm – I bike from the Apollo to our radio station, WOBC, for my radio show. It’s called “Jazz by a dummy,” and it’s me learning more about jazz music with the help of a few of my friends in the jazz department of our Conservatory.

9pm – I head from the station to my home, which is a big house divided into a few apartments, where I live with my two best friends. I make a pot of coffee, eat my dinner, and finish up my work. When I’m done I’ll watch some TV (I’m rewatching Freaks and Geeks right now!) and head to bed, making sure I get some good sleep because we’re leaving for championships tomorrow.


And that’s a day at Oberlin for me, a great mix of athletics and academics and extracurriculars. If you ever have any questions about being a student-athlete, or any of the other things I mentioned in my average day, let me know! 

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