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 combining interests in creative writing and environmental studies

Becca Orleans ’16
“In providing a text that shares experiences of running and strength in running, I hope that this collection helps women feel more empowered to openly move throughout the environment.”

On becoming herself

Sophia Bamert ’13
“Oberlin gave me the push that I needed to pursue my goals, to see myself as an actor in the world rather than a mere collector of personae.”

On venturing outside the Oberlin bubble

Mitchell Herrmann ’17
“The trips I took to the city of Akron during the cold of Ohio’s winter months introduced me to an entirely new world—a world in which my political and social assumptions were challenged in entirely...

On defining Oberlin

Jaremy Rich ’07
“There are thousands of attributes, numbers and statistics that you could chime off that make Oberlin marginally better or worse than any given institution...what the Princeton Review or the US News...

On teaching at Oberlin

Catherine Oertel ’99
“I have initiated new synthetically-oriented research projects in my laboratory here, but I have also continued my work on organ pipe corrosion with students who have been attracted by research that...

On being at Oberlin

Teresa Heinz Housel ’94
“I could safely question the cultural values that had been drilled into me as the truth, and with that security, I could intellectually and emotionally reach my full potential. ”

On becoming an editor in chief

Nina Paroff ’12
“I’m focusing on what The Grape could be in the future. I love The Grape for what it’s worth. I love the stinky office, the stinky staff, and the paper itself, typos and all.”

On having a show on WOBC

Joshua Davidson ’12
“In my years of DJing, the station always felt like a tight ship, full of equally obsessive folks seeking out just the right record and wanting to share that ecstatic moment with the greater...

On volunteering in post-Katrina New Orleans

Colin Jones ’08
“The values of service, hard work, and solidarity in the pursuit of justice that were instilled by Oberlin pushed us forward.”

On being a part of OCTaiko

Yue Qiu ’14
“...being a good taiko drummer is not so much having the perfect techniques; it is more a commitment to being part of a group that shares the same energy and tries to figure out the key to ki...

On the art rental program

Prof. Erik Inglis ’89
“All those students lined up for art rental aren’t just waiting patiently in a line; they’re also actively teaching each other and learning from each other, sharing their enthusiasms and gaining new...

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