Oberlin Blogs

What's in a Blog?

November 9, 2017

Sam Schuman ’21

Who am I? Why am I here?


Hello reader! Yes, you. Hi! I’m Sam, and as you can tell I write for Oberlin Blogs. You can read my bio if you’re so inclined, but all you really need to know is that I’m a politics and history nerd, musician, and notorious dad joke-maker who has the privilege of sharing his Oberlin experience with you fine people.

If you’ve found your way here, you’re probably a prospective student (or someone related to a prospective student) who’s trying to learn more about what makes Oberlin “Oberlin." Alternatively, you could simply be a citizen of the internet who enjoys browsing college admissions websites, in which case welcome! I sincerely hope that you can somehow make use of the vaguely coherent word vomit of a 19-year-old undergraduate. And in the unlikely event that you’re an extraterrestrial who has somehow found their way to this page, I implore you to spare rural Ohio should you decide to invade Earth sometime in the future. We can repay you in corn, cows, and liberal arts students, but I’m afraid that’s about all we’ve got.

But seriously, folks. The odds are that you’re here hoping I can provide you with some insight into what it’s like to be an Oberlin student. And the good news is that I can! I’ll start by saying a little bit about Oberlin’s student body. “Obies," as we’re called, are a diverse bunch, but in my roughly two months here I’ve figured out that one thing we have in common is an intellectual curiosity. Obies take the time to dive deep and examine things thoughtfully and holistically, whether it be the bias of a historical text or the relative merits of playing an NSYNC or Backstreet Boys track on their '90s pop radio show. Obies are also unafraid of reflection; we examine the what, but also the why in our academic work as well as in our own beliefs (eagle-eyed grammarians will also note we are unafraid to make questionable use of the semi-colon, the most intimidating of all punctuation marks). In the spirit of this ethos, I think it’s appropriate to take a moment and figure out what exactly this whole “student blogger” thing is trying to accomplish.

This blog serves a few interests simultaneously. Its first purpose (and the one you’re probably here for) is to give you, the esteemed reader, a better picture of what Oberlin College and its students are like. We hope that these blogs get you excited about Oberlin, and maybe even convince you to apply and attend our fine institution. Certainly, I’m looking forward to regaling you with tales of all of the amazing things Oberlin has to offer, from world-class musical talent to a 15,000-piece art collection to the amazing things students do over Winter Term. Of course, any college experience can have its lows along with its highs, and I’ll do my best to present these moments honestly as well (although so far I’ve found that the highs handily outnumber the lows).

Its second purpose is to give me, the writer, a chance to sharpen my skills. I’ll admit that I’ve never written for a blog before, so this kind of personal writing is pretty new to me. This blog will a learning experience for both of us. By reading my posts, I hope that you have a better understanding of what it means to be an Obie, and hopefully by the end of this piece I’ll be a better writer and communicator than I was 871 words ago.

Obviously, writing for an admissions blog isn’t the same as keeping a personal journal, but the same basic principle remains: What I write here is authentically me, in all of my imperfect, not-as-funny-as-I-think-I-am glory. I’m here to provide you with a direct link to the student body of Oberlin—to shed light on things that can’t be sufficiently explicated in a brochure or info booklet. Short of physically visiting our campus, the blog entries on this site may be the best way of getting a totally straight picture of what the Oberlin student experience is.

Why, you may be asking, am I telling you all of this? Simply put, I want to make sure we’re on the same page (if you’ll pardon the pun) when it comes to these blogs. I’m not an admissions officer or a PR professional; I’m a simply a student trying my best to show you Oberlin College as realistically as I can. This is a place where we’re both learning new things. I’m going to be writing about my college experience as accurately as I can as it unfolds, and that’s what makes these blogs so useful. 

On that note, I’d recommend that you avail yourself of the plurality of voices in these blogs. Obies are a diverse group, and no two students have quite the same experience. Reading multiple bloggers will give you an infinitely more detailed picture of Oberlin than reading everything a single blogger has posted would, and the more information you have the better.

Happy reading!

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