We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On the Asia House dragon

Bill Heinrich ’81
“It would have been tedious work except that it was ambitious, self-directed, and had nothing to do with classes or credits. What made it something to look forward to was the enjoyment of working...

On a full-fledged learning experience

Reid Palmer ’14
“No matter our individual passions, Oberlin provides us the opportunity to do what we love while connecting us with peers and professors that broaden our perspectives and help us make connections.”

On the culture of Oberlin

Louis Grube ’09
“We carry ourselves with an air of courtesy and responsibility to others that shows itself daily in both our smallest actions and in our viewpoints about the way the world should be.”

On being part of establishing SWAP, a book cooperative

Evan Cameron ’15
“Several members of the class and I thought, “Wait a second. We’re doing all of this work to describe this co-op. Why don’t we make this idea a reality?””

On biking across Japan

Andy Bartholomew ’07
“From March 15th to June 10th, I cycled from Kyushu to Nagano. Nearly every day I flash back to some moment of my trip to Japan. I’ll hop on my bike, or see a train, and I’ll remember my first day...

On finding a home on SciFi Hall

Sammy Moores ’17
“Like many incoming first-years, the thought of having a roommate and finding a solid group of friends was extremely daunting.”

On working with the Oberlin Action for Civil Rights

Matthew Rinaldi ’69
“Oberlin played a major role in the student civil rights movement... Not just one person, but many people, linked arm and arm together, ended the reign of white supremacy in the Deep South.”

On a (failed) attempt at an individual major

Hannah Varadi ’15
“I now have a better grasp of how all my language-based interests—translation, journalism, and, yes, fiction writing—tie into comparative literature.”

On the spirit of Oberlin

Avital Isaacs ’10
“Oberlin draws the creative, the overstimulated, the passionate, and puts them together for four years to marinate.”

On being a part of the Oberlin swimming and diving team

Simone Christen ’15
“[It] means becoming absorbed into a large family of people who are committed to exploring their lives athletically and academically in various ways.”

On living in Sci-Fi Hall

Miriam Rothenberg ’12
“They were friendly, loud, crazy, and nerdy. Furthermore, they were welcoming, encouraging me to participate despite my complete lack of knowledge of the linguistic origins of Tolkien’s Elvish...

On facing fears

Jane Sandberg ’10
“Sometimes the best way to get over an issue is to throw yourself into the middle of it and figure out how to make it work for you. This was the story of my first year at Oberlin... Oberlin is a...