It came and went by in a flash. It's amazing how fast this first year of college has gone by. Almost scary.
Actually, I take that back. It's terrifyingly scary how quickly the 9 months flew by. It's like how a single minute of animation doesn't seem like a large amount of time, but within the hundreds of frames drawn is a long, tedious, sometimes frustrating, exciting journey to the final frame that you have been picturing in your head since you started.
Forgive me for being pensive. Most of this blog is being written while waiting to board a plane back to the lovely state of New Jersey at 6 in the morning. Knowing me, if I don't keep my brain active for this hour of waiting time, I will surely fall asleep, miss my plane, get stranded at Cleveland Hopkins Airport and live the rest of my life as the bathroom janitor. I surely don't want that. I assume you don't want that either, because reading about my life as a janitor is probably way less interesting.
But I digress. Really, I have too many questions running through my head. The lack of sleep has probably gotten to me. Rather than dreaming, my brain has decided to run amok, thinking of everything and anything at once. So let's dissect this brain of mine, shall we?
How did I get here? And no, I'm not referring to the airport. Though if you're really curious, I got a ride from someone through the Oberlin Classifieds. And no, I am not paid to advertise for the Oberlin Classifieds.
Let's be more specific, Karl. Be specific! How did you end up at Oberlin?
This is a good question. I'm going to be completely real with the handful of people who have read up to this part of my blog: I was petrified coming into Oberlin. The night before moving into Barrows, I spent most of my night running through horrible "What if?" scenarios and second-guessing my decision to go to Oberlin. I didn't even enjoy my stay at Oberlin when I visited April of last year, so I guess worried is an adjective that accurately described my mood prior to Oberlin.
"Wait Karl. You love Oberlin! All you talk about in this blog is Oberlin! Oberlin, Oberlin, Oberlin!" Yes. That's true. What's also true is that I write this blog for Oberlin College, meaning that my entries should have some connection to Oberlin College. Otherwise, my blog posts would probably contain posts primarily about food, basketball, even more entries about silkscreening, women, AND Oberlin.
But I digress, again. Where was I? (See, I told you! There's so many questions running through my head! So many questions in this blog post! So many question marks!!!????!!!) Right! Oberlin. Me being scared about Oberlin.
In many ways, I feel that I probably didn't do enough college fishing as I should have. Oberlin was one of two schools that I actually visited. I didn't even enjoy my initial stay at Oberlin, and I was rejected from the other school that I visited. I really didn't think I put a lot of thought into the whole choice-making part of choosing a college, or at least not enough. Amongst the pool of colleges that I realistically wanted to go to that also accepted me, I went to Oberlin mainly for financial reasons.
"Wait, Karl. So, you don't really love Oberlin? What about all those blog posts about Oberlin? Does this mean that you've duped us into thinking that you're the perfect example of a happy Obie all year long?"
Uh, no. That's not it. Now maybe I'm good at making the best out of a bad situation, but I feel very lucky that I ended up somewhere that I truly love. If I'm allowed a grace period to say something without looking arrogant or better-than-you, I'll say this: I've gotten so much out of my first year at Oberlin than I could have ever imagined. For one, I didn't think I'd be even close to choosing a major. Nor did I think I'd be able to help revamp the campus bookstore's clothing line-up, or make silkscreened posters for a band that I listen to on a regular basis. I've changed a lot throughout my time at Oberlin, and (I'd like to think) in a positive way.
If there's one thing that I hope my blogging has made clear, it's this: Oberlin provides such a great wealth of opportunities to be taken advantage of. Whether it's the courses offered, the extracurricular activities, the ExCo's, the faculty, co-ops, concerts, sports, and clubs, I do believe that there's so much to learn and so much to experience. Just get out and find it.
However, I don't want to sugar-coat Oberlin College and trick everyone into thinking it is a magical land of sweets and chocolate fountains and toffee mountains. For one, Oberlin's campus is ridiculously flat. Toffee mountains just wouldn't be feasible.
There are certainly things that I don't like about Oberlin. I mean, if I told you otherwise, would anyone believe me? Of course not. There are tons of little things about Oberlin that I'm sure I gripe about, like the difficulties I have had with ResEd concerning storage (I've resorted to desperately hiding my bike and praying that it'll be there over the summer), Safety and Security, and the fact that I can't feed my dinnertime cookie cravings. These little annoyances really aren't things that I would consider putting too much weight on when considering a school. Other things are certainly a bit more off-putting: the "bubble" that is Oberlin, OH, the soul-crushing monster known as ObieTalk, the extreme efforts to be politically correct, and the occasional unbearable hipster. These are all things that might bother someone more than the lack of cookies at Stevie Dining Hall at night. I don't really want to delve into these complaints in a blog post, mostly because I don't think this is the proper setting, but also because this is not the point of this blog.
"Karl, why are you saying all of this?" I guess this mini-vent of mine is to put a little bit of truth into my blog posts. After all, if I kept writing about how everything that is involved with Oberlin is equated to absolute perfection, I'm sure I'd lose some sort of credibility.
"Wait, Karl. Make up your mind! Do you like Oberlin or not?"
Yes! I really, really do. More than like, I adore it. I love biking through our campus's winding sidewalks and treating myself to a delicious DeCafé smoothie afterwards. I can't wait for the next time that I'll be able to check out the observatory atop Peters Hall and have someone point out all the constellations that I have already forgotten since my last trip. I constantly think of songs I want the Obertones to cover (including this jewel from the cartoon, Arthur), and I want to be able to nap in North Quad only to wake up with a sunburnt face. Most importantly, I love all the friends made at Oberlin. Really, I could go on, but I think you get the point.
I love Oberlin. I am so happy to be here and I can't wait to go back in the fall.
But now? It's freaking summertime, and I'm also very happy to be worry-free. I'm ready to sleep to my heart's desire and goof around like a nineteen-year-old for a couple months (while blogging, of course!).
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November 30, 2023