With another, albeit strange, year behind me, I find myself looking back at the journey thus far. Sophomore year was without a doubt a wild ride, full of its ups and downs, but being away from campus and the people I’ve come to love has made me think about just how much I cherish TIMARA. I love this wonderful place filled with the coolest of people and the most open of hearts.
My journey with the TIMARA department began in the fall of 2017, at the beginning of my senior year of high school. I had the opportunity to visit the studios and sit in on TECH 201, and, quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect and was a little scared.
Socializing with older students that I had never met before (and would probably never see again) was unnerving. But, as I would find time and time again, this studio and these people would welcome me with open arms.
I remember sitting in the crowded studio before that class started, filled with first-year majors learning about low pass filters and chatting with each other so freely. I had picked out a corner of the room where I thought I might be out of the way, but everyone there made sure I was included and having a good time. Sitting in Studio Four that October day, watching the other kids joke and converse and smile, was when I knew that Oberlin was where I wanted to be.
The rest of my senior year passed in a blur of portfolio creations, auditions, and finals, and suddenly it was time to move in. Orientation week was hot, and since I lived in a single in a dorm full of upper-classmen, I didn’t really know anybody. I found cool(er) refuge in the basement of the conservatory, in the studios that I would learn to call home.
There are so many things about studios that I love—be it the hundreds of recital posters hung on the wall or the twinkle lights strung up or even the water fountain (which is objectively the BEST water fountain on campus. Seriously, it rocks.)—and I know that every other person that calls TIMARA home finds comfort in them, too.
It’s the little things that I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life: Making friends over a shared backpack, playing study-opoly to prep for a listening exam, laughing over the dumbest things, or even running down to the studios late at night to lie on the floor and share a good cry after a sad movie. It’s sitting in studio class, nervous about sharing something you've worked hard on, only to have every person there lift you up and remind you that everything you do is a victory. It’s walking across Tappan and waving to your professors, just to have them stop to chat with you because your life matters to them, too.
I didn’t know what to expect when I came to college, but I found a family in this department tucked away in the conservatory basement, where everyone is kind and the Bibbins staircase is the road home.