Oberlin Blogs

Oberlin Archetypes

April 16, 2023

Aishwarya Krishnaswamy ’23

I recently participated in a workshop that prompted me to consider the various Oberlin archetypes. Here are some Obie archetypes based on the different kinds of students that go to Oberlin, as seen through the lens of a few of us brainstorming. Be cautious; these are sweeping generalizations ;) and personally, I have shifted through all of these archetypes during my four years at Oberlin.


1. Crunchy Granola Obie 

Interests: Community, environment, sustainability, pottery co-op, DIYing, wwoofing, climbing trees 

Attitude: Chill and intense at all the odd times ;) 

Values: food justice, decolonization, eco-feminism 

Lifestyle: Cooperatives, living off-the-grid, walking barefoot, polyamorous relationships 

The crunchy granola Obie lives and dines in OSCA. They love the outdoors and often walk barefoot, especially in the winter!! (I know! it could be you.) They are creatively inclined, and you can find them making their own earrings, throwing clay in the pottery co-op, and farming. They are committed to community service and are very involved in Oberlin's activities. Engaging in philosophical conversations is a part of their lifestyle.

They form about 45 - 50% of Oberlin College's population. 


2. Activist Obie 

Interests: Student senate, labor laws, Marx theories, politics, CAST, prelaw, debates, reproductive justice

Values: Leaders, Seeking change at any cost! Utopia beliefs, standing out, putting words into actions. 

Attitude: Passionate, radical, influential 

Lifestyle: Protests, teaching taking a restorative justice lens, dismantling capitalism and patriarchy 

The activist Obie is very involved in debates and public speaking and holds some role in the student senate. They tend to be politics, CAST, and/or prelaw majors/minors. They have radical leftist views and can quickly gather a group to protest with them in Wilder Bowl. Their assertive personality is backed up by intense research and reading. They are passionate about changing the world and influencing everyone around them to do the same! 

They form about 20 - 25% of Oberlin College's population. 


3. Enthusiastic Obie 

Interests: Academics, STEM, double-degree, athletics, OWLS, research-oriented students 

Attitude: Career-focussed, driven, ambitious  

Values: Hard work, success, saying 'YES!' 

Lifestyle: Science center, study sessions, career-center events, late-night work, trying to be everywhere all at once vibes, doing all the readings for class!

The enthusiastic Obie likes to do everything and be everywhere all at once! They know that college is the gateway to success in their life. It need not always be about their own gain but about the betterment of their community when they do well. They don't mind the sweat, the struggle, and the sacrifices it takes to reach their goals. They say 'yes' to too many things because they can't help it! They're just so good at everything, and there are so many things to do at Oberlin, from interesting classes, excos, research, clubs, workshops, seminars, jobs… It's hard to make a choice. You can count on them to have done the readings for class, balancing their double-degree course load, and grinding in the science center late at night. Sometimes, you want to tell them to slow down. Still, ultimately, their hard work and determination inspire everyone to cultivate discipline and focus like theirs. 

They form about 30-ish % of Oberlin College's population. 


If you see yourself in any/ all of these archetypes, you might be saying 'yes' to the right tribe ;) Happy admissions season! 

Spread love, peace, and regulated nervous systems (when you can!) :-)) 

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