Oberlin Blogs

Theme Living: Quiet Hall

May 9, 2022

Ariel Roberts ’25

After committing to Oberlin and the time rolled around to register for housing, I had to do some exploring of the various options on the college's website. When I visited campus in spring of 2021, because of the pandemic, we were unable to enter any buildings; we could only walk around the rather deserted campus. Unable to get a true sense of some of the residence halls, I had to do some digging on the Internet to get a real feel for the different options. I stumbled upon the theme living opportunities at Oberlin and was instantly excited by them. Seeing Sci-fi Hall, Quiet Hall, Substance-Free Hall, and Sustainability Hall, I immediately found many communities I would have loved to join. Of course, I had to narrow it down to my top choices for which I would fill out applications for, and those were Sustainability Hall and Quiet Hall.

These two communities were my first choices because they most encaptured what would help me live comfortably at Oberlin and what I felt would most enhance my college living experience. Being passionate about taking care of the environment and always wanting to learn how to live more environmentally conscious, I felt Sustainability Hall would be a great community to help me better my waste habits and integrate sustainability into my everyday life. As a first-year only hall, it immediately instills in new students how to live in a way that positively impacts the environment, a lifestyle that you can then carry with you in your subsequent years at Oberlin. Of course, though, I could only be placed into one hall, and that ended up being Quiet Hall.

I originally applied for Quiet Hall because silence is simply my nature: people always tell me how quiet I am (in both positive and negative ways), and I’m definitely not the most chatty person you’ll meet. Back at home I always needed my quiet room to study, and my house was generally a quiet place, so I was unsure about a normal dorm floor with many students and lots of various noises. In Quiet Hall, as the name suggests, quiet hours are 24/7 rather than just at night, meaning you cannot make loud noises that can be heard through the walls. There are two of them at Oberlin: one on the 4th floor of Burton Hall, where I live, and one on the 4th floor of Noah Hall, both of which are on North Campus. Throughout my year in Quiet Hall, I know I’ve taken for granted how peaceful our floor is, and am often reminded when I go down to lower floors why I applied for the community. At all hours my room remains a peaceful place to study and unwind, often giving me a breather after a long day of going to classes and being out and about. Everyone in the hall is respectful of the rules as they also cherish the quiet atmosphere. While there’s nothing wrong with a bit of noise, for me I need a bit more peace and quiet, and Quiet Hall gave me just that.

Looking back at my first year at Oberlin, as much as I would have enjoyed Sustainability Hall, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m very glad I chose Quiet Hall as it was what I needed to make my living experience at Oberlin as comfortable as possible. Sure, not everything about living in a residence hall is as comfortable as could be (such as communal bathrooms), but of course you want to strive for what makes your college experience the best for you. Maybe one of the theme living communities will help you do just that!

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