During my first weeks at Oberlin, I remember having conversations with professors and non first-year students during Peer Advising Leader (PAL) sessions and other orientation events. These were the get-to-know-you, get-adjusted-to-college, learn-good-study-habits sessions where we got off topic all the time and talked about, among other things, the ~general vibe~ of Oberlin students and the Oberlin campus. People would always talk about what Obies have in common, and often times the same thing came up: Obies stay busy. I thought this was a classic idiosyncratic college thing that college people brag about to make their college look distinctive, a special characteristic for an already very distinct student body, but in the over year and a half I’ve been here, I’ve seen that it’s actually very true.
Obies stay busy. Busy like we want to be involved in a double digits amount of extracurriculars and student organizations and publications, even though the number of hours in a day may not always permit it. Busy like learning and engaging and participating excites us, so we try to do as much of it as possible all despite all odds. Busy like people will try to triple major and double minor. Busy like I’m really excited to be in college for the next two and a half years.
My first few weeks of my first fall semester were certainly busy; I was starting college, still getting adjusted, and trying to do what seemed like everything all at once. The first few weeks, I was waiting for the normal to start and the busy to stop. I thought I would fall into a routine: wake up, go to my classes, practice, go to my campus job, do homework, and do it all again. At some point, I thought that the extra events that weaseled their ways into my Google Calendar would stop, and the consistency would start.
I’m now in my fourth semester of college, and the normal has not started, unless the definition of normal is having no two weeks ever be the same. In a good way, though. I like the feeling of always being on the move and always looking forward to what’s coming next. I’m almost always busy, but I’m busy with things I actually want to be doing. I once had an English teacher who often said that high school was a hamster wheel. We go around and around doing the same thing every day for years, which wasn’t far from the truth in my high school experience. But in college, there is no such misfortune.
This semester, I have found myself in the very lucky situation of liking all the many things I get to do. Just last week, the first week of this semester, some of the extra things on my calendar included the shift-scheduling meeting for all of the circulation desk workers in the Conservatory Library (truly the best way to start my semester), the ExCo fair (my beautiful amazing roommate is on the ExCo Committee! There are cute pictures of them as well as information on what ExCos are here), and my Food Safety Coordinator training for my spring/fall co-op position. Every morning I wake up to a perfect storm of a bunch of things I have to do, and it is truly wonderful. My boundless optimism for this semester will hopefully never end, because right now I am constantly looking forward to simply everything.
As of the end of add/drop, I’m registered for a StudiOC cluster that includes the courses Desire and the Diva and Desire and Literature, music history and English courses, respectively. I’m registered for my final semester of Music Theory and Aural Skills, which feels amazing because I can almost see the end, and because we’ve moved on to post-tonal music, which I personally find very interesting. As always, I’m doing a large ensemble and taking lessons, and this semester I’m also taking Orchestral Repertoire for Brasses and continuing on with my woodwind quintet. On Fridays, I work the opening and the closing shift for the Conservatory Library, which really rounds out the end of my week nicely. This semester is also going to be my first time taking an ExCo, and that ExCo is TumbleCo, a weekly introduction course on tumbling and tricking, with blogger Teague.
My classes are the constants in my week, and so far I am loving my constants. All the other random bits fit onto my sticky note checklists or my Google Calendar (fun fact– blog post is almost always on my checklist). I really am trying to live my best life this semester, and for these first two weeks, I have succeeded.
Of course, this post is just me trying to be edgy by rebelling against the “a day in the life of an Obie” idea that is so often featured on different Admissions Department platforms. I’m not trying to glorify constant busyness and neverending work; I definitely love getting an adequate amount of sleep and being able to watch shows on Netflix or do nothing – it just also feels great to be accomplishing things, finishing tasks, and looking forward to whatever it is I have to do. The lack of routine I face on the daily is what I can reliably always look forward to.
If you’re looking for more “day in the life of an Obie” type things, I recommend the Oberlin Admissions snapchat (@ObieAdmissions) because you can see lots of different types of days from different types of students, including some of my friends!
I’m optimistic about this semester, and whatever it throws at me. My sophomore slump is completely over, I feel incredible, and I am so ready for whatever comes next.