Oberlin Blogs

A Sunny Afternoon in Oberlin

April 8, 2019

Emma McIlhagga ’22

67*F and sunny might not seem like it’s summer-y weather, but for us Obies who have only seen on-and-off snow and weather consistently in the 30s (or below), this weather was the best thing we’d seen in a while.

So I thought I’d briefly take you along through my sunny day in Oberlin, to give you a sense of how Obies like to relax and get some much-needed Vitamin D.

It started in the morning when I checked the weather, like I do every morning, and saw that there was going to be a shocking high temperature of 68*F. The warmest it had gotten the past week was 55, so I was pumped and ready. I threw on a t-shirt and shorts and my trusty Birkenstocks and opened my window wide to soak in the cool breeze and warm air.

Later that afternoon, my friends and I decided that we were going to go outside to soak up the nice warm day. We decided to hang out in Wilder Bowl, the grassy area in front of the Terrell Library, and as we approached the area, we saw that we weren't the only ones with this idea. 

Dozens of students were sprawled about the area, some in small groups studying, some kicking a soccer ball or throwing a frisbee, and some simply basking in the sunlight and enjoying the beautiful weather. 

My friends and I laid our blankets on the ground, turned on some music, set out our communal snacks, and each went about our different activities. My roommate closed her eyes and dozed off, my friend Katie sang along to the music and my friend Emily and I read our own books. 

(I'm currently reading The Power by Naomi Alderman, and I highly recommend it.)

I hopped inside to Wilder Decafe to grab a smoothie from the build-your-own smoothie line with my favorite ingredients: peaches, mangoes, spinach, and soymilk. I proceeded back outside, and found myself with a light and happy feeling filling me from my toes to the top of my head. 

Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe it was the 4 hours outside, and maybe it was the great friends, but that day I felt the happiest I've felt in a long time. I was relaxed and just purely happy. I don't know how else to describe it except I felt like something about the blue sky and sun seemed to make my anxieties and worries and stress for the semester far away and out of reach, at least for a couple of hours. 

We were outside for so long, we actually had to move our whole setup farther down the quad to escape the shadow the sun was creating with Terrell Library. 

There was laughter, some jamming to classic Taylor Swift, bad jokes, lots of snacks, and a lot of smiles. 

This was the first day I'd seen this many Obies congregated outside, and I think everybody felt similar to me. Every place in Oberlin looked like a Hollywood-perfect movie version of college, but in a good way. Everything was happiness and grins and friendliness and positive vibes.

The heaviness of the winter is beginning to lift, and Oberlin is getting more vibrant by the day. While the weight of six more weeks left in the semester can sometimes feel too much to bear, it's days like Saturday that make me feel like I can make it through. 

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