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Got questions for current Oberlin students?

March 26, 2015

Tanya Aydelott

Dear Newest Members of the Oberlin Family,

We released our Regular Decision notifications for the Class of 2019 today, and I am bursting at the seams with excitement! I'm currently on Ma'ayan's couch, and we are flailing with joy and going into raptures over the prospect of meeting you at All Roads!

There is SO MUCH that I want to tell you about Oberlin: so many things to look forward to, gasp and sigh over, make new friends over, taste, experience, discover. A bajillion new adventures await you!

And the best people to be sharing all of these possibilities with you are actual real-live Obies. Gasp!

We know that not all of you will be able to attend one of the All Roads programs. And while we'd all love to meet you in person, we realize that you have other things going on in your life at the moment. April is a busy month.

We're hosting a series of virtual panels* so that even if you can't come to campus (or if you've visited and you just can't get enough of us!), you still have access to current students. Each panel will have 5 or 6 Obies to talk to you about their Oberlin: activities, the transition from high school to college, food, Winter Term, housing, ExCos, et cetera.

The panels will be hosted right here on this blog, and we will take your questions in the comments section. Once the panel is finished, we'll archive it here so that you can come back to watch it again or, if you missed the livestream, you can watch it at your convenience.

As always, you're invited to watch and participate in any of the panels. We have themed them to help guide the conversation, but anyone is welcome to watch and ask questions (yes, even your 12-year-old sister, if she's interested).



The three panels are:

  • Monday, April 6th, 8:00pm - 9:30pm EDT (underrepresented communities)
  • Saturday, April 11th, 10:00am -11:00am EDT (international students)
  • Thursday, April 23rd, 7:00pm - 8:30pm EDT (general)

The virtual panels will be livestreamed here on this blog through YouTube and archived after the livestream ends.

You can ask questions live in the comments section, but here's an idea: start asking your questions now, so we have them queued up for the virtual panels! (If your question is geared towards a specific panel, make sure to note that in your comment.)

See you at All Roads, online, and hopefully on campus this fall!

Thank you to our panelists (Aditi, Alejandro, Diego, Linda, Nyquon, and Sammie) for participating in our first virtual panel of 2015!


:43 Introductions
5:47 Why Oberlin?
11:02 What was it like adjusting to life at Oberlin? What helped you the most?
16:57 What do you do for fun? Does the small size ever feel overwhelming? (A question from Nik!)
19:34 Is there social pressure to constantly be doing something or going somewhere? (A question from Jennifer!)
21:16 We hear about the affordability of the concerts. What do you have to spend money on?
24:59 How easy is it to get an on-campus job?
27:19 Is it hard to maintain natural hair at Oberlin? (A question from Chandler!)
28:52 What community resources have been the most important to you at Oberlin?
31:21 What is a safe space? How do students build/use/find them?
32:18 Which is better for social life as a first-year: FYRE, co-ops, regular dorms, program housing? (A question from Sophia!)
40:38 Can you explain the Bonner program? (An anonymously submitted question.)
44:22 How have you gotten involved in the town of Oberlin? What community service opportunities are there if you're not a Bonner Scholar?
47:03 What academic resources are there? Are there any that you wish more people knew about?
52:19 Is it hard to double major at Oberlin? (This double major question came doubly from Kameron & Chan!)
56:26 How have you found mentors? Where have you found mentors?
1:01:16 How did you find internships related to your field? (A question from Chanel!)
1:05:42 What publications are there? Who gets to write for them? (A question from Liam!)
1:08:11 Can you talk about your experiences with queer groups/communities on campus? (An anonymously submitted question.)
1:10:32 Are there music opportunities for students not enrolled in the Conservatory? (An anonymously submitted question.)
1:15:26 What do you wish you had known your first week of college?

Our second virtual panel was focused on international students. Thank you to Ahmet, Hassan, Lujza, Sakina, Sue, and Thanisa for sharing their Oberlin experiences!

1:19 Introductions
5:20 Why Oberlin, for you? How did you learn about the College and what drew you here?
13:17 What has been the most difficult part of your transition to college? What support have you had?
24:58 How difficult is it to do music and sciences? (A question from Jad!)
35:06 What is living like on campus? Can you talk about the differences in program houses, co-ops, and regular dorms? (A dual question from Samantha and an anonymous commenter.)
43:11 What is the Bonner Scholar program? (A question from Ramsha!)
49:50 For students who did not go through the US educational system, what support is there at Oberlin? What advice do you have for success? (A question from an anonymous commenter.)
58:26 What do wish you had known in your first week of college? What advice would you give your first-week-of-college self?


And that's a wrap! Huge, huge thank you to Emily, Hyacinth, Jenny, Jocie, Matt, Nyquon, and Rand!

:30 Introductions
5:30 Why did you choose Oberlin?
14:00 Do you feel you made friends easily at Oberlin (a question from Betty)
17:48 How do you choose your roommates? What happens after your first year? (a question from Jack)
23:39 How does co-op living and dining work? Can you live in a co-op but eat in the regular dining hall? Can you dine in a co-op but live elsewhere? And how does work-study function with your co-op responsibilities? (A question from Sammie and Betty)
30:19 What involvement do you have in the local community?
36:38 Can someone talk about the community around manga, anime, and Asian culture at Oberlin? (A question from V)
43:01 Did you take a first-year seminar? Which one, and what was the experience like?
47:01 Who is your favorite professor? What has been your favorite class?
54:17 How have you been mentored at Oberlin? Where have you found your mentors?
1:02:25 Can someone talk about substances and social life? Is there pressure? Can you have a social life without? (A question from V)
1:05:39 What was your favorite winter term? (A question from anonymous)
1:14:09 What are the study abroad opportunities? How did your experience transform you? (A question from anonymous)
1:18:02 What is/was your favorite musical tradition or event on campus?
1:22:36 What advice would you give to yourself in your first week of college?


*Pssst: these are not our first virtual panels! Feel free to watch the panels from last fall and spring 2014.

Responses to this Entry

Which is better for social life: living in a co op, living in a freshman dorm, or living in a regular dorm?
Could you talk about the pros and cons of living in each as a freshman?

Posted by: Sophia Attebery on April 5, 2015 9:22 AM

If there is a natural black lady to answer, is it hard to be natural at Oberlin?

Posted by: Chandler on April 6, 2015 9:26 AM

Is it hard to double major at Oberlin?

Posted by: Chan on April 6, 2015 10:59 AM

How did you find internships related to your major or field?

Posted by: Chanel on April 6, 2015 11:45 AM

Due to the number of social events at Oberlin, do you feel a lot of social pressure to be constantly going somewhere or doing something?

Posted by: Jen on April 6, 2015 8:03 PM

What do you guys do for fun? And does the small size and lack of surrounding city ever feel overwhelming?

Posted by: Nik on April 6, 2015 8:13 PM

is it true that some classes you have to apply for? (Like creative writing) is that a competitive process?
Also, what are the school publications on campus? Can anyone write for them?

Posted by: Liam on April 6, 2015 8:14 PM

Can someone please talk about the Bonner Scholarship Program. What does the program entail and what are the time commitments?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 6, 2015 8:20 PM

How difficult is it to double major? (Say Politics/Law & Society)

Posted by: Kameron on April 6, 2015 8:33 PM

Can anyone talk about their experiences in queer groups/communities on campus?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 6, 2015 8:38 PM

Even though you're not enrolled in the conservatory, is it possible to participate in clubs or like take the courses/lessons?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 6, 2015 9:05 PM

What does the Rhetoric and Composition minor include/ do many people minor in it?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 6, 2015 9:09 PM

Do you have to book practice rooms ahead of time and what hours are the practice rooms open for student use? (specifically for people not in the conservatory)

Posted by: Anonymous on April 6, 2015 9:15 PM

How much credit is required for the 3-2enengineering program? Is it possible to graduate Oberlin in 2 years and then go to the engineering school? (it will then be a total of 4 years rather than 5 years)
Also, what is the acceptance rate of caltech for this 3-2 program?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 7, 2015 10:11 AM

Does Oberlin help with any study abroad opportunities?
If so, can they be financially assisted?

Posted by: Jad Kaiss on April 10, 2015 3:27 PM

Can someone please talk about their residential experience as an international student? What's the community like in their respective dorm?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 11, 2015 9:53 AM

Some international students have no experiences with American schooling system. What can incoming international first-years do in these 4 months' time before college starts so they could adjust to the system quickly and won't risk failing classes?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 11, 2015 10:00 AM

What is the dorm life like at Oberlin? Specifically how is the size of the dorm rooms, are the dorms coed, and how are the bathrooms set up (one for two rooms, half a floor, entire floor, etc)?

Posted by: Samantha on April 11, 2015 10:00 AM

What programs does Oberlin offer to help me pursuit health-related career post grad?

Posted by: Diep Nguyen on April 11, 2015 10:06 AM

What's something similar between your home country and the United States so you know what to do/where to go when you're feeling homesick?

Posted by: Anonymous on April 11, 2015 10:07 AM

One of my teachers told me Oberlin is the place where you can become a Biology Major and professional Cellist?

Is it difficult to do such a thing?

Allons y!

Posted by: The Doctor on April 11, 2015 10:15 AM

How is life at Oberlin different if you're a Bonner scholar? Do Bonner scholars get to travel to other places/ cities for community service? Can we carry out service projects at other countries in the summer eg. Pakistan?

Posted by: Ramsha on April 11, 2015 10:19 AM

When will you send out the I-20 forms or visa documents?
Can students who have not studied Computer science in A-levels and O-levels major in Computer science at college?
What is life at Oberlin as an international student generally like? (If you haven't answered this already)

Posted by: Ramsha on April 11, 2015 10:27 AM

In the freshman year, do we get a chance to choose our roommate?

Posted by: Jack on April 11, 2015 10:50 AM

Can you live in a co-op but still have access to the regular dining halls on campus?

Posted by: Sammie on April 14, 2015 12:10 PM

(I have a few questions, answer whichever one(s) you'd like!)

1. What are some of the main differences between co-op living and dorm living?

2. Is it possible to live and eat in a co-op while still making your full work-study?

3. Although this is probably hard to answer, do you feel like you made friends easier at Oberlin compared to if you went to a state school?

Posted by: Betty on April 23, 2015 5:50 PM

Hello! I heard that there is a fairly large population of people who like anime and manga, (or even Japanese, Chinese, Korean, culture etc.) However, for those of you who are associated with those areas, I'm sure you already know that finding other people in those areas can either be a really good thing...or a really bad thing. Meaning, there are often people who can be weird, creepy, ignorant, etc.
I happen to love anime/manga/Asian culture, etc., but I don't want to end up locked in with a dysfunctional group as described above.

SO: I was wondering, is there a lot of /that/ type at Oberlin?

Posted by: V on April 23, 2015 7:32 PM

Hi there, I've been meaning to ask this question as well, because of some rumors/stereotypes I've heard about Oberlin students: is there a significant drug problem among students?
(I don't mean just cigarettes or cigars, I mean illegal substances. I'm concerned about this because--well, of course there is danger associated with that problem.)

Posted by: V on April 23, 2015 7:38 PM

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