Oberlin Blogs

How I Chose Oberlin (Alice)

November 19, 2009

Alice Ollstein ’10

There I was, 18 years old, plagued with senioritis and ready for college. But which college? I had applied to around 9 (thankfully, the sordid details have passed into oblivion for me), got into 6, and was only seriously considering four: Northwestern's Medill Journalism School, Kenyon, Vassar, and Oberlin. Northwestern offered me exactly zero financial aid, taking it out of the running. I had already visited Kenyon many times, as both my older brother and older sister attended that fine institution, so I only flew to visit Oberlin and Vassar.
(Background note: Because California is so far from everywhere I applied--not an accident, by the way--I could only afford to visit the colleges that had already accepted me)

So off I flew, and had great visits at both places. I sat in on fascinating classes at both schools. I liked both Oberlin's funky, colorful Mudd Library and Vassar's stately, gothic one. People were friendly at both places, but certainly funnier at Oberlin. I saw awesome student bands play at both colleges. When I returned home, I was at a loss.

I stressed out about it, tossing and turning at night. Where did I want to be? Where was my 'match'? Where would I be happy for the next four years? The answer--I'm not even joking--came to me in a dream.

In the dream, I was wandering through a beautiful winter landscape. I came to a frozen river. On the other side was a sign reading Vassar. I began to walk towards it, but the ice cracked under me and I plunged into the freezing water. I woke up, gasping, and the next day I filled out my acceptance forms for Oberlin.

My subconscious was right. Now I can't imagine myself anywhere else. I'd say something corny about literally "following your dreams" but I can't bear to. Let's just say, when all those pro and con lists aren't doing you any good, sleep on it.

Responses to this Entry

Wow, that is an awesome story. Way to follow your dreams!

Posted by: Alicia on November 19, 2009 11:04 PM

hey. loved your "story". was that picture taken from sacre coeur? back in the day, there were no grids to obstruct your view...or demise? still an amazing ascent and experience. i have a similar oberlin do or don't story for one of these days.

Posted by: susie s on November 22, 2009 8:32 PM

wow, i'm going to sleep!

Posted by: Chetan on December 1, 2009 4:45 AM

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