Oberlin Blogs

We all have a "This is how I discovered Oberlin" story...

October 26, 2010

Chinwe Okona ’13

I'm not sure if it's normal for people to have favorite textbooks. I mean, there are classes in which you constantly thank some higher being for the textbook because the professor is impossible in every way. However, favorite textbooks are those that you read because you are legitimately interested in, and must know as quickly as possible, the facts on every page. Like I said, maybe this is only me but I have hope that there is intelligent life out there that can appreciate a good textbook.

Thus far, in all my years of schooling, I have two favorite textbooks. The first is called Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory. I love the brain and knowing how things work, and this book just explained it all ever so nicely on every single page.

My other favorite textbook is called The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, specifically the 12th edition. I have to be honest and say up front, I'm not a huge history buff. I guess cool stuff happens, but honestly the repetition of it all kind of bores me. I will admit that I am an avid Dan Brown reader and I saw National Treasure, one and two, on their opening nights, but that's about it.

The Pageant takes me all the way back to the fall of my junior year in high school. I was young, hated everything about high school, and was more than ready to get the collegiate show on the road. In my Advanced Placement American History class, we had just arrived at the most useless chapter in the entire book (Chapter 15, if you happen to stumble across a copy and you're curious). Okay, I shouldn't say useless because subjects like Temperance, educational advancements, and women's roles were discussed, but really, reading about failed Utopian experiments was torture.

Somewhere in that awful, awful chapter I stumbled upon a paragraph about Oberlin College. Before this I had never heard of Oberlin. The text explained that it was located in Ohio, prided itself on being the first college to admit women and African Americans, and that's about it. One paragraph, five or six sentences, but I was intrigued. In the weeks that followed, I found myself continuously visiting the school's website and telling my parents about this "super sweet college" I discovered.

I'm not sure exactly when, but in the next six months I absolutely fell in love with the idea of attending Oberlin. Before the summer prior to my senior year was over, I had completed and submitted my applications to three schools: Oberlin and two Florida state schools I had absolutely no intention of attending. My parents thought I was absolutely nuts and my friends were terrified of my potential breakdown if I didn't get accepted to Oberlin. Now, I look back and wonder what I was thinking. I wouldn't say I'm one to make rash life decisions, but I just knew it was Oberlin or bust.

Clearly, we all know how the story ends. Sometimes I laugh at how much of my life has been determined by those five or so sentences. I guess the moral here is that you should always do your reading for class. Even if you know Chapter 15 is totally not going to be on the AP exam.

Responses to this Entry

Yes, we were so concerned for a potential breakdown. But of course you got in and are loving it.

Posted by: Gabe on October 27, 2010 12:08 AM


Posted by: Eli C-D on October 27, 2010 3:38 AM

The American Pageant was where I first encountered Oberlin, too! But it didn't nearly have as much of an impact on me as it did to you. In fact, I was pretty set on Emory at the time. It hasn't been until a couple months that I realized that Oberlin might be the perfect college for me: their neuroscience looks insane, and it's in a small but strong liberal arts college that has a big music scene. Ha, yes, I'm a prospie.

Posted by: Gian on October 27, 2010 7:03 PM

I must admit I'm infatuated with the neuroscience department here, really no complaints. And yes, Oberlin holds its own and has a great music scene. Sounds like you know what you like Gian. Now all you need to do is applyyyyy!

Posted by: Chinwe Okona on October 27, 2010 10:54 PM

Oh, I have! I get to know if I'm accepted on Dec. 1. I've never liked the waiting game.

Do you know how realistic it would be to double major in Neuro and Biochem, all while taking the pre-med track?

Posted by: Gian on October 28, 2010 11:12 PM

I'm not exactly an expert on biochem; however, from looking at the requirements, although neuro, biochem, and pre-med requirements have quite a few courses that overlap, it looks like you would have your work cut out for you.

Also you have to remember that you're not only going to want to do schoolwork while you're here. There are so many awesome extracurricular options that if you immerse yourself in two majors with the intent of going pre-med you might miss out. Some people can pull it off, some people value sleep a little more than others. Haha, I'm still kind of figuring it out for myself so don't worry you have plenty of time.

Posted by: Chinwe Okona on October 30, 2010 11:58 AM

Welcome to the blogosphere, Chinwe!

Posted by: David on October 30, 2010 11:04 PM

I took AP United States History as a sophomore and loved The American Pageant, too! I specifically remember discussing Chapter 15 and Oberlin in class because one of my classmates said that Oberlin would be a great fit for me. I didn't know much about the school at the time, but I visited that summer and fell in love. I applied ED this week and hope to major in Neuroscience and do the pre-med track, if I get in. I am so glad to hear that you like being a Neuroscience major - it makes me look forward to college even more!

Posted by: Katie on October 31, 2010 4:30 PM

Haha, I'm really enjoying reading these comments because 1) I too noticed Oberlin buried inside The American Pageant and 2) I'm in the process of trying to write the essay so that I can apply ED. Thanks!

Posted by: Ellen on October 31, 2010 5:30 PM

Thanks for the info, Chinwe! It's awesome to have a Neuroscience major blogger (though, of course, everyone else is just as great).

Posted by: Gian on November 1, 2010 5:11 PM

thats is so crazy. I found out about Oberlin while reading this book called Belle and I had seen it before in other books so I looked it up and told all my friends and family about all the history behind the school and became completely intrigued by it.

Posted by: Preshus on November 1, 2010 8:13 PM

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