Oberlin Blogs

A Reflection on New Beginnings

December 3, 2019

Tim Martin ’22

The alarm rang and I opened my eyes. It’s 5:30 a.m., and I feel a sense of joy rolling through my body. It’s the first-morning practice of football season. I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth and quickly throw on jeans and a hoodie. I can’t wait to get to the football field and be with my teammates on this glorious morning. I throw my backpack over my shoulder and a fresh pair of air force ones on my feet and leave my cozy dorm and walk to my bike. I hop on and start pedaling, the sweet smell of wilderness is in the air and I look to the left and see a family of deer frolicking in the woods. I think to myself how blessed I am to attend the historic Oberlin College. I love everything about Oberlin, from the gracious vibe transmitted throughout the student population to the beautiful scenery that we Obies get to experience year-round.

On this day, though, I feel even more grateful as I am about to tackle my first-morning football practice of the year. When I reach the football field I am greeted by a nutritious breakfast of granola and a selection of fruits to go on top of organic yogurt that was funded by the caring parents of Oberlin College football players. Every bite tastes better than the last and once I finish off this delicacy, I go to the football locker room. 

The football locker room is one of my favorite places on campus. When I first got to Oberlin I was very nervous about how my college experience would go. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing or give the wrong impression to any of the other students on campus, so I kept to myself at first. The football locker room though was a place filled with laughs for me, and progressively this space helped me come out of my shell and make more and more friends. Other students on campus have told me that they have had similar experiences with other spaces on campus, for example, Mudd library.

After sharing some early morning conversations with my teammates, I carefully set up my football pads and head out to the field. My freshman year of football was cut short due to injury, but I hope to have a bounce-back sophomore season. I go through practice and give everything my best effort, and at the end I feel tired, but accomplished.

After every practice, all of the receivers line up in a straight line, no matter how wonderfully or horribly we performed, and give each other a high five and words of encouragement. Moments like these help push me to continue to work on my craft day in and day out. From the athletic field to the classroom, Oberlin is a place that breeds success. With the combination of a supportive atmosphere and the resources necessary to accomplish your goals, Oberlin College is not a place where we settle for mediocrity.

I head back to the locker room and shower up before I head to classes. Around me, my teammates are having conversations about everything from the stock market to world politics to the latest album that dropped. I’ve always loved the diversity in the thoughts and culture of my fellow students at Oberlin.

I grab my backpack out of my locker and walk out of the locker room. I have a tough day ahead of me so I try to get in the right mindset by turning on my Bluetooth Beats headphones and listening to rapper DaBaby. As DaBaby raps about being successful and describing himself as a “young CEO,” I think about how my degree from Oberlin can actually make me a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I hop back on the bike, bobbing my head to the beat of the song, on my way to macroeconomics where I’m learning how to become a young CEO.

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