Oberlin Blogs

The Romanticization of Commitment

March 14, 2014

Alison Kronstadt ’16

The first time I met my academic advisor — who is unquestionably one of the wisest people I've met here — she said something to me I'll never forget. "At some other schools, they romanticize going out and getting drunk five nights a week. At Oberlin, we romanticize signing ourselves up for an impossible amount of commitments and never sleeping."

I had been on campus for a grand total of four days, and distinctly remember thinking that I had absolutely no interest in the former, but that the latter seemed like a silly thing to idealize as well. Eighteen months, 65 credits, one club sport, two volunteer positions, and one club foundation later, I look back on that moment and laugh — at least for a moment, until I remember that I have a meeting in ten minutes and have to refocus.

Don't get me wrong: I love everything I do, and have spent many a glorious hour at Oberlin on nothing more rigorous than watching my friend eat the biggest ice cream cone the Stevie soft-serve machine has probably ever made, or having a top-of-our-lungs Wicked sing-a-long with my roommates on a Thursday night. Still, my advisor was right — there's a certain glamor to being that classic Oberlin kid who's always busy. Only after a year and a half at this school, I've realized that I'd need a time machine and the ability to Apparate to really experience everything that this school has to offer. Failing those things, the best I can do is make an effort to get outside my routine, to always be on the lookout for new things here.

That's where this blog comes in. Every post I write will be about me trying something completely new — participating in a new event, learning a new ability, you name it. I don't expect to be good at all of them; in fact, I hope I'm not. It's important to have passions and talents, but there's a certain fun in running headlong in the complete opposite direction of your skill set and seeing what happens. I don't really know where it'll take me, but I know I'm beyond excited to get there.

Now I'm sorry, I have to go. I have a meeting in ten minutes.

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